I'm starting this discussion to brainstorm ideas about starting a barter circle. I'm hoping to get something going here in the Greater Greensboro area, something along the lines of cashless exchange for homegrown and homemade products. I have to admit, usually I am the 'maker'...when someone has an idea I'm a good implementer, however on this one I am upside down. Community awareness events, start-ups, websites, networking, none of these things are my forte'. Hints, tips, tricks, anyone?
I am living in nothern mn. this summer i attended barter fest. a 12 hour music festival with chariety fundraisers and bartering all day long. no charges.
willie mitchell said:
Greensboro, as in North Carolina?
had trouble posting replies lately for some odd reason. willie mitchell yes i am in greensboro and would love to set up some trading. will pm.
So recently I have read "the Sharing Solution" which is a NOLO production. It's a how-to book on sharing, including all the appropriate legalese. The more and more that I have explored the subject of the barter, the more I have found that most people are interested in gift economies or sharing circles.
I observed this recently by working with people at a Really, Really Free market. I find that there are many people that are very generous, have a lot to offer, and are willing to share (crazy, right?). In a well-participated gift economy, many problems of the barter are overcome. The 'one-for-one' problem is solved by making all goods and services available to a consumer. There is no "well I have 3 jars of jam that I value at 2$ a piece, so I want 6 bags of your greens that you value at 1$ a bag." Maybe this person doesn't want jam, or can't have sugar! This fundamental problem in direct trading is what lead to the invention of currency! The gift economy circumvents this. Gifting relies on several principles to make it successful: willingness to share, positive conflict resolution, and recognition of true cost or true value.
So what I think it comes down to is this: sharing is an improved version of bartering. In sharing circles, there is still some 1-to-1 trading, some gifting, some receiving, some asking for certain goods or services, some offering of the same, some combining of resources to achieve common goals.
This will be my new direction. Here in my little community we have so many people already working towards many of the different goals of sharing. Now to bringing them all together!
Good luck getting this established. If only I were closer (NY here). Post when you do meet!