Online Barter During Covid-19 (MoneySmart Philippines 2020)

Online Barter During Covid-19  (MoneySmart Philippines 2020)

Everyone has been financially affected by the pandemic, so people are finding creative ways to get what they need without having to spend money. More and more people are joining online barter groups and posting things they no longer need in exchange for food or items.

If you are decluttering and have items that you think other people would want or could still use, why not put them up for online barter?

Why barter online?

A lot of Filipinos found themselves without a job or with limited income flow during this pandemic. Just recently, a group of Filipinos from Iloilo made the news because of their online community where they exchange goods without spending money.

You can barter to get products that you need and cut down costs and personal expenses during these financially challenging times.

How often can you get a bag of groceries for an old bike that’s just stashed in your garage? How cool is it to acquire DVDs in exchange for 1 kilo of mangoes?

Online barter will come in handy when you declutter but don’t want to throw away things that are still valuable to other people. Like the printer that’s just gathering dust in a corner but can still be used by a child for school. In return, they can give you potted herbs or household items, which you really need.

Online barter also promotes a sense of community because you get to liaise with neighbors or meet people from your area you normally wouldn’t. Even when in community quarantine, you can still make new friends during pick-ups or meet-ups.

How do you barter online?

  1. Basically anything that a person can want can be bartered online. But there are certain items that will receive more offers compared to other items.
  2. There are many online barter groups and communities on Facebook. Join the one in your city or town so meetups and pick-ups can be easily arranged.
  3. Take clear photos of the item you want to barter and state which item you prefer to receive for them. If people in your group want what you’re offering, they can comment with their own offers.
  4. Just make sure to state your item’s condition or issues, if there are any, so that people can manage their expectations. If you’re planning to barter a dish organizer with a loose hinge, make sure to put that on your post.
  5. If you’re not interested in the offers, you can politely decline on the comment thread.
  6. Sometimes deals can be made in minutes, and sometimes it will take longer. It really depends on what you’re offering to barter.

Here are some hot ticket items in online barter groups

Groceries (canned goods, powdered milk, fruits, vegetables, etc.) Plants (indoor and outdoor plants, herbs, succulents, etc.)
Bikes Baby stuff (car seats, stroller, crib, carrier, toys, clothes, etc.)
Electronic gadgets and accessories Kitchen tools and equipment (samgyup griller, hand mixer,
Air cooler and electric fan Clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories

Some things to remember when online bartering

Follow the rules

There are admins for these online bartering groups to maintain a safe and friendly environment for its members. Anyone who doesn’t follow the guidelines can be kicked out or banned. This is to avoid confusion and bad bartering experiences.

Avoid negotiating in private messages

This way, other members can see whether your item is still available or you’ve already closed a deal with another member. It’s also to protect members from unrealistic or unfair offers.

You may not always have someone to barter with

Just because you have an item does not mean you will always get something in exchange for it. As there are lots of people posting their items online, yours can easily get lost in the pile. And because posts are approved by group admins, you cannot repost anytime you wish.

There may be a huge difference in value

Unequal bartering is quite common, so don’t expect to get the same value for your item. Sometimes it will be lower, and if you’re lucky, barterers will give you something more valuable.

During this time of pandemic where everyone is struggling financially, remember to barter with generosity and kindness.

There are items that will be automatically declined

Live animals for pets may seem harmless enough. But for sanitary and safety purposes, you cannot barter them online.

The same goes for fake and expired items, as well as used cosmetics. There are also some online barter groups that don’t allow bartering of medical supplies, masks, and PPE.

If you’re planning to barter vaping accessories, alcoholic beverages, or any type of weapon, they will be automatically rejected.

Final Thoughts

Online barter may be a short-term fix during this financial crisis, but it’s certainly a big help to people who are cash-strapped or have lost their jobs.

With just a little rummaging around in your homes, you can find items worth a bag of groceries, a sack of rice, or new seedlings for your backyard garden.

But to be successful at online bartering, you need to get rid of the money mentality. Not everyone has nice and expensive things to barter, so treat everyone with kindness.

And it’s not unheard of to see people in these online barter groups giving away their possessions for free. After all, at the end of the day, it’s better to give than to receive!