"barter fair"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tango3, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    This is a guest submission on the bison survival blog:
    I find bison interesting; writing about "frugal survivalism" (basically independance through "possum living and prepping")we share alot of the same ideas( he's big on $200 surplus bolt guns and less popular calibers).just started reading the archives:

    guest article

    Many survival "Experts" tell you to buy gold and silver to ensure your wealth after the SHTF. They argue that throughout history precious metals have held their value. While this is probably true, it may not always be so. They also encourage you to invest in pre 1965 silver (junk silver coins) which has no collector’s value, just the spot value of the silver content. They say that this will become the currency of the new economy and you will be able to use it to buy goods from those who may have what you want at a local barter fair. Perhaps...
    John was headed to town today to check out the local Barter Fair that was being held every other Friday. While he had prepared for the current crisis as best as he could, he still had run out of the few items he had apparently overlooked. Like toothpaste, dental floss, baking powder and ammo. Who would have thought that he would have burned through most of his 500 round stash of .300 Savage in just 2 months. He was down to 25 rounds and desperately needed more. Damned raiders anyway! At least he had experienced the grim pleasure of burying 15 of them.He had not had any gas for 3 weeks now, so he was riding his $500 mountain bike to town. Riding was much better than walking, especially since it had started to drizzle rain. POP! ssssssssssshhhh.... "Oh shit!, there goes my tire!" The bikes tires were worn, and there wasn't much tread left on them. A sharp rock had punctured the front tire when he wasn't paying attention and now he was reduced to pushing his bike the last 3 miles to town. "I guess I will have to buy a new tire and tube at the local bike shop or at the fair, if someone has them". This was John’s first trip to the barter fair as he had thought he was fairly well prepared for bad times. He jingled the $50.00 in junk silver in his pocket, confident he would be able to get most of what he needed and have some left over. After all, he thought, just before the crash, silver was $70 an ounce and gold was $1000 per ounce and rising.
    Henry set up his canopy and spread out his tarp, laying out his trade goods so that they could be clearly seen and evaluated by the throng of people milling about, looking for bargains and necessities, clutching their own goods which they hoped to trade for those items they sorely needed. Henry set out the 3 bottles of cold remedy and the bottle of Advil next to the pint of brandy and the pack of unopened Marlboros. He set the 3 emergency fishing gear packs he had made to the right of the cold remedies, and next to that he set out the 3 boxes of reloaded .300 Savage. Henry didn't have a rifle in that caliber, but had bought the reloading dies for it on sale and loaded up the 200 rounds of brass he had found at the local gravel pit. He had found many different types of brass there and one by one he had bought the dies and components to reload them all. Buying whatever he found at garage sales added to his collection of dies until there wasn't a common and some un-common calibers that he couldn't load. Next to the .300 Savage he laid out 1 box each of 7mm Rem. Mag, 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser and .243 Win. The next items he laid out were the 12 aircraft cable cam lock snares and his 5 extra #110 Conibear traps. Those would fetch a fair price indeed! He next set out his collection of handmade knives, a hobby of his for the past few years. They always sold well and he would give a discount if someone brought him the proper steel and brass for making more. He also encouraged people to bring him whatever lead they could scrounge and he cast bullets with it. For those who brought him sufficient amounts, he would give them 5 of each of the calibers he cast on the spot; 9mm, .38/.357, and .44mag. They would then trade them amongst the other venders for different things, the bullets eventually coming back to Henry to be loaded into cartridges for trade. Next he set out the #10 can of vacuum packed garden seeds. He had bought 20 cases in the months just prior to the crash, having read the warning signs hidden in the news and on the internet newsgroups and forums. He had also printed up a bunch of how-to manuals on everything from Bee-keeping to Blacksmithing and hoped he would find some takers for them. The last items Henry set out were 2 beautiful black powder rifles, flintlocks in .54 cal to be exact. Nothing less than a pregnant heifer would get him to part with one. And Henry was always hoping...Henry nodded and waved to the Sheriff's Deputy on patrol. There had been some trouble when the fair had first started and it was almost the end of it before it hardly even began! Some illegal immigrants had been in attendance and had tried to steal one pair of Henry's neighbor's breeding rabbits. While 2 of them chattered away at his bewildered non-spanish speaking neighbor, the 3rd tried to sneak off with rabbits. One of the other vendors saw what was happening and yelled at him to stop. The illegal pulled out a gun and shot at the man, hitting him in the shoulder, and then all three of them ran off with the rabbits. They got about 100 feet before the crowd pulled their own weapons and killed all 3 of them as they ran away. That was the last of the illegal immigrant problem at the barter fair. But there had been other problems as indignant, clueless shoppers could not understand why their debit cards were not good enough to buy a pair of dirty sneakers, and why nobody would accept their paper US dollars. They raised quite a ruckus until the Sheriff had shown up to escort them away for their own safety.
    John was tired. He hadn't planned on pushing his bike to town and his feet were starting to hurt. He was also getting very thirsty and had long ago emptied his canteen. "Need to get another one of them too." he thought out loud. He was almost at the schoolyard where the fair was held and he could see where people had staked out their horses and chained up their bicycles and garden carts. There were some vehicles in evidence so someone still had fuel. Those guarding the horses and vehicles stared at John as he pushed his bike up to an empty space on the merry-go-round and chained it up. With any luck the bike shop would be open or the owner here at the fair. Maybe he would get one of those solid tubes that never went flat as well as a new tire. While John was walking down the street looking for the bike shop, Henry was trading the last of his fishing kits for 5 lbs of homemade jerky. So far he had traded off the cold medicine and Advil to the town doctor for a rooster and 2 hens, 6 snares for 2 breeding rabbits and 10 lbs of feed, one box of 7mm Rem. Mag. for a complete working bicycle with new tires and generator powered lights, most of his how-to manuals for 1000 rounds of various caliber empty brass, 10 homemade candles, and 5 tanned rabbit pelts. A man with a pair of homemade moccasins was eyeing Henrys #110 conibear trap collection, trying to make up his mind whether to make an offer or not. Henry thought that those moccasins looked mighty comfortable. 10 minutes later the man was smiling as he walked away with his "great bargain" of 2 traps and Henry was trying on his new moccasins. John stopped and stared in dismay. It was gone. The whole block was gone, only charred rubble where the bike shop and other buildings had been. "Damn Damn DAMN!" thought John. "There goes my best chance at getting what I need."Disappointed, he turned and headed back to the school. As he neared the vendors he began scrutinizing each ones goods, looking for what he needed. It seemed that no one had any "real toothpaste" for sale, just some baking soda and some iodized salt that they were hawking as replacements. He had made them a generous offer of $2.00 face value junk silver but they weren't interested. They wanted a pair of size 10 boots in exchange, and as John had stood there trying to get them to change their mind, someone with boots to trade came along and John watched "his" makeshift toothpaste leave with someone else. "What is wrong with these people?" he thought."Don't they realize that silver and gold are the new currency?" Disappointed again, he turned and went looking for the items he needed from "more reasonable" people. As John walked about he noticed that people were accepting almost anything but silver and gold for goods. In fact, he didn't even see anyone else trying to use coins for currency as they bought and sold items. John was no fool, he realized now that he was in a bad way if no one was trading in gold or silver. One old man came up to him and said "What’s amatter Sonny? You look a little long in the face." "Why don't people use silver or gold as a medium of exchange?" John asked. The old man laughed and said to him. "Them there coins you have, can you eat them? Can you plant them and have food grow there? Will they breed and have babies that you can raise and eat or trade for other things? Can you ride them into town and back home again? Can you wear them on your feet? Sonny, those were the old way of doing things, and someday they might be the way things are done again. But for now, they have no use to anyone, including you. What have you been able to buy today?" John said nothing; he just stared at the old man. Finally he nodded his head, acknowledging what the old man said. He turned and walked away into the crowd to where Henry had his remaining goods laid out. John saw the 3 boxes of .300 Savage there and he almost cried. He knew that his money would be of no use here as he saw the variety of things that Henry was packing up for his trip home.Henry noticed John starring at his ammo and saw the look on John's face. He knew that look. The look of the desperate individual who sees what they need, nearly within their grasp, but knowing they will not be able to get it before it slips away. "Can I help you with something Mr.?" said Henry. John shook his head and said, "Not unless you are willing to trade for silver. I have nothing else of value with me." Henry was feeling good because he had a great day trading, so he decided to see what this guy was all about. "I'm Henry " he said. "I'm John" was the reply."Well John, what are you hoping to trade for?" John replied, "I need some .300 Savage ammo, which I see you have 60 rounds of. I had 500 rounds when the crash started but now I am down to 25. I also need a bike tire and tube since mine blew out on the way to town." "Well John, I really don't need any silver as I have no need of coins. Most of the small purchases around here are made with cast lead bullets which I make for a percentage of the lead. Most people use it as currency for a while and then bring it back to me to load into cartridges for them as they need them. Here's what I can do for you though. I will accept your silver as collateral. You take 20 rounds of that .300 Savage there and bring me all of your empty brass. You did save it didn't you?" John shook his head yes, not sure he could believe what he was hearing. "OK. When you bring me your empty brass I will give you the other 40 rounds and all your silver back but $2.00 face value. Bring me your old bike and I will trade you this one here for it and another $2.00 face value silver coins. Do we have a deal?" John hesitated for all of half a second before accepting the offer and strolled off to get his bike. Maybe he didn't get everything that he wanted, but it sure beat pushing a bike 7 miles home with nothing to show but sore feet. Besides, Maggie liked to make homemade scented soap and he didn't see any at all while searching for his needs. And his uncle Bob had taught him to make his own charcoal several years back. Perhaps these 2 items would trade fairly well on his next trip in...Perhaps....========================================================================================
    Selous Scout
  2. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Good read.
  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Not trying to down any PM folks, just gave me whole new outlook on a few of my weak areas(and a few ideas)...this blogs got some interesting stuff, I realize badly as I wanted that 1911 in an uber cool bianchi x-15 shoulder rig or a ( sparks summer special)
    I've got some catching up to do.... :)
  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    IMHO bartering soon after a crash is way over rated, and not even in my line of thinking. I would rather worry about getting what I need before something goes bump instead of gettting what I think will be a good barter item that I may or may not beable to trade for what I need. Remember you may or may not beable to find what you need after a crash so get it now or learn to live without it. You could replace Johny's PM's with anything in this story, others may or may not want what you have no matter what it costs now or how valueable it is now. If no one wants what you have it's worthless regardless of what you paid for it or how valueable it is before a crash. [2c]

  5. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I don't think it's a good idea to hoard things for barter that you have no use for, unless you get it for free and have the extra space.

    But I do think that getting extras of things you will need (that also makes good barter items) is a very sound practice.
  6. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Yes but, if you need them they will get used up/broke or worn out. If there is a crash will you know how long it will last??? If it doesn't last long then maybe you'll be all right trading some things that you will need away. But what happens if it just continues in a downward spriral with no chance of replacing those items??? You may have traded away things that you really need/could use. Personally I would only trade things that I could reproduce. Our goats have babies every year and as long as we were in good shape for meat then yes I might trade goats away for things. Same with the chickens they lay more eggs everyday and hatch out more chicks every year, to me those are tradeable items. But I would never trade away ammo or something like that, that I cannot replace. [2c]

  7. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    There was a good thread a while back on trade goods. WHile hoarding for trade doesn't make a lot of sense, trade is alive and well. I find myself using barter more and more even now, as prices begin to rise. You may not see much use right now but wait until "Honey" actually has to use the telephone book for toilet paper and we'll see.
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    You really don't know DW very well. I'd be more likely to trade for TP than she would be. [lolol]

  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Smart guy would start a barter fair now, so folks knew it was the place to trade...
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I wonder what legal issues would apply. Something tells me Uncle Sam would frown on that.
  11. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I'd hate to imagine somewhere in the 100s of thousands of pages of laws, there's something illegal about two private citizens agreeing among themselves to exchange perfectly legal and wholly owned private property.
  12. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I'm gonna have to hold to my opinion on this issue for now OGM. I'm very open to having my mind changed (in fact I welcome it, it's how I "upgrade"), but I'm unconvinced as of yet.

    My main concern is this... using myself as an example:

    Tomorrow tshtf and I have lots of supplies of everything I need for a couple years (which I don't, you're 100 times better prepped than I am). "Snerflims" are a popular trade item, everybody wants them, but I didn't stock any because I don't personally use them (I'm allergic to snerflims, I use something else). There are a lot of people out there who place a lot of value on snerflims, and I need what these people can provide. A doctor, dentist, veterinarian, mechanic, gunsmith, others. You can't "stock up" on their services, but you very well may need them, even as a matter of life or death. Perhaps to purchase black-market pharmaceuticals that would have been illegal for you to stock before tshtf.
  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My personal view on this line is that your FIRST priority would have to be to prep as best you can for renewable food and water and everything you cant renew but would need for at LEAST a year and preferably 5 years and could stock up on some things you could do without to use as barter along the way. Say make sure you are able to make tallow candles and such but have a bunch of extra batteries for flashlights and such then if you find you failed to remember to stock up on some 'little' item (who has never packed for a trip and got there to find they forgot a toothbrush/hairbrush/shampoo/etc) then you have something in the short term or early stages you could do without that others would not.

    Make sure while stocking up to also stock up on skills. Learn to make soap, candles, charcoal, tan hides,sew clothes, make knives, brew wine/beer, distill liquor etc so you can make something to trade for other services (an extra set of hands around planting/harvest time could be useful not to mention a dentist or Dr) and those things (so long as you can get the materials easily or stocked them) can then be traded AND tradeing with those around you can also keep you viewed more as an asset to and member of the comunity which can help with security.

    Now after you think you have all the basics taken care of so you can at least get by on your own without trade THEN as you arejust adding perks and comfort stuff and so on IMO that is when its good to start doing more as far as setting back barter goods. I figure haveing say 50k of .22 to strech other ammo out further would be good for the first stage and if you HAD to have something you forgot or didnt foresee then some could be traded but at this stage would be the time to multiply the stores. Add more of a lot of these things that you can get by without (.22 is basicly for slaughtering or small game hunting and archery or traps will do the hunting if you learn ahead and an ax, sledge hammer or butcher knife will do the slaughtering if needed), add some extra disposable lighters or matches and know how to start a friction fire, now that stuf is a VERY nice luxury item to you but if Doc is cold and cant make a friction fire you just might get treated for that $0.50 Bic.

    Once you have your own basics and a few trade goods taken care of then it can be an excelent investment that MAY be helpful durring a collapse and would almost deffinatly be a BIG asset when things come back as well as if nothing happens at all.

    Thats my own plan at least but then too I dont know that my crystal ball is any more accurate than those who figure PMs would be king even during a SHTF and everything else would be no more useful for barter than now. I suppose knowing that tidbit is why I figure that THE priority is to do what you can to make sure you dont HAVE to trade for anything firsth THEN hedge the bets by haveing both PMs AND trade goods.
  14. the dog

    the dog Monkey+++

    that was a good read.i do a good bit of tradeing like this now.i know a few guys who just like to trade around for stuff sorta to have something to do.but i know a few folks who have to trade this way to get by now.i traded 2 days labor for a used generator once years ago.i am jsut a grunt so this was a good trade for me.as long as there are people around they will or will be traded between them.so this is not so far fetched as some might think.now think of this....tobaccoo.....how many of you folks that dip or smoke and are out of tobaccoo would love to trade anyhting for a fix?? i have sat with my grandfather and cast fishing weights.you wouldnt believe how amny folks ask to trade for the tear drop shaped ones when they see you have a coffee can full of them.i hope to add reloading supplies to my abilitys soon.this is a new skill to learn.there was a group of 3 brothers who lived in southeast alaska in the 30's and 40's and the one thing they used all the time was their reloader.they shot seals back then and lots of other things.it was jsut to far and remote and the weather can get nasty to be on the "need" for ammo.they used alot of ammo.the one brother wrote several books about their lives.being a good trader is a skil so practice now so you can get your game face on and not let people take advantage of you...sorta like a poker face.
  15. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    To me skills is the most important thing. What service can you provide/what can you produce? If you stock up on things to trade, and it ends up being a long term situation one day you will run out of things to trade for what you need. I trade with people I know now but it is things that I can produce. Last fall we needed a buck to service our does, friends had a very agressive breeder. They have a greenhouse buisness and heat there greenhouses with wood. We have lots of waist wood from the our sawmill, so we used their buck for a month and I took them some wood to heat with. The only thing that was bought in this trade was a little bit of gas and oil. But I could have cut the wood with my crosscut saw or buck saw. If you learn skills now they can be usefull now and if things go bump they will be invaluble. Medications will run out, or be to exspesive for most to get. Learn herbal medicine and start growing herbs. I told a master herbalist course and was a Navy medic where I did everyting from basic first-aid to minor surgeries. I do all of our vet work and freinds know that I do so they ask advice all the time. These type of things IMHO are what people should be trying to learn now. [2c]

  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I could be wrong but I think that some of the cheap stuff you could stock up on would be of high value a short time into a bad situation (batteries, cheap pocket knives, lighters, etc) in the time when folks who dodnt stock up at all and have no survival skills are runing out and a lot of skills wont become as valuable untill longer into a situation. Being able to fix a roof for instance (especialy with home made shake shingles) would be VERY valuable say 5 years along but 3 months after things go bad it probably wouldt be BUT those flashlight batteries you have and dont rely on sure would be and a lockblade you paid a buck for at the flea market would look awful good to the guy trying to make due with a steak knife for working with.

    Like I say, IMHO trying to stock up on trade goods with the expectation of being able to use that in place of haveing other skills or in place of being able to provide for your own needs would be a BAD idea, but to set back a bit of stuff to trade once your own stores are in place could be useful for makeing things more comfortable. The trade goods wouldnt even have to be the type of stuff I had mentioned. My place isnt THAT big and dont have THAT much timber so for instance if you lived down the road from me and still had your saw mill runing then aside from the eventuality that I would likely ned some lumber, I might be offering you some .22 ammo after a couple years in trade for some of that sirewood from your slabwood, especialy if for instance something happened and say I busted an arm or leg and couldnt cut it to well my self. I sure dont advocate relying on tradegoods in general but could see them being useful as a kind of saveings account.
  17. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder


    I understand what your saying and somewhat agree with you. But (you knew there would be a but in here [lolol]) things like batteries and such I would still want to use to make my familys and my life easier. If it became a long term event then you would run out. Granted your going to run out sometime. We have enough batteries to last for awhile, but I think I would be hard pressed to trade them off. Now as far as the cheap pocket knifes and things like that it problely has some merit, but for me trading things away that I use, I would have to need the item that you have pretty bad. [2c]

  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Which, of course, makes the differences between trades, swaps and swindles interesting.

    Trade: Where the outcome satisfies both parties.
    Swindle: Where the outcome satisfies only one party.
    Swap: Where neither are happy with the outcome.

  19. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    OGM I totaly agree with what your saying, I just figure for ME if things are at that level then most likely the radio stations and such are out of business and the batteries are basicly just for flashlights and I can do just fine with oil lamps and such not to mention I would probably trade off some disposable batteries (IF I was getting a premium for them) but would have to be getting a SUPER great deal (think quality firearm or large livestock) to trade off rechargables since I figure to buy )hopefuly SOON) a few of the solar lawn lights, they use rechargable AA or AAA batteries and charge them from solar. So those I could keep to light the house and unhook the batteries at night if not used then charge in the day.

    Like I say I wouldnt figure on tradeing things I needed ow were even a real big convenience unless I was getting something a LOT better for me than what I was giveing up. I just figure spare change can pick things up now that could be like gold later. A gallon of Coleman fuel and $10 of flints will keep a Zipo starting fires for SEVERAL years (lights a pack of smokes a day AND the wood stove for beter than a year now) so I figure if I had a 10 pack of bics I picked up for $2 to toss on a shelf and one of them will get me a couple hens to replace some a fox ate then could be a good deal for me. If I wasnt already set for makeing my own fires without the bics then it better be a pregnant goat to try and get one of them from me and a calf cow pair if I didnt have a good supply of them. So yeah it would basicly just be stuff that is no biggy to grab now AND that I wouldnt miss. On the .22 ammo, I would get a good value for them or keep them but I generally keep around 50k rounds of it or better on hand and MOST of what I use it for I COULD do without it, like slaughtering rabbits or chickens and plinking. So if I conserv it then in adition to the other ammo and archery it should be more than a life time supply so if 50 rounds got me a goat or the deer someone just shot then I figure might trade off some of it onoccasion.
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