4 Reasons Why You Should be Bartering with the Kids

(That’s a picture of my daughter and I.  She ‘s a little young to start bartering, but she’ll be trading barbies before we know it)

This is an interesting concept that was brought up to me at a recent event I was at after I was talking with guy about what I do.  He said “that would be something awesome to do with my son”.  To be completely honest I never really put any thought into trading up being a family event.  The more I started to think of it the more it made perfect sense to me.  In my hotel room I put together a list of why bartering would be great to do with your kids.

Here’s what I got:

1.  It’s cheap if not free. 

 When you are looking at the cost of bartering there really isn’t much.  You are using an item that you already have (unless you intent to buy a starting item).  Really the only other costs are going to be the gas and minor fixes that you have to do to the items that you trade for.  A bucket, soap, water and rags are pretty cheap nowadays.  If you really want to go crazy, you can go buy 98 cent can of spray paint at Home Depot to make your item really pop.  Compare it to taking the kids out to the movies.  How much are the tickets alone going to cost? Then, you know those little monster can’t sit down without wanting popcorn, candy and sodas which will cost you about $450.  I’m joking of course, but you can see how the expenses really ad up.

2.  It teaches them great life lessons. 

Not only will you be teaching them how to find deals and how to haggle, but you will be showing them how to value things.  Then, once you trade an item you can work on it together to show them that with a little elbow grease they can turn a turd into something really nice.  After you are ready to sell the item they’ll see that hard work pays off.

3.  It provides quality time together.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s hard to do family activities nowadays with all the facebooking and tweeting going on.  Bartering is something that you can spend a lot of time together doing.  From looking at what’s newly listed on Craigslist to fixing up an item to traveling to go make a trade.  It’s constantly something new and different which will keep them entertained.

4.  Forget allowances.

Seriously though, why not make it that you guys split the profit?  Or maybe give them all the profit if they stick with it.  Even if they trade up to something worth $500 and cash out, $500 for a kid is like a million dollars to an adult.  I used to pick rocks in a potato field for $5/hr in the middle of the summer.  Yes, it’s what it sounds like.  Literally picking up rocks and putting them in the back of a truck for 8 hours a day.  Anyways, enough about my slave labor past, back to my point.  Trading up to something worth $500 is not that hard to do and I’m sure you can imagine the smile on your kids face when you hand them that amount of money.

Over all bartering can be a great family afire.  There’s no reason you have to go at this alone.  Turn it into a game that everyone can take part in.   Be the cool Mom or Dad that the kids brag about in school when their teacher asks what they did this weekend.

So what do you think?  What are some other reasons to barter with your kids?

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  1. Anna McLane
    1703 days ago

    I understand the concept of bartering but have never really put alot of thought into it. This idea seems to be gaining more and more attention lately. As the parent of an 18mo, this article provided some food for thought in how we will go about teaching our daughter the value of things as well as giving her the opportunity to make some of her own decisions and deciding what is important to her. A great article with definite possibiliites.


  2. kristen shaw
    1703 days ago

    This is a great way to introduce the concept of economics to children… I know I continue to wish I had more experience with the workings of the economy.


  3. lyndon
    1703 days ago

    Yes, you are right, the kid are our hope and you should spend more time with them. enjoy!!


  4. lalal but
    1702 days ago

    Bartering with kids is a lovely concept…It teaches your children a important life skill. This is a quite excellent read for me. Have to admit that you are one on the most effective bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article.

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