Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – March 30, 2020

What is barter?

The action or system of exchanging goods or services without using money.

Back in the 1970’s when we lived in Los Angeles and our children were small, I belonged to a babysitting co-op.  In that scenario, we exchanged services based on hours.  There were between 20-30 families that belonged to the co-op and it worked very successfully.

In today’s pandemic climate, there are so many things that would need to be organized.  Take for example water.  We have water/sewer service by the City of Crescent City.  BUT, when money is scarce, where else can you get water for watering your garden/plants as an example without running up your water bill?  And, even though we can fantasize about water/sewer rates coming down, the reality is that they probably won’t.  So, what to do?  We’ve been using a 55 gallon drum for years to collect rain water.  If you’re broke and can’t pay for a 55 gallon drum, then what to do?  One answer is BARTER. Somebody is bound to have more drums than they can use.

Right now there are problems in so many facets of our lives like dental offices being closed….. or property taxes that need to be paid…. and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in the way of extending the deadline yet.  I don’t know the answers to these two areas, but let’s deal with those things that are just as important to our very survival right now.

There could be multiple barter groups in our area.  Let’s see if we can start the process.

If you are interested, please let us know what you need or want and then let us know what you’d like to trade. In short order we could put together people to administrate and organize the venture.  Think of it as an adventure.





One thought on “Is it time to organize barter groups?”
  1. Two good sources for a barter network are Utica, NY which has LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) and Santa Cruz which has the Barter Network. Neither have a website, but an internet search can provide information on each one.

    As to the Barter Network, members determine the amount of credits they charge for their product or service, so one member may charge two credits per hour for lawn mowing while another member may charge only one. Each month the network coordinator issues each member a statement showing how many credits have been earned and how many have been spent. A printed directory of members, organized by category, is sent to each member annually so each member can know who to contact for the service or product desired. The coordination of the network is best done by an existing non profit organization.

    Such a network would be ideal for Del Norte County since residents are always in need of goods and services, but may lack the actual cash to pay for them. Having a system like LETS or the Barter Network here would go a long way for economic sustainability for area residents.

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