One of the things I like about barter is that it’s relationship based. In the cash world, especially in the current economy it’s very easy for a transaction to be adversarial. You want the best possible product/service for the lowest possible price. Additionally if something doesn’t work out exactly as planned you somehow feel like you’ve been ripped off. The relative ease of a cash transaction takes the humanity out of the deal. I would like to encourage you to have a relationship with your trade partners. Even more than that, I would encourage you to look for the win-win deal instead of only looking for the best possible deal for you. Now I’m not saying you should be a chump: I’m just saying to look at both sides of the deal. Here are a couple examples that I ran into in the last couple weeks.
I called up a local florist in my trade exchange last week to arrange for flowers to be delivered to my wife and daughter for Valentines day. I can say that here because my wife doesn’t read my blog! <grin> I opened the conversation saying that I knew that she was probably already slammed with cash orders on Valentine’s day, but would she be able to conduct a barter deal with me for delivery on the day before Valentines day? She said she could but that she already had sold all the roses she had available. I told her just to put together whatever she had that would be nice. Everybody wins.
I had carpet installed in my home on barter last week. The deal included the materials because my trade partner had an over-stocked warehouse and was looking to move the carpet. As the installers were getting close to finishing they told me that it appeared they were short on materials. They had misjudged and didn’t have enough carpet for a couple closets. They said they could order another roll of the same carpet but it would be a week or so before they could install it. I told them that the whole reason this deal was happening was because the owner was trying to clear out his warehouse and that I didn’t want him to have to order new carpet. They said that they probably had some remnants from another job that were very similar to my new carpet and that if I was OK with that, they could install it in my closets the next day. Again…everybody wins.
It’s my goal to be my barter partner’s favorite customer. More on that in another article soon.