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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


“All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.”- Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher, 1729-1797)

Today I recommend the article, Barter for the Services You Need, on the Wall Street Journal online. It’s a tricky article to summarize; most every paragraph contains useful information.

In these cash strapped times, barter can help you obtain desirable items and services without spending money. An example given is exchanging painting or carpentry work for a week’s stay in your vacation home. I have a friend who exchanges computer repair with a Dentist for free dentistry for his family.

The article lists some online resources to find/post barter opportunities. But also warns you to get references before trusting the barter partner. My wife used to rent out rooms before we married. A well-mannered young man in her church offered to mow the law, paint the house and do other house repair in exchange for a free room over the summer while he interned. She agreed but he failed to live up to his half of the bargain and did very little real work.

References are always a good idea. We hired a painting company, the low bidder, without checking them out. They used college students to do the work with very little training. We fired them after the first day when our bricks and windows were paint splattered and the walls they had painted were peeling.

The article concludes by pointing out that the IRS taxes barter. You need to report the value of goods or services received on form 1099-B.

Bottom Line

Barter can be fun if you have a sense of adventure and are willing to stand up for yourself and not be taken advantage of. Don’t forget to pay the taxes!

And this just caught my eye - some services may not be bartered legally...
Yep, Trying To Trade Sex For World Series Tickets Is Illegal


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