Successful Swaps: Bartering Tales

Learn the tricks of the trade as MOTHER's readers share their bartering tips.

| January/February 1977

Bill Wodraska shared some of his thoughts regarding one of mankind'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.  "You're on!" we replied...and announced our section: Successful Swaps.

Robert Wade from Virginia Beach, Va.:  

As an artist and woodcarver, I've found I have a bartering commodity that seldom fails to clinch a deal.

I began to realize this 10 years ago, just before my wife and I got married. We went to see a doctor known to have covered his walls with swapped-for art. Sure enough, the doc accepted one of my sketches in return for the vaccinations and inoculations we needed for our Mexican honeymoon.

That first transaction dispelled my misconceptions about professionals working only for money, and trading was firmly established in my head as a respectable alternative to cash deals.

The next opportunity to barter came when we wanted a purebred Persian cat and were really taken with one expensive kitty. I heard myself saying, "How'd you like a wood carving—any subject—in exchange for the cat?" Soon the kitten breeder had his carving and we had Angel ... a source of endless enjoyment.

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