Bootstrap Business Reports: March/April 1984

Bartering and home enterprise stories.

| March/April 1984

I make trees from wire and bread dough and sell them at craft shows. Some of my creations resemble fruit and nut trees, and others are just painted and left bare-limbed and wintry-looking. My biggest expense is the wire: After all, some of the larger trees require over a mile of the material!

Well, I'd already purchased several spools of wire from a local supplier when I decided to see if the firm would swap some wire for several small trees. The owner laughed and tossed my letter in the trash. However, his secretary retrieved it and convinced him to give the offer a try. 

I received two huge spools of the specified-gauge wire in exchange for the trees we agreed upon . . . and the boss was so pleased that I was assured I could trade with his company anytime.  

You just never know who'll be willing to barter!  


I've participated in many small swaps over the years, but I'd never traded anything of significant value until recently.  

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