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Cash After the Collapse: Maximizing Your Bartering Potential

This bartering guide will provide basics with a common-sense no nonsense approach that will enable you to maximize your potential in a post-collapse event.


Hey there, Ready Nutrition Readers!  I hope you enjoyed Part 1 on post-societal-collapse barter.  Today’s article is going to delve more into the specifics of what you’ll need to do and how the providing of services can also be “banked” for your use.  There are many fine reference materials to be found, especially some comprehensive lists that go into minute detail.  We want to provide basics here with a common-sense no nonsense approach that will enable you to maximize your potential.

Some Items Should Not Be Bartered

First, I wish to state some of the things that JJ does not think are good ideas to trade, and the reasons why.  They are as follows:

  1. Alcohol/spirits: the only way it should be traded is if it is to be used as either a base for a tincture, or for antiseptic/anesthetic purposes. For just a drink? You do not need to “feed” anyone’s alcohol addiction.  When it runs out, they will return…again and again…maybe not so nicely every time.
  2.  Bullets: JJ states absolutely only if you are bartering to family or someone you can trust implicitly with your life, because that is what you are doing. BULLETS THAT ARE BARTERED CAN COME BACK AT YOU!
  3.  Highly-sought medicines: This would include your antibiotics, such as cephalosporins and your penecillins. Remember: after the collapse you are not a medical dispensary nor a pharmacy. You need to be able to take care of your family first!  Surpluses of these are not easily found.
  4.  Additionally to this last category I must add any special medications for a special need of a family member.  Many of you may disagree with this mindset; however, you are welcome to practice charity on your own terms.  They are your supplies.  I merely point out that if you do not take care of your family first you are doing them a disservice.  You will have to weigh what you wish to do with your survival and that of your family.  There are many comprehensive lists that you can come up with for bartering materials.  Small things, such as matches, sewing kits, small first-aid supplies (such as band aids, aspirin, etc.) are always  barter friendly and hold their value.

Services are just as important as goods.  If you have special training and skills, you need to do several things in order to market them in service for supplies you may need.  Such things are as follows:

  1. Ensure you have certificates and diplomas to attest to your level of training. Photocopy them and laminate a copy to protect it.
  2. All school and training records (especially summaries that explain the parameters of your field of training) should be copied and a laminated copy kept for perusal
  3. Identification cards and a payroll stub (the latter to document you serving in your role, the former to prove it is you) should also be available

These bona-fides can be supplemented with things such as military service records (DD Form 214, Certificate of Honorable Discharge), letters of reference, etc., all can corroborate your ability to perform a service.  And what services are we talking about?  All of the medical professions (doctors, dentists, RN’s, CNA’s, etc.) can be highly sought after in a post-collapse scenario.  Your trades (carpenter, mechanic, plumber, etc.) are equally valuable in the right sets of circumstances.  The biggest challenge you will find is to match what you need with a person who needs your services.

Delivering the Goods

Another of JJ’s rules:  Let them pay/deliver the goods, or place the goods in front of your eyes before you do the job!  Have you ever seen the movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” with Humphrey Bogart?  Boy, did those guys get worked over…working a month and then the guy wanted to stiff them on the dough!  You do not need for that to happen!  Also, when performing this service, you need an “assistant” that in reality is your security guard.  You do not need to be grabbed and then exhorted by force to perform labor.

Skills are important, and they are something that can put bread and butter on your table if you market them wisely.  Another important consideration for all of this friendly exchange is that you are not trading on Sesame Street!  This is a post-collapse environment!  You must make sure that the area where exchanges are to take place are safe for you.  Always in a neutral place.  Never in or near your home!  The “friendly exchange” on the front porch can suddenly become a raid on your home.  Avoid that at all costs.

In addition you do not want anyone…I mean anyone…to see what you have and where you keep it.  These may seem the most rudimentary of fundamentals; however, I can assure you it is that lack of maintaining them that are usually the first things to get a person killed or cause him to lose all that he has.  When trading with people, “vet” them as best you can, and always…always…have security watching both them and watching out for anyone who may be lurking around nearby.

Part 3 will give you a method for setting up with “shop” in your safe location and a few tips on how to get out of Dodge if that location becomes compromised.  Until then, take care and have a good day!




This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on June 22nd, 2015