Don’t Shop: Swap!

(MONEY TALKS NEWS) – It’s an idea and a way of doing business without using currency, and it’s making a big return. Trading. These days the Internet makes it easier and the bad economy makes it a better way to shop.

“One time we had our house painted for trade dollars which was excellent, had some carpeting put in and we bought a vacuum with trade dollars,” Dr. David Zionts tells Money Talks News.

Zionts, a Dentist, is all smiles when it comes to swapping instead of shopping. Often times trading his services in return for trade dollars—which he can spend on things or services for himself.

The web facilitates the idea with websites like, TradeSource. Owner Alan Wolfson says, “It’s a lot more popular today, than it was two years ago. I just think it’s a general sense that people can make more money by trading what they have for things they need.”

Wolfson’s company helps small businesses swap both goods and services. There are essentially two types of trade services. Those like Trade Source where you essentially bank your goods and services, then use an artificial currency to buy whatever it is you need.

Then there’s straight swapping: posting what you have and finding what you want on any of dozens of websites from Craig’s List to Caretotrade.

While bartering isn’t as simple as hopping in the car and heading to the mall, it could save you a lot of money. That is if you can spend the time finding a swapping service.

Be careful, you’ll often pay a fee to do it. Still, swapping rather than shopping has at least two things going for it. First, you get the things you want without spending money. Second, you can use some of your unutilized time, or get rid of some stuff you don’t need. For many it’s time well spent and money well saved.

“I’ve probably saved several thousand dollars. I think it’s a great system. I think it’s going back to the old days, where someone would come in with a chicken or a goat and say, can you fix my tooth,” Dr. Zionts said.

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