I had been considering for some time about writing a blog on the barter method. David mentioned it in one of his blogs and reminded me I wanted to write about this subject.
Most of my life has been affected by bartering. From childhood until I married, We lived on a farm, which is another form of a family business. From the time we were old enough, we did our part. We grew up with little in our early days, it was the same for everyone, except the rich. Even with the lack in some areas, it was a happy, carefree time.
All the neighbor’s children would come over on Sunday, and we played baseball in the field. We would play games until after dark; remember red rover and giant step? We all had to help weed and harvest from our huge garden. We had a roof over our heads, love, and food. There were eleven of us, nine girls and two boys. Girls ruled! How we acquired the necessities we did not have, daddy and granddaddy traded our vegetables, hogs, and other things for beef, milk, butter, cheese, etc. With all we did not have, we never went hungry.
During hard times, people would need help. A neighbor or friend would need to have a fence built or mended or a barn constructed or repaired, and there was also the tobacco: harvesting, preparing for curing, and then the processing for the market; neighbors would take a day or two to help them out. When it was our time, the men would come to us to build, repair, harvest, or anything else that was required. On the days, the men were helping their neighbors, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers would bring some of the best food you ever ate. This to children were hard times, but happy times still.
After I married, we still used the barter system, even after we opened the garage, and even today, there are times of trading. My husband was a mechanic and a jack of all trades. He would trade or barter work for meats, milk, and bakery products, and anything we needed. Sometimes he would give someone a car part he had saved, for repairs we required on the furnace, the plumbing, and swapped an old car for my first electric automatic washing machine. We were young in love and probably foolish in many ways. We had a growing family, so there were always needs. We took it all in stride and made our way. These are only a few examples of how the barter system worked for us.
I had not thought of what the definition of the barter system is because we lived it. This definition I came to understand from other research and from MBN Market Business news, Mint, and the Bible.
What is a Barter or a Barter System?
Barter is the exchange of products and services for other products and services. In a barter system, people do not use the money for transactions. The verb ‘to barter’ means to exchange goods and services for other products and services.
To barter also means you can haggle or argue over the price or the value of the item you want. If you do not wish to pay the price they ask, you try to get them to lower the cost. In open markets, this is done quite frequently. If you wanted a specific piece of cloth and felt their value was too high, you could eventually talk them into lowering the price or value.
The way I understand the definitions from the Cambridge Dictionary:
- “1. A barter is considered a verb, meaning to trade goods for anything but money.
- “2. The implementation of the system of barter is considered a noun.
- “3. Bartering is considered a verb because you are in the action of agreeing on the price of an item.”
The Barter System is not Commonly used today.
It is still a method that can be readily put into practice when a need arises. Like when the economy is way down, and people reach out to each other to supply their needs. Like now, with the COVID virus and lock down some brave souls’ aids and assists where they can.
The Meaning of the word Barter
I found the meaning of barter in the online etymology dictionary. Etymology is where you find words and, their beginnings, and what they mean. Words can diversify over the years.
The term barter was derived from an old French word Barater, which was said: “to cheat, barter, deceive, haggle.” This French word also meant “to have sexual intercourse.”
I think I will learn more from etymology, looks like a good source of understanding for many words.
A little history of the Barter System
As I earlier said, I lived the barter system. In my day from 1944, this was still a recovering time from the wall street crash of 1930. People found themselves with little or no money. Barter became a way of life. You shared or traded what goods or services you had for what someone else had. From what I found through my research; it is fascinating. According to Mint.co Bartering started by the Mesopotamia tribes in ancient history (600 BC.) The barter system may go further back in time. Since there is no one we can find to corroborate this fact, we will go with 600BC.
Bartering dates back a long way; as far back as 6000 BC, and probably earlier. Mesopotamia tribes introduced the system, which the Phoenicians later adopted.
From reading in the Bible, the Phoenicians also had a type of barter system. They had ships and imported and exported their goods by bartering and trading. Some of the things they dealt with – metals spices, textiles, and papyrus. They also traded purple cloth, perfume, and fish, among other things. Ezekiel 26:16 called them the “princes of the sea” According to Mint.co: At times, human skulls were bartered, ugh.
The Babylonians exchanged goods for spices, weapons, tea, and food.
It is said salt was another medium of exchange for services rendered. From what I understand, salt was of such value the soldiers were compensated with it: thus, comes to the word “sal dare,” meaning to give salt, thus came to be the name of a soldier. When we research, we find a lot of interesting tidbits.
As I learn more about the barter system, I find things from other times and eras. I think of the fur trappers. They would bring donkeys, laden with furs down from the mountains to the trading post to trade the hides for the necessary everyday foods and survival supplies. Also, bartering was done during colonial times. They would exchange what they could get their hands on, wheat and grains, deer skins, and coonskin hats, and musket balls. They were riflemen and hunted for their survival – food, and protection from wild animals and bears.
According to Mint.com:
“In the Middle Ages, Europeans traveled the globe to barter crafts and furs in exchange for silks and perfumes.”
“Colonial Americans exchanged musket balls, deer skins, and wheat. When money was invented, bartering did not end, it became more organized.”
During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many people had little or no money. They would, therefore, exchange food, for example, for services. One person would receive some food in exchange for one hour’s worth of gardening or cleaning.
There are still Advantages of Bartering in this day and time
There are significant advantages to bartering today. Refrigerators can be traded for televisions, and any new items like computers, work tools of all types can be bartered. There is a wealth of modern technology to learn, so the one who holds this knowledge can trade training for another service or good. People can now use their homes in trade for a vacation in another state or another country. There is a less financial burden for a motel or hotel room by swapping their residence with another person’s home. Vehicles loaned out to someone who needs to travel far, and they can, at the same time, transport something for the one whom the vehicle has been borrowed. Bartering can be a win-win
Let us apply the barter system to Compumatrix. We are trading our time to learn what they freely teach and using it in the ecosystem; they have prepared for us that, in turn, we help to build this company. In our situation, some money is necessary, but this is for cryptocurrencies we purchase for ourselves. I am thankful to be a part of this group in my prime years.