Barter Q and A with the Daily Herald


A regular reader of the Daily Herald in Chicago wrote in, “Q. How do I barter? I’m interested in taking a dance class and would like to barter for it, but I have no idea how to proceed. Do you have any tips regarding how to bring up the topic? What I should say?”

As a barter professional, I know there is an easy way to do this: contact your broker. But for the first time trader, the writer, Sara Hoel, responded, ”

A. You have to have a price for your skill and compare it to the cost of the dance classes. You’re striving for a win-win situation where the barter is as equal as possible.

You need to know how long you’ll be bartering, too. Some people/businesses aren’t open to bartering, or they keep bartering to a minimum. It depends on what service you have to offer in the deal and whether they’re willing to take a swap instead of money. Some people think bartering has increased with the recession. I’d rather have cash flow unless it was a service or product I really wanted.

If you already know the dance company uses or is interested in your service or product or a similar one, it will be that much easier. Going into it blindly, you have to hope that they value your product or service as much as you charge and that they are willing to forgo money. Then simply take your chances. No harm in asking.”

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