Life Skills And Supplies For Bartering
You got yourself ready for a potential disaster and then it happens.
Regardless of what kind of disaster, hurricane, flood, fire, or some kind of economic collapse, all that prepping may not be enough for a prolonged tragedy. Or you might have forgotten something to put in that prep bag and the shelves are bare in the stores or they are not even there anymore, much less opened.
What are you going to do to make up for that shortage?
The answer to that question is relatively easy, for you see your neighbors are most likely to be needing something they have forgotten to prepare for.
In fact, they are most likely more in need due to the fact they have not prepared as you have.
A lot of times in a need to have situation, the goods you have in your house can be more valuable than cash or credit cards.
If the stores in your city are not open or if they are open with empty shelves, what kind of buying power are you going to have with all that cash and credit?
While bartering is not as convenient as using cash, you don’t have to worry about the needed goods losing their value.
In fact, some needed goods will actually gain in value, offering the opportunity to make a profit off the situation. Just remember that you are most likely going to be needing things too, so it will not always be a ‘make money’ situation.
However, in order to take advantage of the situation, you have to have a stock of trade goods available to you that you can trade for other things of which you need or you know are going to need in a day or two, or three, or four.
13 Most Valuable Items For Bartering
- Alcohol. People will put their addictions and desires above their needs. There are few better ways to ‘escape’ the uncomfortable situation of sitting through the ‘aftermath.’ Even when starving, they will still seek out those things that give them an escape, like alcohol. Historically, alcohol sales increase in the aftermath of any disaster. It is somewhat universal as stock in trade because just about everyone wants it. This will be even more valuable to you if you don’t have a thirst for the stuff because you won’t mind getting rid of it.
- Cigarettes. I am not suggesting you start a rather bad habit, but how much space will a few packs take up. Money in the bank when your nicotine starved neighbor has something you really need. While not as good as alcohol, cigarettes have been used as trade goods for years. Early traders used it with the American Indians. Even today, it is the “money” used between prisoners in our jails and prisons. Packs can be broken down with individual cigarettes used as smaller increments of value.
- Condoms. Yes, that’s right. Where are you going to get those birth control pills when the store is closed and you just ran out? Any more kids in your future? While many will forgo the use of any sort of birth control, there will be those who still want to prevent unwanted births. The value of condoms is universal, like alcohol, due to the universal interest in sex.
- Food. Food shortages are common during any kind of crisis. I have mentioned the importance of stockpiling food for emergencies elsewhere on this site. Distribution networks become unreliable, and stores are short or completely out of all things people may need or want. Any sort of foodstuffs will trade well, especially canned goods.
- Coffee. There are probably more people addicted to coffee (and its caffeine) than any other chemical substance. Since going to the local coffee shop will be out of the question, demand for coffee will rise.
- Chocolate. This is another addiction that you can take advantage of. While almost everyone loves the taste of chocolate, it’s also known to release endorphins, thereby promoting happiness. But you knew that, right?
- Disposable Diapers. This is a no brainer. Whenever a hurricane hits, it never ceases to amaze me on how many people do not stock up on these. We have become a disposable society. Few still use cloth diapers, and many parents wouldn’t even have an idea of how to go about using them. How many of those ‘big pins’ do you think they have lying around? For those with babies, disposable diapers will become extremely valuable.
- Toilet Paper. Yes, the humble roll of toilet paper will become highly desirable, just like those diapers, especially if there are shortages of store stocks. You would be amazed what people, especially women, will be willing to trade in order to get their hands on this precious item. It’s not just those diaper wearing babies who need hygiene.
- Personal Hygiene Items. And talking about hygiene, it is important for maintaining health, as well as for social reasons. Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo will all become valuable items for trade. Don’t forget feminine hygiene items either, which will no doubt be in high demand.
- First-Aid Supplies and Over-the-Counter Medicines. Most crises overload the medical services available. A financial crisis will be no different as people will do unusual things in order to provide for their needs. Having basic first-aid supplies on hand, as well as common over-the-counter medicine, could become quite valuable to you and others.
- Fuel. Fuel tends to become scarce during these times due to the fact that gas stations ran out before the full brunt of the crisis and also due to the fact that they will not have the power to run those pumps. While you will probably need whatever fuel stocks you have for your own family, any extra will work wonderfully well as trade goods.
- Fishing Supplies. Fishing is the easiest way of harvesting food from the wild. If people are going hungry, you can be sure that many of them will turn to fish in an effort to feed themselves and their families.
- Common Repair Items. Any time there are weather-related difficulties, one of the first things that suffer is the integrity of your house. Your shelter. People will not have the proper supplies to repair even the simplest of things. Having common supplies for repairs, even jury-rigged solutions will go a long way.
You can trade your barter supplies for other items your family needs or for things that will regain their value when the situation returns to normal.
During World War II, people in occupied Europe traded silver, jewelry, and other valuables to farmers out in the country for food. After the war, those farmers were able to sell those items for a tidy profit.
Be careful about how you do your business. You don’t want to let people know how much you have in your storeroom. If you let them know, you could open yourself up to attack.
Desperate people do desperate things, and you don’t want to become a target.
Useful Skills You Can Barter in a Crisis
It is not always about the things you can hold in your hands and store in the basement.
When most people think about bartering, they limit themselves to thinking about what goods they can give away. That’s fine as far as it goes, but there is an inherent risk in bartering goods in a crisis situation.
That is that others might get the idea that you have something they need and decide to try to steal it from you.
On the other hand, you can barter skills just as well as you can barter goods. While bartering goods may invite attack and cost you supplies, in the long run, bartering your skills may make you valuable enough to the community that nobody would think of attacking you.
Instead, they will want to protect you so that they can continually benefit from your skills.
Of course, being able to barter skills requires having skills that people will need during the crisis.
What skills might those be?
10 Survival Skills You May Barter After A Crisis
- Survival Skills. If you are preparing for a disaster, then you are clearly learning many skills that will be necessary for such a time. You will know a wide range of skills, such as starting a fire, which your neighbors won’t. Those skills will be valuable to them, as well as to you.
- Water Purification. Most people don’t have the first idea of how to purify water, other than to boil it. You could easily make a trade with a neighbor: You learned how to purify water right here. They haul water for both families, and you purify it.
- First-Aid and Minor Medical. Medical services are often overrun during a crisis. Being able to clean and bandage a wound, splint a fracture and treat minor sickness might even save a life. You must be careful in this case of not putting yourself in a situation where you could be legally liable for causing someone harm or for not being able to save their life.
- Midwifery. Babies come when they want to and won’t stop for something as small as a crisis. Being able to help women give birth could be invaluable, especially if they can’t get to the hospital.
- Home Repair. Many types of disasters cause damage to people’s homes. And if you have been paying attention, learning how to swing a hammer is an essential part of survival prepping. The ability to perform even rudimentary temporary repairs could help keep them in their home when others don’t have a roof over their heads.
- Mechanics. Vehicles and small engines break down at the most inopportune times. Fewer and fewer people really understand how to repair their own vehicles and lawnmowers anymore depending upon mechanics to do it for them. This provides you with a great opportunity if you have the tools and knowledge.
- Small Engine Repair. Small engines are just different enough from car engines that most mechanics don’t know how to repair them. During a crisis situation, more people are likely to be using them for generators and other equipment. How many times after an event that when someone goes to start that generator, it does not work. This opens up the opportunity to be able to repair their non-working engines for them. That non-working generator? That happened to me and I took the time to learn how to pull the fuel supply apart and clean those clogged parts.
- Gardening. If you are planning on growing a survival garden to help feed your family, you can be sure that your neighbors will have the same need. Get them started with vegetable seeds, and trade your expertise for their assistance.
- Animal Husbandry. Just like gardening, your ability to raise chickens or goats can be something you can use to help your neighbors.
- Home Defense. Every neighborhood will need to organize in order to defend themselves from attack. If you are the expert in your neighborhood, you could take command, developing a plan and getting everyone on board for helping each other defend your neighborhood from any attackers.
Survival Of The Best Prepared
Any skill you and your family needs will be needed by others as well.
Keep that in mind as you prepare yourself, and you will see opportunities to leverage those skills. It is possible that the crisis may eliminate your current job, and in that case, your skills in other areas may develop into a business that you can use to support your family as society rebuilds itself.
If the skills you are going to use require some sort of special materials or supplies, then it would be good to put in a stock of supplies as well. You can’t put in a whole auto parts store in your garage, but you can put in a stock of the most common items you’ll need.
Immediately after the crisis hits, supply chains may be cut. That stockpile will give you something to start working with while you are waiting for the supply lines to be reformed.
That will provide you with the opportunity of putting your skills to work immediately, rather than having to wait until materials are available.
Bartering In A Collapsed Economy
One of the greatest risks many developed countries face today is that of a financial crash.
Venezuela’s economic collapse is a case in point. As of this writing, a dozen eggs in the USA is about $1.49 In Venezuela a dozen eggs is about $150
Could that happen to us?
When many talk about this eventuality, they point to various indicators in today’s economy and global markets. Based on those indicators, some say society is well on its way to a complete fiscal breakdown.
There are certain telltale signs of these financial crises, as we can see by looking at others around the globe. Amongst them is runaway inflation as a nation’s money plummets in value.
When that happens, one of the ways that people deal with it is to return to a barter economy, rather than using money as their means of exchange.
Always keep that in mind.