Bartering Basics: How to Trade Goods After SHTF

No matter how well prepared you are, if a crisis goes on long enough, you’ll eventually run out of something…whether that’s food, water, medicine, or something else.

When this happens, you’ll need to find some way to get more supplies. But after SHTF, you won’t be able to get them through normal means, such as going to the grocery store.

This is where a special skill called bartering comes in handy. Bartering is where you and another person agree to trade goods directly without using money.

To get you up to speed on how to barter effectively, I’ve made a short guide showing you the basics.

Step 1 – Have Something of Value

To barter, you need to have an item that someone else wants. Since this is after a SHTF event, this would be some sort of resource, like food, water, clothing or medicine.

One thing to keep in mind is that the “value” of an item depends on individual people and can be subjective. This is a big mistake that causes people to not get as much out of a deal as they could have.

For example, you might have a worn-out pair of shoes that you consider to be junk…but to someone who doesn’t have shoes, they’re valuable enough to trade something like food or water for.

Step 2 – Find Someone to Barter With

With money, we can do business with anyone because everyone takes money…but with bartering, it’s a little less convenient. You have to find someone who has what you want and is willing to trade for what you have.

This will be easier if you want to trade necessary items that everyone needs, like food and water, but more obscure items, like a specific type of medication, will be harder to come by.

Step 3 – Negotiate

With bartering, there’s no set “price” on items like there is in the commercial world.  Your deals can be negotiated up or down depending on how you negotiate.

The good news is you can come out ahead if you play your cards right, but the bad news is you can get screwed if you aren’t careful.

Here are a couple tips to help you out…

First, talk up the value of what you have to offer. For example, you can mention how useful it is or how difficult it is to obtain.

Next, talk down the value of the item you want to get. Just do the opposite here and mention how it’s not that useful or it’s easy to obtain.

Doing this will help you get a better deal than you might otherwise, however, don’t exaggerate or you won’t close a deal at all.

If you plan on bartering with this person again in the future, you’ll want to keep the transaction roughly equal. That way, they’ll be willing to barter with you again and be easier to deal with.

Step 4 – End the Deal Peacefully

Whether or not you and the other person come to an agreement and make a deal, you need to part ways…hopefully peacefully.

The best way to stay safe during a deal is to bring multiple people with you for backup if things go wrong. Of course, you and your group should also be armed so you have some way to defend yourself.

If the person you want to barter with asks you to disarm before trading, end the deal immediately and get out of there…you’re going to get jumped and your goods stolen.

Did I miss any important tips on bartering here? Tell us your success stories with bartering in the comments section below!


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