The sad truth about survival situations is that your resources have limits. If a crisis goes on long enough, it’s likely you’ll run out of something. And chances are that something – whether it be food, water, medicine, etc. – will be important for your very survival.
In this event, you’re going to need to know how to get more supplies. However, nobody will likely have access to the grocery stores and pharmacies we enjoy today.
As such, this is where the skill of bartering is going to make a huge difference. This is when you and someone else agree to trade either good or skills, rather than paying for them with money.
Bartering often doesn’t come naturally, and many people have to practice in order to get better at it.
So, to start learning about this survival skill, you’ll need to know…
The 3 Basics Of Bartering When SHTF
Have Something Worth Trading
It’s crucial to have something that someone else will want. This can be water, food, shelter…some sort of necessity.
Now keep in mind not everyone will want/need your item. So don’t try to trade food with someone who still has an entire stockpile waiting for them at their camp. However, if you have an extra pair of shoes (worn-out or not) and you notice someone who doesn’t have shoes, this is a great opportunity for bartering.
Pick A Bartering Target
Bartering is a bit tricky, because you often can’t barter with just anyone. You need to find someone that has something you want, and who also wants something you have.
This gets easier if you’re both trading basic essentials, such as food and water. However, if you’ve got (or need) a more obscure item, like a certain type of medicine, this can be tricky to find.
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
Unlike in the business world, there’s no “set price” when bartering. The price can go up or down, depending on how you and the other party negotiate.
Negotiating is an artform, though, because you want to walk away with the highest value item possible. To do this, make sure to talk up the item you’re trading, really showing the person how valuable it is TO THEM (not to you). Talk about how useful it is, or how rare it is.
Also, be sure to talk DOWN about the item they have. Mention how the item the other person is trading isn’t all that useful, or is easy to get. This will make them feel they have to “up the ante,” just to impress you.
However, the trick with all this is not to exaggerate too much. In other words, this is no time to be the stereotypical used car salesman.
For instance, if you talk too highly of your item and it doesn’t deliver, that person is going to talk… and it’s likely nobody is going to trust you with future bartering. Or, worse, that person might come looking for you…and look to steal back their item (and even harm you in the process).
Just remember, if you want to ever trade with this person again, the trade needs to be roughly equal. This way, both parties can walk away happy.