What is barter and when is this financial transaction worthwhile?

Influencers on social media are becoming more popular these days. 

They seem to be everywhere, tv, youtube, podcasts, you name it! You’ve probably noticed how influencers show off the things they get for free, like beauty products and treatments, in exchange for promoting those brands to their followers. 

That’s what we call barter.

Luckily, you don’t have to be famous to get in on the action. This article will show you how to benefit from the barter system too!

What is barter anyways?

You may already be familiar with the term, but let’s dig a little deeper into it. The barter is nothing more than the exchange of goods, objects, or services without involving money, so to speak.

Barter is when you exchange two things that are worth about the same. Both parties included in the barter actually should feel like they are trading equally valuable goods or services.

Like giving a new smartphone for a gaming console. Both items should be of equal value. 

You may have seen ads like “Piano lessons in exchange for Spanish language lessons”. This is a common trade, but there are other types too. Let’s learn about them.

Barter examples

First, you need to know that there are two basic types of exchange: bilateral and multilateral.

In bilateral barter, we are talking about the exchange of products or services between two parties. The multilateral exchange involves three or more parties.

These are some common types of barter:

1. Property exchange

As you may suspect, property exchange is the change in the ownership of real estate between two or more people, but unfortunately –  it’s not as simple as it seems. We’re talking about a house/apartment, not a piano lesson 🙂 

In the case of the exchange between properties, you need to check, in addition to the market value, the documentation and taxes that may be overdue. If everything checks out, the exchange can be made with or without financial compensation.

An example of real estate bartering is when you trade one house for another. Note that one of the parties in the barter may add money to make up for the difference in the value of the houses. 

It’s important to remember that you need to have the trade officially recorded by a notary, just to make it more official! 

2. Advertising

Let’s go back to influencers from the beginning of this text!

Another type of bartering is when you trade a service for another service instead of trading goods. 

For example, a hotel may offer a free stay in exchange for someone showing the hotel to others and telling them about it. That’s a win-win situation for both parties, as the hotel may expand its social reach and boost revenue, while the influencer as the other party gets a free stay, maybe some food, and most of all – ideas for more content.

The word “exchange” may not always be the best word to use when talking about bartering, especially when it comes to services. 

A good example of this would be a photographer offering their services in exchange for someone promoting their work. This is more like a partnership.

3. Car exchange

This type of trading is similar to trading real estate.

Imagine having a baby on the way and there is a sporty two-seater in your garage. You would probably start to think about replacing it with a more family-friendly vehicle. 

Car exchange precisely exists for these cases. Exchanging cars. You can exchange one vehicle for another. Or, use your used car as a down payment at a dealership and get a better deal for a new car!

Can you save money by bartering?

If you do it correctly, yes. You might need help from an expert sometimes, but usually, you can do it on your own, as it’s not so complicated. Sure, you might wanna read a thing or two about trading, but if your social skills are fairly good – you should have no issues in making a good deal!

A good thing about bartering is that you can get rid of things you don’t use anymore, like a bike that you never ride, a dress you only wore once, or a car project that you’ve been working on for years now, and it seems the work is going nowhere. These items may not be useful to you, but they might be useful to someone else.

How can barter create new business opportunities?

The practice of bartering is very old, but it has been gaining new forms in the digital era. Actually, barter is probably the oldest type of exchange that humans know about, as in the old days people were trading everything, wood, food, animal skin, tools, and more!

There are platforms where companies can register and trade with each other by offering their products and services.

This type of trading allows for multiple exchanges and all types of companies, even self-employed workers can participate. 

Tips for Trading

Although it seems simple, you should still follow certain tips and rules to make your trading experience as smooth as possible!

Some of the tips you shouldn’t 

– Contract: when drawing up an exchange contract, both parties must equally bear the costs of documents and taxation. Note that all terms must be agreed upon between the parties in advance, especially when it comes to high-value goods. Remember that real estate often comes with other legal requirements. In such cases, a professional should be consulted to avoid future problems.

– Value of the product/service: make a careful assessment of the item involved in the exchange. Research prices and compare to see if it’s really worth it. In the case of services, look at the company’s reputation and how much it charges its customers.

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