Successful Swaps: The Lifestyle of Bartering

Learn some tips on how to barter as MOTHER's readers share their bartering tales.

| March/April 1977

  • Paint Cult
    From swapping colts for cows to chores for fresh produce, the art of bartering has become a lifestyle for these MOTHER's readers.

  • Paint Cult

Mrs. Herman B. Barnes from Zavilla, Tex.:  

In these parts, hardly a day goes by that we farmers and ranchers don't barter something , because so many little things can lead to a swap. Sometimes it's no more than a mess of fresh greens from your neighbor that starts it. Not to be outdone, you even the score with a sack of ground cornmeal, and so it goes.

But, besides these small everyday trades, I can recall many larger-scale swaps that have taken place down through the years.

The first bigger deal I ever transacted started out as a joke. During a visit I paid to a neighbor lady, her son commented about a young paint colt he'd seen at our house. I laughed and said, "Yes, and I know a boy with a very pretty calf. How about trading with me?"

Two or three days later, the young fellow and his parents turned up at our place, wanting to know if we'd really trade our colt for their calf, as the boy wouldn't let his folks rest! Not only did we all have a good laugh ... my family got both a nice steer for the freezer and the satisfaction of watching a happy lad grow up with his horse.

Glen and Rita Dyer from Victoria, Tex.:  

Steve Vencill
8/12/2007 7:59:12 AM

Your article on bartering, "successful swaps", had many great success stores. I'm sure there are just as many unsuccessful swaps. Here's one. Two years ago I agreed to build a website for a friend in exchange for his help building an addition onto my home. I spent over 100 hours fine tuning the website to his ever changing specifications. In return I got 8 hours work from the friend during the framing stage of the project. Needless to say we are friends no more. I would have charged $5000 minium for building the website, but would never pay a carpenter that much for one days work.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters