Two Letters Re: Another Perspective on Selecting Barter Goods, by OSOM

As for the persistent stream of articles related to barter goods: After reading the various articles on barter goods, I am still confused as to why one would keep goods for barter. Supposedly you are at a rural retreat, stocked with everything you could need during your lifetime (guns, ammo, band aids, reading material, and toilet paper) and are surrounded by a horde of people who are ill-equipped to cope. But now we have interjected the need to trade, and buy things, I suppose it would be great to have a store in this situation, but what’s the point in having a store to sell stuff to the destitute. I suppose it’s keenly American to think that stuff will solve all our problems. There has been a lot of talk about goods, but what about services? Are you going to use your barter goods to buy services? If so, then what kind of services? Paying little orphan billy with food to sweep your floors, wash your car, milk the cows? What services can you offer to your neighbors?
Being a survivor isn’t just about having stuff, it’s about having skills. Technical skills, people skills, leadership skills. Having stuff is great, I like my stuff, but in a TEOTWAWKI, situation I realize I may be left with stuff I can keep in my pocket, and perhaps not even that. The skills I have are something I can use to buy more stuff if I so choose. Don’t trade tools. Instead, have tools and the skill to use them so people will be trading you their barterables. And most importantly don’t let the stuff you own, end up owning you. Just thought I would throw in my US $.02 – AVL


There are two kinds of things to barter with; goods and services. Barter with goods is useful but of course the items you store for barter (1) take space (2) can deteriorate (3) can be stolen and (4) are not unlimited in quantity. Barter with services have none of these disadvantages. If you have tools and knowledge you can take them with you anywhere. In my mind, barter of goods would be done by people caught unprepared for a crisis. Here, take my wedding ring… can I have some food? That does not apply to readers of this blog. If you think that there are items you would want to barter for in TEOTWAWKI, then bypass the barter and just get the items ahead of time. What you may need to barter with is for services. Skills you don’t have, and likely can’t learn in short order. A midwife, a surgeon, a dentist a veterinarian, a gunsmith, et cetera. You should have items you can barter with for these services if they won’t take your services in return, and make sure that when these services are rendered, you take careful notes to learn as much as possible. Even better, ask if you, your wife or your child can apprentice with the service provider. Free labor in exchange for knowledge. In TEOTWAWKI, schools will not be available, but the apprenticeship will. In terms of services you can offer, rather than have 20 pairs of shoes, have a pair of shears and some rope and know where the local tire dump is and then you can have shoes to barter with all day long. Use your barter goods sparingly and and use your barter services whenever possible.

One exception to foregoing are items like a small flock of good egg laying and meat producing chickens as these are renewable goods. – SF in Hawaii