Bartering For Fun and Profit

If our economy ever does collapse and the dollars we’ve saved become worthless, one thing is for sure:  a system of bartering will emerge, along with a black market.  As you stock up on food and other goods, you may have had the thought, “This would be good for bartering.”  Blogger LP, over at Survival Plan Blog, has an interesting take on the idea of bartering and barter goods.

image by P.13

One of his main points is to make sure that you first are stocked up with the basics for yourself and your family before worrying about adding items for barter.  He says,

Determine …

  • if you have excess funds for barter goods.
  • what percentage of your prep budget that will go into barter goods.
  • if you have barter items that you don’t want to stock, and sell or trade them away now.

Then …

  • Review lists of barter goods and consider costs.
  • See what potential barter goods can double as useful items for you if you need to raid that storehouse. (The Three-fer rule!)
  • Consider stocking only items you know well enough. The more you know about them, and thus their usefulness and value, the better a deal you can haggle.
  • Prioritize your shopping list, but be prepared to deviate if a great deal pops up.
  • Look for your chosen items on sale.
  • Review your plan at least quarterly and update it as needed.

Most barter items fall into two main categories.

Comfort & Luxuries

Nail polish


Feminine hygiene



Paperback books

Hygiene supplies: soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo

Candy, chocolate, chewing gum

Anything that will help make life more pleasant




Long-term Food

Water filter/purification



First Aid supplies



Baby supplies: diapers, formula, baby clothes

Camping gear

Insect repellant

Matches, fire starters

You can read long lists of barter-able items here.  Remember that skills and knowledge are great for bartering and won’t impact what you have stored away.  The bottom line is to give this some thought, don’t over-spend, and keep your eyes open for bargains.  You can read LP’s entire article and insights on his blog.

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