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bartering for services: should you?

By September 18, 2008How To, The Business

This week, I’ve decided to barter services with a client in lieu of money. The pros and cons surrounding this issue are rife with judgment, fear, uncertainty, loopholes and very passionate arguments. Let’s see if we can break it down with some awfully important things to consider:

  1. Ask yourself which would serve you more: the money or the trade service or items?
  2. The trade has to be even and both sides must feel that they are being compensated equally.
  3. Work out an agreement so that both sides understand what is included in the trade. For instance, I may barter my consulting, but I expect to get paid to write your site.
  4. Create check-in points so that you can both evaluate time spent, how the arrangement is working and the future.
  5. Be prepared to field this request from other clients who may have heard about the arrangement. You can’t always barter…because massages and personal cheffing do not pay the mortgage.

In my case, this is all working out perfectly. In exchange for my consulting services, I’m being rolfed and receiving a full series of personal Pilates sessions both with a master teacher and healer.

Why is this worth it to me, when I could be paying off my car? Because, if you’ve been following this blog with any regularity, you’ll know that I work way too much and never take time for myself. This barter arrangement is forcing me to take time out and take care of myself…and for me? This is invaluable.

Every situation is unique – to the person, the work, the terms. I know you people have some strong opinions (about everything)- lob ’em at me.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • barley says:

    Someone really decided to put on their thinking cap, great going! It’s fantastic to see people really writing about the important things.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Well, thank you, Barley. Very interesting business you have there!

  • I often barter with friends for their help at shows – they come along for the day and help me out and they get some jewellery as a thank you.

    At my last show I was next to a colour and style consultant (which I am interested in having done) and the consultant loves my jewellery, so we’ve organised to do a swap – jewellery for her services and we’re both pretty chuffed with the idea!

  • Julie Roads says:

    Terrific example, Annette…thanks for chiming in!

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