Bartering versus selling on craigslist.org is an interesting debate. Should you sell or should you barter? Is one really better than the other? Is there a better chance of not getting ripped off if cash is involved? How do you know what is best for you?
Wow – that is a lot of questions. First, let’s look at the main difference between bartering and selling. Bartering is the exchange of goods or services for an equal exchange of goods or services. There is no cash involved in a barter transaction. It is the oldest form of trade and it predates money. Selling is the exchange of goods or services for cash. This is a newer concept as far as civilization is concerned.
Many people do not fully understand bartering and that is when they get into trouble. You need to really understand the equal value for equal value. If you need a roof and it should cost $2500 and you want to barter for services like accounting then you need to be prepared to offer $2500 in accounting services. This is how bartering works. The best way to be sure that everything goes as agreed upon in to get a written contract for the barter drawn up. Everyone gets a copy and there is written documentation of what is expected from both parties. Putting it in writing is the best way to barter these days. A handshake is not enough to resolve a dispute.
Selling we are all familiar with. You have something another person wants. They give you money, you give them the item or service. It is simple, it is what we understand best, and it too can have disputes arise. Usually, there is no written contract.
Before you enter into any form of transaction on craigslist.org you must understand that unlike some auction sites, there is no safe harbor. Buyer and seller protection does not exist. Sellers and Buyers are not verified, certified, etc. Craigslist.org does not get involved in any way shape or form in the transaction. This is important to know as they will not help you in a dispute.
Knowing that you are on your own in a transaction, you should be sure that you are comfortable with the other party. It does not matter if it is barter or a sale. You must know and understand the terms of the transaction. If you are unfamiliar with how bartering works, then you should read about it and look at what the ads on craigslist.org are about before posting or responding to a barter ad.
If you are selling the same holds true. Do not enter into an agreement in which you are unsure of the terms. You should know what you are getting into. This is very important. Know the buyer or seller well enough to be comfortable with them.
Craigslist.org is a local community. This is a good thing as you can meet with the other party face to face in order to work out an agreement.
Is barter better than selling? When comparing bartering versus selling on craigslist.org is one a better deal? No. you can get a great deal either way if you understand bartering. If you do not then it is best to steer away from it. Selling should be what you stick with if you do not understand bartering.
Overall when comparing bartering versus selling on craigslist.org neither is better. It all depends on the parties involved and how well they understand or do not understand their agreements. If everyone is happy then it was a good deal. If there are constant misunderstandings then something needed to be changed. There is a higher risk of an unequal trade in bartering. It is easy to think that if you spent 3 days upon a hot roof then the accountant you traded services for should at least spend 3 days or more working for you. It all depends on his hourly rate and what you agreed upon. As long as both parties are in agreement bartering is fine. Bartering versus selling on craigslist.org is an interesting debate. It would be nice to see what the statistics were for transaction satisfaction.