How to barter like a pro, eight steps for success

  • Bartering is a useful skill.
  • Take the time to assess what items would be best to barter with.
  • Learn to negotiate.
  • Educate yourself before diving into a deal.
  • Capitalize on good bargains.
  • Be polite but frugal.
  • Not every deal is a homerun.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • A little luck goes a long way.

Bartering is a term that most people hear and think of a long forgotten time. But recent socioeconomic turmoil has upended the finacial security of people around the globe. Today average people are thinking outside the box for ways to make ends meet.

Bartering isn’t exactly rocket science. But while spending the majority of my teenage weekends working at my father’s flea market shop I learned that bartering is a valuable skill that requires organization, planning and sometimes a little luck. Here are eight tips to point you in the right direction and have you bartering like a pro in no time.

1. Supply and Demand

First you need to apply some common sense thinking. It wouldn’t be advisable to buy or trade for 100 t-shirts to barter with, if everyone in your neighborhood is producing t-shirts. However, acquiring the equipment used to make the t-shirts would be a great idea. Needles, thread, vinyl sheeting ect. Take the time to assess the needs of tbe people you’re most likely to barter with and attempt aquire those items in bulk.

2. Learn to negotiate

Negotiating is a skill that often goes underutilized in today’s world. Learning to recognize a good deal is vital if you’re hoping to become successful. If the margins aren’t enough to make an item worth your time be prepared to make a counter offer or walk away.

3. Do your due diligence

Learning the difference between a good deal and fools gold will save you major headaches in the future. Take some time to thoroughly research any product before bartering, especially if you’re dealing with items you’re unfamiliar with. Spending extra time researching goods saved my father on more than one occasion. Often minor variations like model number, year produced or specifications can make the difference between profitable deal and a major loss.

4. Never pass up a good deal

Now that you’ve done research on the items your about to beg, steal or borrow for, you’ll know when a fantastic bargain arises. When one does, Seize it! Nobody can predict when another chance to make substantial profit will appear.

5. Polite attitude, shrewd spending

A wise man once said that there are two ways a person can get his way in this world. The first is by being a total jerk to everyone you meet and basically demanding what you want. We all know somebody who’s been successful in life by using fear and intimidation as their primary negotion tactics. This method doesn’t really work for everyone, myself included.

The second and more efficient way to get what you want is by being polite to everyone you encounter but remaining firm during price or logistics negotions. Often times, earlier sweetness will earn you brownie points when the time comes to hammer out a deal.

6. Don’t expect to get rich

Incrementally increase your inventory by making small profits over more transactions. Not every interaction is a home run, it’s ok to hit a few singles sometimes as well.

7. Make Mistakes

No matter how much time you spend investigating potential deals, you will still make mistakes. It’s ok, I’ve made a million of them over the years. A mistake usally equates to an expensive lesson. These mistakes will only sharpen your abilities during future interactions.

8. Get lucky

An old teacher of mine once told me that luck was when preparation meets opportunity. Now that your prepared to barter remember that there isn’t a shortcut you can take to be good at anything. Your time spent acquiring knowledge will save you grief in the future.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- What countries are still on the gold standard today?

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