40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World

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Gaye Levy

Do you know how to barter?  In preparedness circles, the term barter is used lot when describing a post SHTF situation when goods and services may no longer be available through normal channels.  According to Wikipedia, ”barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money”.

A lot of people think of bartering as something to do when they are down an out, perhaps unemployed, or low on cash.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  Bartering has been around from eons and is simply a smart way to acquire goods and services under the radar screen.

Today I would like to share some very simple tips for bartering as well as my own suggested list of items and skills that may be useful for barter in a post-collapse economy.

How does simple barter work?

In a simple barter, you look for someone who is looking for a particular kinds of goods or services in exchange for goods or services that you may want.  For example, let’s say you do plumbing work but you need a some gardening equipment.  A simple barter would be exchanging some plumbing repairs for a used plow or rototiller.

Getting started is easy.  One of the simplest things to do is to put up an small ad on the local community bulletin board, perhaps at the grocery store or bowling alley.  (And by the way, I don’t know why but bowling alley’s are particularly good for this sort of thing.)  You can also peruse Craigslist or the Little Nickel want ads for people trying to sell the item you need.  The next step is to simply phone them ask and suggest a trade.

One of the very best ways to barter, though, is to put the word out among like-minded friends, relatives and neighbors.  Let them know what you have for trade and see what they offer in return.  What I am describing here is bartering in its most simplistic form but I think you get the gist.

Beyond simple bartering there are more complicated and dare I say sophisticated scenarios such as three way barters and barter clubs.  But that gets beyond the scope of this article which is merely to get you into the bartering mindset.

The Best Items to Use For Barter in a Post-Collapse Word

There are a lot of different opinions as to what items will be best for barter in a post-collapse world where the underground economy may be the only viable economy for the passing of goods and services.  That said, consider this a starting point as you begin to acquire goods for barter.

In no particular order, consider accumulating some of the following items for barter purposes.  And keep in mind that in a post-collapse world, the items do not necessarily have to be new, but simply serviceable.

  1. Water purification supplies including purification tabs and filters
  2. Hand tools including hatchets, saws, machetes and general fix-it tools
  3. Fire making supplies, including lighters, matches, flint fire steel
  4. Sanitary supplies including toilet paper, feminine products and diapers
  5. Disposable razors and razor blades
  6. Fuel, any and all kinds (gas, diesel, propane, kerosene)
  7. Prescription drugs, painkillers, and antibiotics
  8. First aid remedies such as cough syrup, cortisone cream, boil-ese, calamine lotion and topical pain relievers
  9. Spirits such as bourbon, rum, gin, and vodka
  10. Coffee and tea (instant coffee is okay)
  11. Solar battery charger and rechargeable batteries
  12. Standard Batteries
  13. Reading glasses
  14. Paracord
  15. Bags, including large garbage bags as well as smaller zip-close bags
  16. Plastic sheeting
  17. Duct tape
  18. Tie Wraps
  19. Heavy plastic sheets and tarps
  20. Toiletries including toothpaste, dental floss soaps, shampoo (tip: save those small sized toiletries that are provided by hotels and motels)
  21. Condoms
  22. Latex or Nitrile gloves in a variety of sizes
  23. Hard  candy
  24. Fishing supplies
  25. Knives of various types including fixed blades, kitchen knives, and box cutters.
  26. Condiments and Spices
  27. Paperback books on a variety of subjects
  28. Tobacco and cigarette rolling supplies
  29. Amusements such as playing cards, crossword puzzle books, Sudoku
  30. Pencils & paper
  31. Pepper spray
  32. Garden seeds
  33. Flashlights
  34. Vinegar and baking soda to use in DIY cleaning supplies
  35. Empty spray bottles and squirt bottles
  36. Hand pumps for both air and liquids
  37. Mylar blankets and tents
  38. Hand warmers
  39. Sewing and mending supplies
  40. Knitting or crochet needles and Yarn

One thing you will notice that I have not included firearms or ammo and for good reason.  In a post-collapse society, you might not know your barter partners well and may run the risk that they will use these items against you so that they can steal the rest of you stuff.  One person’s opinion, anyway.

A Caveat for Businesses

As you get started with bartering in a pre-collapse world – and after all, like any other survival skill, you should hone your skills now – keep in mind that in the United States, the IRS does have some rules for business bartering and most certainly, states probably do as well as it pertains to Business and Occupation taxes.  Just something to keep in mind.

The Final Word40 Items to Barter in a Post Collapse World   Backdoor Survival

Times are tough. Many are unemployed.  And many have had their retirement funds decimated by the sneaky (and dare we say corrupt?) Wall Street types.  Perhaps you have a useful skill. Or perhaps you have a healthy flock of egg laying chickens that provide more than you can consume.  Whatever you have in excess capacity, now is the time to learn to trade your skill or extra commodities for something you either need or covet.

There are lots of resources online, at the libraries, and in eBooks to help you acquire bartering skills.  Start small but start now. Bartering is the “in” thing to do these days.

Gaye Levy’s  post first appeared on her blog, backdoorsurvival.

 

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3 Comments »

  1. Karl May September 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Why are americans allways scared of something: the end of the world, communists, nazis, muslims, blacks, Obama, future, health insurance, gun control, free trade, any kind of collapse…?

  2. Blue Dog August 31, 2012 at 5:50 am - Reply

    I plan to avoid other people for as long as possible. Anybody who wants to barter could really be someone out of supplies and out to steal yours.

    • dak7399 September 19, 2012 at 9:03 am - Reply

      i agree. i’m using this list to make sure i get what i need for myself and my family first.

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