Housekeeping and landscape maintenance are oft sought after services that (at first blush) seem like they should be easy to barter for, but are often tough to find. There are a couple reasons for this.
1) Most folks that barter much are small business people who are busy and own a home. Although many of them wouldn’t/couldn’t spend cash on the luxury of hiring someone to help with housework, it is a PRIME service to hire on barter. It’s a gift to yourself that you couldn’t justify in the cash world but many people don’t give it a second thought if they can barter for it. So…the first reason it can be hard to barter for is that it’s something that many people want.
2) I have a theory about these two service industries. The theory goes like this: Businesses that do housekeeping and landscape maintenance usually fall into one of two categories. The first category are those that are good and professional at what they do. Those people usually seem SLAMMED with business. I mean they are usually just buried. Unfortunately it is often hard for them to justify doing business on barter. They can get new cash clients any time they want, so why should they barter? The second group of businesses are the flakes. By that I mean, they do a marginal or poor job when they bother to even show up at all. You don’t want those folks even if the service was free so they are not of any value in the barter world either.
So…what can we do about this? If you are lucky enough to have someone good in a local barter exchange, grab them there and make sure you take great care of them! If not, then start working on recruiting one yourself. I have had some luck especially with start up businesses to do a little direct trade. If they are open to more than one account on trade you can work on recruiting them into your barter exchange. With the economy in the state that it’s in, there are more little start up service businesses than normal so ask around through your business/personal network and see if you can find someone looking to build their business who would be open to a little barter.