Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bartering Online

Love the idea of a web-based barter system for goods and services. It seems fairly basic at this point :

To participate, an individual would start out by applying for an exchange account, VanWyhe said. In the beginning, that person would have no currency but could receive some exchange units — called Trade Dollars — by taking training to understand the system or by volunteering with organizations that have accounts. An individual could also receive currency by doing some work for a neighbor or bartering possessions, VanWyhe said.
With time, some enhancements would seem logical if not inevitable. A exchange rate calculator for instance that tells you how many square feet of lawn mowing equals three hair-cuts so buyers and sellers don't have to worry about getting a fair deal. Similarly being able to exchange Trade Dollars for real currency would be helpful in certain situations.

A barter that could seriously challenge the value of regular currency would need to involve big ticket, consequential items - a piece of property in exchange of a business school degree for instance could be a high-value trade. Both parties in the equation get what they want without money having changed hands at all. With all the talk of depression, recession and the general atmosphere of hopelessness these days, it seems like returning to basics could be a good idea. Maybe we should try bartering for a while and see how that works out.

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