Friday, April 23, 2010

Frugal Fridays: Barter and Trade

We just acquired a very nice Canon S2 IS camera without paying any money.

How was that possible? 

By doing a trade.

We'd been looking for a new camera and some friends of ours (who I do part-time babysitting for) had a camera they weren't using anymore.

We worked out a trade that works for both families. We got a nice camera in exchange for several afternoons of babysitting their two young children.

The camera does video and takes awesome photos that won't need as much touching up and manipulating as our old camera required. Just what we were looking for!

It's a win-win situation!

Other situations where trading and bartering have taken place:

  • While in the mountains last fall, my sister bought several bags of apples for me. I was prepared to pay her for them, until she mentioned looking for a bread machine. I had one I wasn't using. She got the bread machine and I got bags of apples for applesauce. 
  • I've done some babysitting and baking for Mary Kay products. 
  • We have friends who are chiropractors. My husband downloaded about 18 hours worth of praise music for them to play in their office. In exchange for his time, they gave him several complimentary adjustments. 
  • When my husband hurt his foot last fall, instead of running out to Urgent Care and spending lots of $$ just to find out if it was serious, we called the same chiropractors to ask an opinion. They offered to do X-rays for us at their practice. While we were prepared to pay, instead, we traded X-rays for a private session of me teaching them about coupon shopping. 
  • At a vendor fair last fall, a children's book vendor wanted some of my crayon rolls for her kids. She mentioned working out a trade. I took a look at her books and was able to trade two crayon rolls for a couple of books for Christmas gifts for our niece and nephews. We were both happy!
  • My sister and I are always swapping things. I pick up clothing for  her kids at yard sales and she gives me dog food she gets for free or very inexpensively. We trade coupons and food and household products from our stockpiles.
Naturally, trading doesn't work for everything. Businesses need to make actual money and we need money too, in order to pay our bills and survive.

But in many situations, trading goods for goods, services for services or goods for services really works and can meet the needs of both parties involved. And it can save you money!

**This post is part of Frugal Fridays!


Anna Christensen said...

I LOVE bartering... but a camera?! That's too cool--- way to go!

When I was young I attended a classical school that allowed us to work for part of our tuition. It was kind of like bartering and I think my siblings and I appreciated the schooling more because we put in time to "earn it".

Manuela@TPOH said...

I love bartering and wish more people were open to it! That's great that you got a camera!


TJ said...

I love trading with my sisters. We pass things around and we always have a new look in our homes. Enjoyed reading about all bargains. It's fun to trade. You got some great deals. Umm I wonder who's kids I could watch for a new camera. :)

Mary Ann said...


I agree! Thanks for stopping by!

Mary Ann said...


Thanks for commenting. That's cool about working towards your tuition!

Mary Ann said...


Well the truth is that they would have paid me for babysitting anyways and then I would've turned right around and used that $$ to pay for the camera, either to them or a store for another camera, so this worked out really well with no hassle for everyone!

Good luck with your babysitting plan. ;-)