Internet helping to bring bartering back

By Matt Boyce - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It's an age old way to get things you want with things you currently have and more and more people are finding their way back to bartering.

In today's More Bang for Your Buck, we look at how technology has created a resurgence in an old-fashioned way to save cash.

Professional tennis instructor John Dinardi noticed the economy taking a toll on his student enrollment.

So when a student offered to barter with him for lessons, he was game.

"I had a student who saw that I had a need, so he said that we could trade services," Dinardi said.

The trade: Two tennis lessons in exchange for a grading job on John's driveway.

"I never thought about really bartering until that came up," he said.

So john placed a local ad on Craigslist to barter his tennis expertise for goods or services he may need.

"It was a neat way for me to get more clients really and to get things that I needed, especially in the economy you know one of the big things," Dinardi said.

The internet has helped many people rediscover the age-old tradition of bartering.  Kristen Johnson used to buy two or three books a week but has found considerable savings by bartering through

"You post items you have, and then you post items that you want," she said.

Swaptree matches your "haves" with others "wants" and then suggests potential trades.  In 2009 the site facilitated one million swaps, a sixty percent increase from the year before.

Kristen has made hundreds of successful trades and has only been let down once.

"I've had one person that didn't send me the item, but I reported it to Swaptree and they work on trying to get it for you,"Johnson said.

All you pay is the shipping cost of the item you are sending for trade and Kristen has seen the savings add up.

"I'll get a brand new book for two or three dollars or a DVD," she said.

Another site, has seen its members go beyond trading goods.  Their site lists services for trade ranging from dental work to home renovations.  You can also localize your search or trade internationally.

"We think there is a barter revolution going on and that barter revolution is going to lead people on a fairly large scale to think about different ways to navigate to the things they want or need in life," said the CEO of BarterQuest.

The internet is ripe with sites that allow members to conserve cash with bartering. See the list at right for websites.

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