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Strapped for Cash? Swap and Save!

by Nikola Hartmann

Do you have items in your basement or attic gathering dust? Or marketable skills others would barter for? Chances are that your dust laden trinkets are things someone else wants and is willing to trade for, and that special skill you possess is worth gold or at least an invitation to Sunday supper to many cash strapped folks.

Millions have found creative ways to “go green” while still acquiring stuff, and all without having to shell out their hard-to-come-by cash. Their secret is old fashioned bartering, but with an electronic twist!  Truthfully, both on and offline swap and shop sites are seeing tremendous increases in activity as many folks have turned to bartering to help survive this economic crunch. This week, I learned my neighbor, Veronica, an out-of-work accountant, had been preparing tax returns for some folks in our neighborhood in exchange for basic services, such as lawn and child care.

The world of bartering is huge. New sites and shops are opening daily, and while navigation takes a bit of finesse, you’ll find a lot of great bargains there. Before venturing out on your own, get your sea legs in shape here, by taking a look at a few of these popular sites.

U Exchange - One of the larger sites that specializes in all types of trades. Their motto is “Trade Everything, Pay Nothing”. The bonus is that they offer international listings.

Trade Attic – A social networking site that allows you to post your unwanted treasures for free. Also good for posting items you want.

Swap At Home – Receive Swap Coupons for posting items you no longer need and then use your coupons to purchase the things you want.

Labor Trader – This is the place to make a local connection if you have a service to offer or are in need on one.

Favor Pals – Get anything you want, from child care to health care, simply buy giving something in exchange. Check out their “Favor Hints” if you’re not sure what favor to give in exchange for something you need.

Trashbank – This site allows you to sell, as well as barter, trade and swap.

Swap-It Now – Billed as the ”Internet’s Flea Market,” it’s a smaller site that allows you to trade items ranging from DVDs to automobiles.

Trading the skills you possess or the items you own for things you want or need is a great way to watch your household budget grow.  Haven’t you heard? Bartering is the new black and green!

Nikola Hartmann is a thrifty gal who believes in “Living Well For Less."  Please visit her blog Live Well For Less and follow her on Twitter



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July 13, 2010 10:22 AM

Mrs. Roy said:

I recently joined and have been very pleased with my trades.  They even let you download your "wish list" from into their data base for possible trades, which makes it super easy.  I have traded a couple of books for a child's DVD and a child's book, both of which I'll give to my grandchildren.  I love getting rid of things I no longer need and getting things that can go to someone else's house in return!  Less clutter!  

July 13, 2010 2:02 PM

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July 14, 2010 12:31 AM

Matthew Sender said:

Bartering is great, you can barter with your friends, neighbors or even online with other people! Check out

July 19, 2010 10:01 AM

Frugal News « Live Well For Less said:

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July 26, 2010 12:06 AM

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