Thrifting can appear in many forms. For most of us we thrift the traditional way which is going to a thrift store or a garage sale. We usually spend money and receive second hand items in return. Another form of Thrifting which I adore is Bartering.
The definition at Wikipedia is: Bartering is a medium in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services without a medium of exchange, such as money.
When Dave and I lived in Wales we took part in the L.E.T.S. community. They have a new name and a new site which is now Cardiff Taffs Community Currency. We used to attend weekly gatherings which included a marketplace to sell your goods. I once sold American chocolate chip cookies which went over very well with the Welsh bartering members. I sold out of cookies and my bartering bank account of "deans" (the currency) game me the ability to buy goods or services. We used our first "deans" to have a plumber come out and install a new shower head for us in our little vintage home in the countryside. When he left we wrote him a check (handmade from LETS). It was an incredible experience. I became hooked on bartering.
When I lived on Bainbridge Island I started a bartering yahoo group but it just never got off the ground. I think some people are nervous about the idea of bartering. Or just don't understand how it really works.
One year when we wanted to go on vacation we joined a Home Exchange website and traded our house for 3 weeks without any payment exchanged. The people who we traded with not only became our close friends but it's the reason we now live in Sonoma County. We moved to where we used to vacation.
Sonoma County also has a fabulous bartering group called Sonoma County Timebank.
This March & April, Amy from The Thrifty Chicks and I want to highlight the power and beauty of Bartering. Our influence for this Bartering Campaign is Kyle MacDonald who traded a red paperclip for an actual house in 14 transactions.
Our Bartering Campaign is called Trade Me Up and the goal is to trade items for the month of March and April with the goal of trading for something better than what you began with. What's valuable to me might not be valuable to you which is where trading and bartering can really come into play. What can be exchanged without any currency spent? Although because this is internet based, there might be some money spent on postage.
One thing that might be challenging for me is that while I buy a lot of stuff every week, most of it is for ReSale. I really don't need a lot of stuff nor seem to want too many things. And the item that I trade for needs to have more value to me than what I am trading. Therefore my wishlist is a bit grandeur.
My dream wishlist includes: a walk on part on a movie or tv show, a long ride in a DeLorean, a skype call with Hayley Mills, a house in Las Vegas for a week this April, a 1960's car, a celebrity client to buy vintage items for, to be a guest on one of the Thrifting Shows like Pawn Stars, a publisher to contact me about writing a book (Chronicle Books), a photo tent, a Nikon that better than my D60, a Mid Century Modern house in Sebastopol, Thrift Share Monday featured in Ready Made Magazine to name a few. Lots of these items would be similar to Kyle's house in Canada. It's about focusing on the goal. As Wayne Dyer says, Think From The End.
Here are some guidelines when considering making a Trade Me Up offer:
- Get creative and think outside the box.
- Trade Up means offering something of higher value to the person you are trading with.
- Once you make an offer please don't retract your offer.
- Follow through with your offer and send it off quickly in the mail.
- Try not to take it personal if the person you want to trade with says "no thanks".
Here's how Trade Me Up works. It's like many of the other sharing opportunities here. If you'd like to take part, find something that you'd like to trade whether it's goods or a service. Write a blog post about the item with a photo. Also write out your wishlist of items that you'd absolutely love. Think big. Think crazy big.
Come back to ATG and add your link to your blog post where your Trade Me Up item is posted. For those taking part in Trade Me Up make sure to spread the word to your friends, acquaintances and blog readers. Anyone can offer you something. Share on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter. Tell friends in your area what you are participating in and see if they'd like to trade.
I'll be writing a Trade Me Up post every Friday until April 29th. Hopefully each week I'll have something better than the last week to trade with.
The first official Trade Me Up post will be this Friday. Think about what you want to offer and trade. Kyle started with a paperclip so don't be afraid of starting small.
Here's a button to grab.
Shopping GoLightly (Amy) and I will be writing posts about bartering during the next two months to go along with this campaign. It's our vision that after April, many of you will will consider bartering a part of your weekly thrifting routine.
I hope that you'll join us.
See you Friday when the trading begin.