Before the advent of useless fiat currency, bartering was the way people acquired those things they could not make themselves or source from nature. In years gone by, nearly everyone had a trade, and they used both their trade skills themselves as well as the goods they produce. Today’s world is far more complicated, though the method of acquiring the things we need is actually easier. Money is now the medium of exchange. Having an item with a known value makes the transaction easier. Bartering is far more complicated. There are many nuisances to the endeavor.
In many parts of the world, haggling is expected, and if a customer simply offers to pay the initial price, the merchant will be insulted. This is worth keeping in mind when you find yourself trying to make a deal. Bartering is a skill, an art, that takes time to master. In your search to find the things you need you very well may find yourself trading for items that you do not need, simply because the trader that has what you need wants it.
But, before you can barter, you have to have something to barter with. You have to have a stock of items that others will need or want. In this edition of the Insider, we go into bartering, what to store, how to go about it, and how to protect yourself while engaged in trade. You simply cannot store everything you will ever need. Brush up on your bartering skills, so you’re ready when that time comes. A great place to practice this is at your local flea-market. Some of them even look like the world’s already ended! Get out there and get some practice at haggling for the best deal.