Barter In Your Own Business

By James Harvey Stout (deceased). This material is now in the public domain. The complete collection of Mr. Stout's writing is now at >



Some kids like to work. After a long day at school, they go to their after-school jobs. Many kids make their own jobs, by finding people who need them to rake leaves, babysit, or run errands. And other children have businesses in which they mend clothes, or raise chickens, or sell their crafts. No matter what you do, you can probably barter.

We don't have to trade on our own. We can join a barter organization. (If the club won't allow a minor to join, perhaps it will allow us to use our parents' membership.)

The barter club will help us as a businessperson. For example, it will list our name in its directory (and maybe its newsletter, too). This publicity will help us to get more customers. Barter clubs offer an easier means of bartering, because people will pay us with "credits" or "units." Those units are like dollars. We can spend them in the businesses of other members. (The members might own a clothing store, or gift shop, or restaurant.)

Why is this an easier means of bartering? It's easier because we aren't trading directly with someone else. For example, we might be offering our shortwave radio, and we want an outboard motor for our boat. We don't have to find a boat-owner who wants to trade it for our radio. Instead, we can sell your radio to Mr. Jackson for 50 barter-club units. Then we can take those credits to Sam Wheeler, who will sell his motor to us, for 50 credits.

We can "buy" and "sell" more things with units than we can with direct one-to-one deals. Spending credits is as easy as spending cash.

If we barter, we will probably get more customers, because we will get customers who can't afford to pay cash. Instead, we can earn something which is as good as cash.. For example, Tony wanted to mow the lawns of Mr. Simpson and Mr. Joyson in Barterburg. But they didn't have enough money to pay him, so he couldn't get those jobs. He didn't give up! He offered to barter with them. Mr. Simpson a big walnut desk to Tony; then Tony cut Mr. Simpson's grass all summer. Mr. Joyson gave a homemade carrot cake to him every time he mowed the Joyson lawn. Mrs. Alton paid him with barter-club units.

If we make leather belts and wallets, we don't want to have a pile of them in our closet; we want to sell them. If we trade, we will sell those goods to people who have no money. The people will pay us with a direct one-to-one deal, or with barter-club units. When we need to buy more leather for making belts and wallets, we can probably "borrow" some units from the club. This is like a bank loan. We will pay off the loan by selling our goods to members.

Bartering helps businesses -- whether those businesses are owned by adults or kids.