A Fair Exchange
In an effort to simplify my life I’ve slowly been paring down the amount of stuff I own. In a lot of cases, it has been a lot easier to simply donate smaller items to charity rather than go through the trouble of taking calls, answering e-mails, and driving around just to clean out a couple of closets. I used to freecycle. I was, in fact, a freecycle junkie. However, I was cured of my addiction once and for all by a nutty lady that insisted on free delivery and a warranty on a washer and dryer that I was giving away. Since then, I just put everything out at the curb and 10 times out of ten, it finds it’s way to a new home.
Larger items add a degree of complexity. Take for example my car and my truck. I am opposed to simply give away such a large asset, but I simply hate the the confrontation involved in selling them. As the seller, my goal is to obtain the largest sum I possibly can for the vehicle while the buyer’s goal is, evidently, to bust my stones no matter how good a deal I offer. I’ve come to the realization that, especially given the current economy, people are reluctant to part with their cash.
So what’s the alternative? Long before hard currency existed, bartering was the only way to obtain the necessities of life that you could not provide for yourself. A fair exchange was made to satisfy the needs of both parties involved. Bartering is still a very common method for obtaining what you need. Thanks to the internet, the task has become much easier to advertise your wares and has, in many cases, overcome the limitations of geography.
My personal favorite is Craigslist, which has become the Google in the realm of classified advertising. While there are other sites and networks that exsist solely for the purpose of bringing together people for the purpose of trading, I like Craigslist’s simplicity.
What are your favorite places for trading your stuff for more stuff?