Bootstrap Business Reports: May/June 1984

Bartering and home enterprise stories: swimming lessons, magnets, a tree nursery and more.

| May/June 1984


Read how a naturopathic physician barters services. 


When vacation time rolled around last summer, we had to decide what to do with our dog and two cats while we were away. As you surely know, it's very expensive to board critters at a kennel, and it upsets our house pets to be caged in unfamiliar surroundings.

A friend who likes animals offered to care for them at our home while we were gone, but we felt awkward about paying him for the favor. After giving the matter a good bit of thought, a barter idea popped into my head. I remembered his telling us that his two young daughters were eager to learn how to swim but were too timid to sign up for group lessons at the municipal pool. Since I have access to a swimming pool and used to teach Red Cross swimming lessons, I proposed that we trade pet care for swimming lessons.

Our pets were pampered in our absence, the girls made good progress in learning the basic swimming skills, and we plan to repeat the swap again next summer.

Mrs. L.W.

After reading your "Swaps" column for some time, I was inspired to think of innovative ways to barter. And I've been so successful at doing so that I'm now conducting a seminar entitled "Bartering, Trading, Swapping" for a local community service foundation. In exchange for my putting on this workshop, the group is sponsoring another one of my classes on "Simple Living and Money". I've also been invited to be on a local talk show to discuss the principles of barter.

So, thanks, MOTHER EARTH NEWS, not only for encouraging me to try barter, but for helping me start on a new career of teaching people to help themselves!

rex hoover_1
3/29/2009 9:00:19 PM

Dear MOM, I have followed your magazine since the early 70's start up. You have inspired many trades over the years but one of my fondestwas when I tradeda 67 caddilac for a horse and two saddles. I was at a coffee shop with friends and the talk came around to cars. I told my friends I had this old car that I didn't want and ask if anyone knew of somebody that wanted to buy it. A fellow customeroverheard the statement and ask if I might be interested in a trade. Long sotory short I traded the car for the horse and later traded the horse to a fellow co-worker for a motorcycle and some homegrown vegtables.

mother earth news fair


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