Making the Trade: The Art of Barter - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Making the Trade: The Art of Barter


MADISON (WKOW)--Many people and small businesses have had to get creative to survive in and after the Great Recession.

Instead of cash, they're using what they sell to pay for what they need.

Today, barter has become a way of life for a growing number of individuals and small businesses that find themselves with less, in some cases a lot less, cash.

Maryjo Mangan is owner of Badger Barter; a local trade exchange with about 600 local small businesses. They range from dentists and plumbers to restaurants and health clubs.

"We're a business to business trading, we find them new business and help them get what they need without spending cash," she says. "I would say we're signing up an average of 10-15 businesses a month."

Bob Schenk is with IMS, another trade exchange network with almost 500 southern Wisconsin members. When members provide goods or services to other network businesses, the cost of that goes down as a credit in their trade account.

"Business is down, they need more sales, their cash flow is not what they like it to be. The only thing that's gonna change to help cash flow is brand new sales," says Schenk.

For individuals, barter can seem harder. For one thing, you might not think you have anything to offer in trade. That's where places like Madison Hours and the Dane County Timebank come in.

"There's always things that people can offer, and we work with people to help them identify that. it's common for people to think they have no skills, but everybody does," says the Timebank's Lorrie Herckes.

Madison Hours is a similar time cooperative; it does charge a $10 fee to join.

If you decide to barter on your own, make sure everyone is clear on the details, or get it in writing.

Click the camera icon to watch our entire report.



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