SLS: Most people think they have to barter what they do for a living. But you should look at your whole skill set, things you do for fun. So if you're a really good knitter, you can create something or you can teach it. People are really into free education these days, and if you can sit down and teach someone how to knit, that's of value to barter.
But how about incentives or bonuses like sporting event tickets, a dinner, an overnight stay at a B&B, golf passes or a day at a spa or even a lovely gift basket? We appreciate that some may need a root canal and we have got some great dentists who can assist. But we know our members employees love that their company is a valued BNL member and it is not for the root canals.
Bartering is the process of obtaining goods or services by direct exchange without the use of currency. In times of economic instability or currency devaluation, it can be a great way to ensure the flow of necessary items and services into your household without using precious funds. Historically, face-to-face exchanges between familiar parties were most common, but the Internet has opened up a new medium for bartering opportunities for both person-to-person exchanges and third-party facilitated transactions.
When barter has appeared, it wasn’t as part of a purely barter economy, and money didn’t emerge from it—rather, it emerged from money. After Rome fell, for instance, Europeans used barter as a substitute for the Roman currency people had gotten used to. “In most of the cases we know about, [barter] takes place between people who are familiar with the use of money, but for one reason or another, don’t have a lot of it around,” explains David Graeber, an anthropology professor at the London School of Economics.
Bartering is based on a simple concept: Two individuals negotiate to determine the relative value of their goods and services and offer them to one another in an even exchange. It is the oldest form of commerce, dating back to at time before hard currency even existed. (Learn more about how bartering evolved, read The History of Money: From Barter To Banknotes.)
Record Keeping: Exchanges serve as the bookkeeper for barter transactions, which is helpful to the members. Exchanges use their own trade dollars, to bank (keep) money for businesses that don't have an immediate place to spend it. For example, let's say someone wants to barter with you for your consulting services. You can bank the barter dollars you receive, but you don't have to spend them immediately. If later you find you need a website done, you can use the barter dollars you earned earlier. 

Many businesses, however, have leftover capacity, goods, or time that could be turned into capital if they had a way to monetize it. Bob Bagga, CEO and founder of BizX, a cash-free bartering network for business, explains, “In most cases, small to medium size businesses operate at around 80% their potential capacity. That means that 20% of their services or assets go to waste. Whether it’s an empty table in a restaurant, unsold ad-space, or unbooked hours of a general contractor, lawyer, or other service providers, most business owners would jump at the chance to close that 20% gap.” In many cases, this is because businesses lack the cash resources to reach new customers, or they don’t have the cash needed to scale their business.
It is estimated that over 450,000 businesses in the United States were involved in barter exchange activities in 2010. There are approximately 400 commercial and corporate barter companies serving all parts of the world. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to start a barter exchange. Several major cities in the U.S. and Canada do not currently have a local barter exchange. There are two industry groups in the United States, the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) and the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA). Both offer training and promote high ethical standards among their members. Moreover, each has created its own currency through which its member barter companies can trade. NATE's currency is the known as the BANC and IRTA's currency is called Universal Currency (UC).[28]

Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.[1] It is distinguishable from gift economies in that the reciprocal exchange is immediate and not delayed in time. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral (i.e., mediated through barter organizations) and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce.
Then again, it’s one thing to keep a community alive and well when everyone’s camping in a forest and they’ve all opted in to that vision. It’s quite another to imagine a gift economy enabling humans to build skyscrapers, invent iPhones, put air conditioners in every house, and explore space. (The same goes for collecting taxes and running large businesses.) Not that it’s an all-or-nothing situation: We already have gift economies among friends and family. Perhaps expanding that within small communities is possible; it’s certainly desirable.
Freelance cityscape photographer Alina Tsvor reportedly struck a deal with Chicago Helicopter Experience after sending the company an email promising at least one photo taken with her iPhone, captioned with the company’s name. The 24-year-old freelancer, who has 55,000 Instagram followers, parlayed the deal into free chopper rides for her friends as well.
Hosts list rooms online alongside requests, or “wishes”, and potential guests can search for properties by country and barter directly, at no cost. If a property listing doesn’t include a wish list, travellers can suggest a barter of their own, from tango lessons to collectible items such as comics or antiques. The host then accepts, rejects or negotiates until a fair exchange is agreed, including how long guests would be expected to work, and the length of the stay.
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