Tuesday, August 28, 2012

40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World

Gaye Levy, Contributor
Activist Post

Do you know how to barter? In preparedness circles, the term barter is used lot when describing a post SHTF situation when goods and services may no longer be available through normal channels. According to Wikipedia, "barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money".

A lot of people think of bartering as something to do when they are down and out, perhaps unemployed, or low on cash. But nothing could be further from the truth. Bartering has been around for eons and is simply a smart way to acquire goods and services under the radar screen.

Today I would like to share some very simple tips for bartering as well as my own suggested list of items and skills that may be useful for barter in a post-collapse economy.

How does simple barter work?

In a simple barter, you look for someone who is looking for a particular kinds of goods or services in exchange for goods or services that you may want. For example, let’s say you do plumbing work but you need a some gardening equipment. A simple barter would be exchanging some plumbing repairs for a used plow or rototiller.

The Best Items to Use For Barter in a Post-Collapse World...

Getting started is easy. One of the simplest things to do is to put up a small ad on the local community bulletin board, perhaps at the grocery store or bowling alley. (And by the way, I don’t know why but bowling alleys are particularly good for this sort of thing.) You can also peruse Craigslist or the Little Nickel want ads for people trying to sell the item you need. The next step is to simply phone them and ask and suggest a trade.

One of the very best ways to barter, though, is to put the word out among like-minded friends, relatives and neighbors. Let them know what you have for trade and see what they offer in return. What I am describing here is bartering in its most simplistic form but I think you get the gist.

Beyond simple bartering there are more complicated and dare I say sophisticated scenarios such as three-way barters and barter clubs. But that gets beyond the scope of this article which is merely to get you into the bartering mindset.

There are a lot of different opinions as to what items will be best for barter in a post-collapse world where the underground economy may be the only viable economy for the passing of goods and services. That said, consider this a starting point as you begin to acquire goods for barter.

In no particular order, consider accumulating some of the following items for barter purposes. And keep in mind that in a post-collapse world, the items do not necessarily have to be new, but simply serviceable.
  1. Water purification supplies including purification tabs and filters
  2. Hand tools including hatchets, saws, machetes and general fix-it tools
  3. Fire making supplies, including lighters, matches, flint fire steel
  4. Sanitary supplies including toilet paper, feminine products and diapers
  5. Disposable razors and razor blades
  6. Fuel, any and all kinds (gas, diesel, propane, kerosene)
  7. Prescription drugs, painkillers, and antibiotics
  8. First aid remedies such as cough syrup, cortisone cream, boil-ese, calamine lotion and topical pain relievers
  9. Spirits such as bourbon, rum, gin, and vodka
  10. Coffee and tea (instant coffee is okay)
  11. Solar battery charger and rechargeable batteries
  12. Standard Batteries
  13. Reading glasses
  14. Paracord
  15. Bags, including large garbage bags as well as smaller zip-close bags
  16. Plastic sheeting
  17. Duct tape
  18. Tie Wraps
  19. Heavy plastic sheets and tarps
  20. Toiletries including toothpaste, dental floss soaps, shampoo (tip: save those small sized toiletries that are provided by hotels and motels)
  21. Condoms
  22. Latex or Nitrile gloves in a variety of sizes
  23. Hard candy
  24. Fishing supplies
  25. Knives of various types including fixed blades, kitchen knives, and box cutters
  26. Condiments and Spices
  27. Paperback books on a variety of subjects
  28. Tobacco and cigarette rolling supplies
  29. Amusements such as playing cards, crossword puzzle books, Sudoku
  30. Pencils & paper
  31. Pepper spray
  32. Garden seeds
  33. Flashlights
  34. Vinegar and baking soda to use in DIY cleaning supplies
  35. Empty spray bottles and squirt bottles
  36. Hand pumps for both air and liquids
  37. Mylar blankets and tents
  38. Hand warmers
  39. Sewing and mending supplies
  40. Knitting or crochet needles and yarn

One thing you will notice that I have not included firearms or ammo and for good reason. In a post-collapse society, you might not know your barter partners well and may run the risk that they will use these items against you so that they can steal the rest of your stuff. One person’s opinion, anyway.

A Caveat for Businesses

As you get started with bartering in a pre-collapse world – and after all, like any other survival skill, you should hone your skills now.

Keep in mind that in the United States, the IRS does have some rules for business bartering and most certainly states probably do as well as it pertains to Business and Occupation taxes. Just something to keep in mind.

The Final Word

Times are tough. Many are unemployed. And many have had their retirement funds decimated by the sneaky (and dare we say corrupt?) Wall Street types. Perhaps you have a useful skill. Or perhaps you have a healthy flock of egg-laying chickens that provide more than you can consume. Whatever you have in excess capacity, now is the time to learn to trade your skill or extra commodities for something you either need or covet.

There are lots of resources online, at the libraries, and in eBooks to help you acquire bartering skills. Start small but start now. Bartering is the “in” thing to do these days.

Read other articles by Gaye Levy here.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us.

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Anonymous said...

Excellent shopping list!

SD said...

Maybe start with food? A generator? and a lot of silver so you can buy your way out of the country to a place where things are still good without you having to play hobo over there.

Anonymous said...

Any and all recreational drugs including cannabis, heroin, amphetamines.

Anonymous said...

cloth diapers**
lets start anew by not building mounds trash=)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Don't forget the weed!

Anonymous said...

Colloidal Silver generators, heirloom Seeds, ammo and superfoods like Spirilina and Hempseeds are high grade tradeables

Anonymous said...

tire repair kits, scissors, tweezers, radios, grain and meat grinders, magnifying glass, silver, coal for water filter, aloe vera, socks and underware, shoes, nails, spatulas, mason jars and lids, wrist rockets, wire cutters, citronella candles, worms, tobacco seeds, tuques, gloves, glue.

Dog Food, plywood, bikes, wagons and wheelbarrow, ax and mauls, fire wood, bolt cutters, cast iron cookware, shovels, coveralls, disposable raincoats, chicken wire.

And don't forget honey buckets and portable toilets (read obituaries and you'll find free ones in the alleys or at retirement homes)

Calvin said...

I'd have the little ceramic water filters, compasses, Vitamin C, and a bunch of sleeping bags, as well as what you have. Cheap binoculars would be great. And--magnifying glasses (Sherlock Holmsian, not spectacles.).

My gramps told me of a man who came out to Idaho on the Oregon Trail in the same wagon train as gramps' parents. The guy's wagon was extremely heavy, as they found every time it got stuck. When the man got to where he would stop to live, he ripped up the false bottom in his wagon. It was filled with hundreds of pairs of scissors! He made a fortune.

Anonymous said...

#1 Should be shielding microwave laser and mind control weapons. If you can't control your mind then all the rest is won't matter. A few tips.
These are all cheap and been helpful for me.

1)Cover thru nose to hypothalamus access with metal shoe horn or spoon and decorate with copper ground wire. Best held on with rubber band that fits you. Also wear protective hat for thru top of skull entry. The hat is best lined with copper pennies (circa. 1981 and previous) and thick metal trading pins.

2)V2K is hampered while wearing a cap by using copper mesh wrapped in tin foil. This should cover both TMJ areas and back of skull to restrict cerebellum entry. This should reach just above trap muscles.*

3) Place an aluminum cookie sheet on top of couch or chair behind your head to hamper cerebellum entry. Also perps hate rocking chairs.

4)If driving, place a CD holder for car visors on all visors with reflective side of CD's out and holder flipped toward sky. This hampers reading of forehead(PET scan)and blinds perps.

5)Cover forehead or back of skull with a strip of t-shirt that has 3 in. diameter buttons decorated in copper ground wire and magnets then wrapped in tin foil. These buttons are also good at defending teeth attacks. Also a vcr tape silk bandana hampers images and dreams. This video is very helpful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1tTf2uL-Tc

6)Add a surge protector to tv and cable box plug-ins for easy turn off when not in use. This should reduce ELF wave transmissions.

7)To eliminate ions in area burn candles or run an ionizer.

8)Car heat deflector is useful to put behind car seat and head to hamper cerebellum entry.

9)A case of aluminum can soft drinks is a good shield for wherever.

10)Wearing gloves and not moving hands messes up their tactile ques and breaks down part of this hynosis.

11) When attacked clapse hands behind your head covering cerebellum and bend elbows to cover TMJ areas and lean forward and look down. Practice this because they will try to block memory. Tilting head on a forty-five degree angle throws off most laser entries.

12)This technology was perfected for driving and attacking drivers, when head is fixed and hands are occupied you are vulnerable. When attacked and unprotected check rearview mirrors and lean on arm rest. Tilt head on an angle.

Refuse the mark!

*Bronze mesh is cheaper and 90% copper.

May the Lord Jesus Christ shield and protect us all.

"Because you have kept my order to be patient, I will also keep you safe from the time of trouble which is coming upon the whole world, to test all the people on the earth." Rev. 3:10 (TEV)

Violet Palmer said...

@ SD

The article is about items to barter.

Daren Criswell said...

Generator and an electric ice machine can do just about anything food/drink wise! Then you can barter the extra ice you can bag up for other goods!

Anonymous said...

PREPARE NOW: 1) WATER filtration/purification system, 2) (Organic) FOOD storage, to get you through 6 months to 1 year, 3) SEEDS, non-gmo, non-hybrid, 4) EXTRA MEDICINE(S), ASPIRIN, multi-vitamins, etc., 5) EXTRA PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS, 6) DURABLE CLOTHING, especially work boots, pants, shirts (buy Made in USA), 7) PMs, SILVER & a little gold BULLION (coins, rounds, bars), 8) Barter items - alcohol, liquor, cigarettes, chocolate, BLEACH, SALT, Organic Maple Syrup, etc., and any other items (such as those on the list above) that may become highly sought-after, during a total economic shutdown - where even trucks aren't routinely delivering food, or supplies to local stores. DO THE ABOVE, AT A MINIMUM - and, you'll be in MUCH better shape, than the masses of un-informed Americans, who actually believe we are in a 'recovery', right now! It's been 4 years, since the 'downturn' of 2008 - AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Imagine what A GLOBAL DEPRESSION would be like!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see all these lists of things to stockpile. So, where would a person store stuff like this? Most of it needs to be in a cool, dark, dry place. If elec. is not working, cool can be a problem. Salt hates humidity. Seeds don't store long if in the heat/humidity/light. Some things don't store well for very long - like bleach. Even certain veg. seeds don't keep for very long even when stored good. Like spinach and corn seed. After the first year, they go downhill in germination real fast. And what do you do if everyone knows you have stuff to "barter"? How do you protect yourself and your property/family from being attacked? I did a lot of reading on what it was like in Argentina after the economic collapse down there in the early 2000's. People out in the rural areas not only were attacked and had everything stolen, they were also being raped/murdered. Even in town this was happening (might still be, don't know). Not sure what the answer is really...a lot to think about and plan before actually investing worthless dollars in stuff to barter, in my humble opinion...

Anonymous said...


That is who you'll be dealing with when the shtf. In times like this, people become zombie animals in order to survive just one more day.

It will be gangs looking to take whatever they find whether from other zombies or still functioning people who prepared.

Can't quite get your head around that, view footage of chaos, riots, looting and thats the order of the day.

Anonymous said...

If you're technically inclined, consider leaning about Mesh Wi-fi networks, which can provide coverage for a local area to communicate with each other if wider Internet is unavailable.

Once you have the basics of mesh networking in place, older wi-fi cards and routers can be used as parts to build such a network, and as such, could be useful items for barter.

Anonymous said...

uhh...marijuana..only the oldest human medicine...retards

Anonymous said...

or maybe opium??? plant it from poppy seeds...think a little harder people..

Anonymous said...

all you need is a couple of guns, bullets, and a willingness to eat human flesh. Then you should be alright until someone equally suited takes you out- which won't be long.

Anonymous said...

Porn, lots of porn. Jerkins lotion and viagra, by the jars. Oh and spanish fly and shark fins.

Anonymous said...

Good list except the list is IN the FAR wrong order! Food, batteries, flashlights, Defensive and ALL first aid supplies first.

Who made this list?

They must be very comfy with ZERO experience at hand!!

hardscrabble farmer said...

Condoms but not firewood?

I live in a bater economy (about 1/2 of everything we produce on the farm winds up bartered for goods, trades or services) and firewood is the number one item on our list, after that is meats, maple products and weaned livestock.

Just sayin'.

Dead Horse said...

If society crashes, so will crash the infrastructure that keeps all the nuclear power plants from going into meltdown. 450+ facilities all simultaneously in a state of runaway meltdown will release so much radiation that virtually all life on the planet will die. End of story and there's no way around this.

There will be no Mad Max and no Queen of Bartertown. Just a world covered with radioactive corpses lying in drying puddles of their own crap and puke. There's absolutely no possibility whatsoever that anyone will survive. And those who have self-contained underground retreats will only survive as long as their supplies last, and then they too will die. The Earth will become a dead world from pole to pole.

Because of all the nuclear power plants, there will be no post-apocalypse tomorrow.

Are you starting to suspect that nuclear power plants might not be a very good idea?

Dead Horse said...

I would like to add item #41... cyanide pills. Or whatever else that will enable one to suicide gracefully as opposed to dying very unpleasantly from radiation sickness.

After the 450+ nuclear power plants have gone into simultaneous meltdown, the previous 40 items won't mean diddly squat. You'll be too busy vomiting and having uncontrollable diarrhea to care about them.

Just saying.

Dead Horse said...

Ps. One last thing... a note to those who are doing the "surviving the apocalypse" fantasy routine, the nuclear power plants DO exist and therefore they HAVE to be taken into account and how this or that is or isn't going to affect them going into meltdown.

If you don't take them into account, then you haven't really accomplished anything at all.

Obviously, no nukes is good nukes. Building all those damn plants is truly one of the very stupidest things humans have ever done.

Anonymous said...

I hope that you all understand that dead horse totally is correct... It won't go away because you don't want to plan for it.. It's the number one threat, if you plan to have a bugout.. Make sure it's mobile and that you have iodide and survey meters.. But if it goes full retard then I would be sure to have a bov that sails.. And sails far away from the northern hemisphere! Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

Building the nuke plants made billions for some and it created nuclear bombs. But there are billions to be made growing hemp and using hemp to replace, cotton, wood, paper, plastics, oil for cars and seeds for nutrition. There is probably no single product that has so many uses and it would end the need for hydro, coal, oil and nuclear power plants, because hemp grows to 16 foot and you can grow two crops a year. If some billionaire would decide to start manufacturing the hemp it would chahge the world.

Anonymous said...

no ammo? no med kits? the authors need to check there med levels no cheer leaders? sweet and tasty with half the calories of ham!!!!!

William Jeffrey Fitzhugh said...

This is what they are going to do. They are going to their mountain resorts and detonate several nukes on fault lines and cause a dozen volcanoes to spew their garbage for several months. This will block out the Sun and freeze everything and no food can be grown outside. So you better have a place you can hunker down and have enough fire wood to last a couple years and enough food, because you will not be able to find food. You got enough food for six months you are in trouble. If they do this inside one year 5 billion will be dead. All city slickers will be finished, because hordes of people will break into homes to steal their food.

Anonymous said...

In a scenario like that, I see consistent groups of people (say from 20 to 60, either NRA civilians or army or police) heavily armed, who instead or "bartering" will just shoot you dead and take all your precious goods.

deathsythe said...

" In a post-collapse society, you might not know your barter partners well and may run the risk that they will use these items against you so that they can steal the rest of your stuff"


And you would never come to a trade or barter situation without a friend or two of your own, but two legged and .45 caliber variety.

Anonymous said...

Pallets of Coke and or Pepsi. Store ice cubes. Ice will be in big demand. A bunch of those fancy drink umbrellas too. If you can't find those, then the plastic mermaids that hang from the rim of the glass are better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, the Fuc-U-shima melt downs are the gift that keeps on giving. That puts an expiration date on most living things on this planet. Rest easy, because no matter what happens, we always have that blessing to think about. Just think, no more pain, suffering, worries about survival. Who wants to be alive when things get so bad anyhow?

Anonymous said...

This is a great article about bartering! In my opinion bartering is more than just an 'in' thing. It's a new line of business. There are a lots of web sites where you can trade what you want for what you have. I am a member of barterquest.com and apart from trading for goods and services I also trade for real estate.

Sue said...

Read the book One Second After by William R. Forstchen---very enlightening, not an easy read-took me a week as I could not take large amounts of it. Best thing, no matter what, is to get right with God-this present earth is only a vapor, where your soul spends eternity is more important. You think this worlds' possibilities is bad, hell is infinitely worse as you never die but suffer endlessly if you do not give your heart to Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Dead Horse may be correct about the nuclear meltdown, but it's amazing what can be avoided if you have a deep earth shelter and food/water so you don't have to be on the surface for a month!! Also, if you don't have a cool, dry, dark place to store seeds and the like, dig a hole in the back yard and bury a waterproof container.

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