Trading one item or service for another is the oldest form of commerce, pre-dating the invention of money. It still works! Over the years I’ve traded art or writing services for everything from Windjammer cruises in the Caribbean to having a piglet raised to maturity to stock my freezer with bacon and pork roasts.
Ben Franklin said “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and it’s as true today as in Revolutionary times. When I built my home, I used art to pay for more than $30,000 of the cost - everything from the architect’s fees to carpet and tile, solar hot water and landscaping. I’ve had my teeth fixed, cars repaired, taxes prepared and rented vacation accommodations on the ocean using barter.
There are two ways to trade: directly, one person or business to another, or through an organized Barter Exchange. I’ve done both and still belong to an active barter exchange in Sarasota. Just keep in mind that the IRS considers a barter dollar exactly the same as a cash dollar.
Did you know there are Barter Exchanges in almost every major city in the US and many more around the world? For information on Barter Exchanges, click this link: http://www.gigafree.com/barter.html and read the first paragraph:
“Most of USA Fortune 500 companies use barter to increase their market share and improve productivity. There are about 500 barter exchanges in North America and Latin America, and several hundred more throughout the rest of the world. Here are listed links to hundreds of the Web sites of the many barter exchanges, which have developed internationally.”
If GM uses barter, shouldn’t you consider it, too?
Want to learn more? Then keep checking in on http://www.salestipsforartists.com/ because I’m planning to do a detailed podcast on how artists can use barter.