Barter has been mentioned in a couple of threads recently. I wanted to take a try at it and I have the time, layed up with a pinched nerve.

I look for items that are inexpensive now, will be needed later and that I can use if needed. Long or indefinite shelf life and don't take up a lot of space. Of course, if you have a lot of space there are more options. I don't smoke or chew and don't have a clue on storing those items, so I'll stay away from them. 

Bartering guns & ammo that can come back to hurt you and alcohol that can lead to problems is almost it's own topic.  These items deserve some special consideration. For example I probably wouldn't trade ammo with a stranger. But I'd trade with my  neighbor for fresh vegetables from his garden. Don't want to be dealing with drunks or alcoholics that are in bad shape, that's just asking for trouble.

Dollar Stores, Harbor Freight (use the coupons and free items), garage sales, thrift stores and samples are all good places to procure what you want at low cost.  Here some items to consider.

BBs and pellets, TP,  feminine hygiene, BICs,  matches. Zippo fuel, wicks, flints, bargain Zippos, canning jars, rings and tools, reading glasses, glasses repair kits. Sewing, fishing items, candles, batteries, manual can openers, work gloves, OTC meds, vitamins, FAK stuff, hand sanitizer, floss, tooth brushes, travel size pers hygiene, low cost knives and tools. Stove fuel, seeds, nails, wire, hardware. Coffee, spices, 1 LB containers sugar and salt.

If you have more space and all ready have enough for yourself, then bulk basic foods would work.  Rice, beans, pasta, peas, flour, corn meal, baking basics are easy to break down into small amounts.

We mentioned skills in another thread. Medical/Dental, sewing/knitting/quilting, gardening, small animals, solar or the ability to purify water all come to mind. Very few people can do everything, so your Mutual Aid Network should include a cross section of skills. Don't forget to include the wives and GF's.



"Keep that cheap, wail'n slut quiet!" A.J. Maggott

Original Post

Screws, locks, chain, bolts & nuts, wire, soldering wire, razorblades and handles for them, twine & 550 paracord. All this can be stored indefinitely.

Prepare to provide simple services also, knife sharpening, sharpening of drills or other tools, for example in the general population are few who can sharpen a sawblade, or have a propper file and device to set off the teeth.

In addition to places like Harbor Freight and dollar stores for acquiring things, my wife and I have been going to garage and estate sales.

The type of items that we have seen is amazing, and the prices even more so.We've found all sorts of cooking and canning equipment, metal fuel cans, manual gardening equipment, as well as other types of old-fashioned manually operated equipment, tools and hardware accessories. Hell, I was even able to buy two new 5 gallon metal Kerosene cans full of Kerosene!

Among the things that we have learned are

  • There is a difference between urban and rural sales. Rural sales often have the "barn find" types of things that can be used for many situations. Urban sales can be similar if it is from an older person/house/neighborhood. Otherwise, urban sales result in more modern items.
  • With estate sales, prices can vary depending on who is doing the sale. Family may charge the maximum price for items because that is what they find with their quick and limited research. Sale companies are more experienced with trends, so they price appropriately-the purpose being to make money for themselves and the family.
  • Regardless of who is doing the estate sale, prices are highest on the first day. By the last day, prices drop in order to sell off the remaining belongings. Haggling works well, especially as the day goes on. Again, the purpose being to make everyone money, but also to eliminate as many of the items as possible. We have had some of our best luck in the last hours on the last day of a sale.




If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.


"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA


"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves


JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

I put back bulk salt, granulated sugar, and hard candy for this purpose. Its super cheap, but worth 'everything', maybe, someday. Well, not the candy, but its cheap and easy. And will be scarce.

I also think hard grains would be useful, but those fit into a category I call ,"Can't have enough of" - so I would prize them above a future trade value - if that makes sense?

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