One thing about being an independent, creative professional is that while your life is rich in ideas, relationships, and projects, it can sometimes be cash poor. We all have needs–dental care, house painting, hair cuts–that can cost a lot of money. Too often these needs get placed on the back burner because the budget is tight.
As an example, a freelance friend of mine recently brought up the issue of her woefully out of date website and wanted to know if there was any way she could trade her writing and editing skills for web development services, instead of simply paying cash. The conversation got me thinking about how we often consider bartering and swapping something you can do with personal possessions–your barely worn work boots for my collection of flower pots–but we don’t consider it as an option for our businesses.
Currency doesn’t have to be measured in dollars and cents. Thanks to a thriving new sharing economy, it’s easier than ever to turn your time and skills into currency as well. Even Entrepreneur Magazine has weighed in about how bartering can help small businesses grow. So I decided to round up a few online platforms, some well known, some not as well known, where you can let the world know that money isn’t the only way to pay.
7 Sites That Can Help You Barter Services For Stuff You Need
Note: There are some things to keep in mind when bartering as a business, such as risks and tax obligations. Forbes does a great job of discussing them here.
1. Listia – This site allows you to earn “Ink” for items that you offer online. You can then use that “Ink” to acquire items that other people are offering on the site. Sign up is free and you can get a small amount of Ink just for signing up.
2. TimeBank Boulder – For every hour you help a community member you receive enough credits, referred to as TimeDollars, for an hour of service from another member. You can save up several hours for large projects or simply use your hours one at a time.
3. Shared Earth– A unique website that connects people who have unused land with farmers and gardeners who have none.
4. Tradebank – While there is a substantial retainer fee to become a Tradebank member, they offer an extensive network as well as a Trade Broker to help promote your business. The site also states that they will refund the retainer fee if they fail to bring the client new trade revenue within the first twelve months
5. Barter Bucks Banc – A bartering site with hundreds of categories and the ability to search by city and state or by zip code with an option to filter your results by distance.
6. BizXchange – A business-to-business barter website where members use “BizX dollars” to trade save money on goods and services. While it is free to sign up, you will need to pay a hefty fee to participate in exchanges. This site is better for more robust companies with bigger trades in mind.
7. Colorado Currency – This business-to-business barter site is based right here in Colorado, but offers its members with the opportunity to trade with thousands of businesses worldwide.
Do YOU know of other barter, trade, or time-banking opportunities in Northern Colorado? Or better yet, do you have a service you’d be interested in bartering? Please share in the comments!