What’ja Want For That?

I was at the chiropractor the other week and was interested to hear my provider say she was trading her services for tennis lessons.

I haven’t checked Craiglist or other sources, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if, given the economy, the fine art of bartering isn’t seeing a bit of a revival here in Kitsap County.

According to an article in USA Today, bartering, common in the 19th Century and earlier, is definitely making a come-back.

From the article, written in February:

“Barter “absolutely thrives in bad times,” says Roger Staiger, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s business school. Last month, a Denver developer asked Staiger for help restructuring a loan. Lacking cash, he gave Staiger a Colorado ski trip, and the developer’s wife is designing his Web page.

“This is part of the underground economy that does not contribute to the GDP (gross domestic product), but it absolutely contributes to helping people and fostering trade,” he says.

***** end reference******

Then there was the guy who began trading a paper clip for a fish-shaped pen, and, through bartering on the Internet, ended up with a house.

While bartering appears to fall outside the Economy (note the capital “E”), the Internal Revenue Service wants its cut.  A plumber who trades with a dentist for services, for example, must report the fair market value of said services.

“Generally, you report this income on Form 1040, Schedule C (PDF), Profit or Loss from Business. If you failed to report this income, correct your return by filing a Form 1040X. Refer to Topic 308 for Amended Return information.”

The IRS article talks about barter clubs and bartering on the Internet. Regarding the latter, the article says, “If you exchanged property or services through a barter exchange (on the Internet), you should receive a Form 1099-B (PDF), Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions. The IRS also will receive the same information.”

I am curious about bartering:

Have you bartered for goods or services? Has your bartering activity increased with the recession? What sources, including the Internet, do you use to make connections? Regarding the quote about not contributing to the gross domestic product, how – if at all – do you think bartering helps the local economy? Do you have any advice for people who are new to bartering?

Thanks for your thoughts. CTH

P.S. What does this have to do with South Kitsap? My chiropractor is in SK.

One thought on “What’ja Want For That?

  1. When Third World countries currency becomes worthless people revert to barter for survival. Barter never hurts ecconomy local or other. Barter is the only free enterprise system in the World becasue there is no government interferance. Yes we’re regulated by IRS but IRS does not interfer with our marketplace. Pricing is determined by the buyer and seller. Right now we have very little cash changing hands so barter gives us a way to get things we need without cash. Barter is a win win. The best advice for new traders is join a trade club and also use Craigslist. It’s fun to trade for business and personal.

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