DINKS Reality: Barter Kings

by Kristina on July 24, 2013 · 6 comments

Good morning Dinks. Today we are discussing one of my favourite topics…reality TV.  I am a huge fan of watching real people in their daily lives, at their jobs and with their families.  I am always disappointed when I read on Yahoo! that items have been planted in a storage locker or survivors on an island actually get good and sleeping accommodations.

There is a new reality show that my boyfriend Nick watches every week on A&E called Barter Kings.  It’s about two guys (and now a new girl) who own a trading post.  They travel around the country trading their way up to the item that they want.  As a banker – and a consumer with a former shopping addiction – I am not 100% sure that this type of transaction exists in 2013.  I am not yet convinced that the barter system still works because I don’t understand why anyone would trade an item for an item of lesser value, it just doesn’t make sense.

Barter Kings is a negotiation

My dad grew up making his way through life because his family didn’t have a lot of money.  My dad could get anything he needed through a simple exchange of services. If he needed something he would offer something he had or provide a service in return. When I was younger our entire kitchen floor was retiled because my dad welded together shelves in his friend’s garage. The barter system can definitely be effective if there is an exchange of services for equal or lesser value.

There is always a negotiation when services are exchanged for other services or items.  I consider myself to be a pretty good negotiator – when I want to be and when I’m in my element.  I have negotiated everything from the price of my lunch to the price of a new handbag. However I have never actually received anything for free unless it was just given to me without anything expected in return.

Yard sales are the modern day barter system

I used to think that a yard sale was people selling unwanted stuff, but I recently learned that this is not true.  I live in the middle of downtown in a metropolis city and admittedly I don’t see a lot of yard sales.  However this past weekend a lady and her daughter had a table set up in front of their condo building selling unwanted items.

I don’t personally like to buy used items, except for books.  Yard sales usually have a great selection of used books. As I was paying my $0.50 for my book a man walked up to the yard sale table with a vase in his hand. He asked the woman to trade his vase for a bike she was selling and to my surprise she agreed.  I am not sure if the vase was worth the same value as the bike, and if it wasn’t then in my opinion someone didn’t get a good deal.  However both the man and the woman seemed happy with their trade and for the very first time in my life I saw the barter system live in action.

Have you ever bartered something?

Photo by USAG

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 No Waste July 24, 2013 at 10:09 am

I’m just plain not comfortable bartering in person (online, no sweat), as I always feel like someone leaves the deal a little unhappy because they either didn’t get what they wanted, or paid more than they thought they should have.

It’s just…awkward for me.

But I believe bartering is just not a part of our culture, as contrasted with quite a bit of the rest of the world.

2 Jake @ Common Cents Wealth July 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever really bartered for anything, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it. I don’t normally think of bartering as an option. I just sell things for cash and buy other things for cash. If I could just skip the cash part, it may make things easier and I may end up with a better deal.

3 Canadianbudgetbinder July 25, 2013 at 4:46 am

Sure, my friends and I barter our services all the time as it’s a great way to save money. I enjoy tiling as a hobby and my friend is an electrician so we help each other out with renos when needed.

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