Bartering Auto Repairs, Exchanging Magazines and Beef for Lumber

The Successful Swaps column shares success stories of people who barter for goods without exchanging any money. This issue includes bartering auto repairs, exchanging magazines and trading beef for lumber.

| July/August 1982

  • Bartering auto repairs
    My spouse and I made the rounds of all the car garages in the small town, and we finally found a mechanic who was agreeable to the suggestion of bartering auto repairs for masonry work.

  • Bartering auto repairs

The Successful Swaps column shares success stories in bartering, including stories on bartering auto repairs for masonry work, exchanging different magazines and a trade of beef for lumber. 

In MOTHER EARTH NEWS issue 37, Bill Wodraska shared some of his thoughts regarding one of humankind's better ideas—barter—and offered up an interesting suggestion: "I'd like to see a continuing feature on barter and skill-and-labor exchanges," said Bill. "Maybe MOTHER could even swap subscriptions for contributions to the department. " "You're on!" we replied . . . and announced our still-standing offer: Anyone who sends us a short account of an actual barter that gets printed in this column (write THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS®, Hendersonville, North Carolina) will receive a 12-month subscription (new or extended) to MOTHER. 

You don't have to be settled on a parcel of land in order to enjoy the benefits of barter . . . as my mate and I discovered on a recent trip across the country. We'd purchased a somewhat dilapidated pickup truck—complete with a camper on the back—to use as our home for the duration of our limited-budget journey, you see . . . and about the time the Pacific coastline came into view, the clutch on the old clunker gave out. Well, we soon realized that the only plight worse than finding oneself in a strange town with a disabled vehicle is finding oneself in a strange town with a disabled vehicle and no cash to spare! It looked as if we might have to head back home—cutting our intended trip short—as soon as we'd paid for the truck repairs.

However, since our predicament did leave us with an abundance of free time, we decided to try to make those spare hours—instead of our meager cash—help us get that clutch repaired. My spouse and I made the rounds of all the car garages in the small town, and we finally found a mechanic who was agreeable to the suggestion of bartering auto repairs for masonry work. It seems that this fellow had been hankering for years to have a low rock enclosure around his front yard, but could never find time to build it. So he fixed our vehicle, and then—using our rejuvenated pickup to haul rocks from nearby fields—we put up a stone fence in short order. When we drove away from the village in our repaired runabout afterward, we left behind a darn good masonry barrier . . . and a solid wall of friendship to boot!


Although my profession requires that I work in a city, I recently bought a country cabin where I spend every free weekend. And as an avid forager of wild edibles, I was delighted to find a wealth of delicious vegetation shooting up in the fields around my new hideaway. Once the growing season was in full swing, however, it didn't take me long to realize that my dual existence had its disadvantages. My full-time farming neighbors were able to pick the season's free-for-the-gathering victuals at their tastiest stages (which invariably occurred during the middle of the week) . . . so by the time I arrived on Saturday, the better part of the wild crops would usually be gone. As I pondered how to remedy the situation, it struck me that my neighbors might be interested in swapping some harvesting time for services that I could provide. I put up a notice at our community center that began, "Need Something Delivered Weekly From The City?" . . . and went on to explain my bartering idea.

3/14/2014 2:44:02 AM

Vehicle maintenance is a fundamental part of a mechanics work in modern industrialized country. Due to advancement of technology, the mechanic's job is not with in the mechanical work, rather the mechanic use electrical technology. Because the modern vehicles are contain complex computer and electronic system. So, As per the above article the people who wants to became a auto repair mechanic should follow the above tips.

Patrick Cl
2/15/2014 3:35:26 AM

Auto services are very much essential to don't have to spent a lot of money on vehicle. Auto repair services center should prefer all the facilities perfectly, be reliable, good servicing should be there. So, that a customer can get all the services and can solve out all the problems. Barter auto repair services are mostly present like oil changes ,brake jobs,CV axle replacement, tune ups , most any job big or small , older and late model cars etc.

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