Bartering as a community building endeavour

Times Online article Living without money

A German woman has lived 13 years without money. She set up a successful “Tauschring — a sort of swap shop — a place where people can exchange their skills or possessions for other skills and possessions…”

As one of the comments (Marco V) pointed out, bartering “may even bring a community feel back to the country.”

Many small and solo businesses already engage in bartering – with fellow businesses and freelancers. Bartering probably happens only with friends and known contacts, and not complete strangers.

What would happen if we were to formalise this practice within a community? I think it will help bring strangers together, help build the community. A community can be geographically local or mimetically tribal of course.

Bartering will make us think about the relative value of our work. Is one hour of therapy worth a home cooked meal? Can I have my teeth cleaned in exchange for painting the dental surgery?

I have seen websites a while ago now that lets you contribute services to another member in exchange for points. You can then swap these points for the services of another member.

Thanks to Jany for the link.

One comment

  1. Damola Aji said:

    This is really an awesome innovation, its like revisiting the old trade by barter, but for services inplace of goods.
    The world might indeed be a better place if money can be shunned, but again, it may as well not be useful where larger scale services are required e.e. Construction, security related services etc.
    But I do agree, it will foster unity in the society.

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