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Pseudo Bartering

How to Build Wealth from What You Already Have

The propensity to barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animal — Adam Smith

Bartering is the act of exchanging one commodity for another; and it was the earliest form of commerce before the advent of currency. The problem with bartering is that you must find a fit in someone who has something that you need and needs something that you have. Into this picture comes pseudo-bartering. Pseudo-bartering is the act of selling something you no longer need to finance something that you do need.

When it comes to building wealth my philosophy is to be a needs-based purchaser and accumulate as few things as possible. This makes me an anomaly. According to Joshua Becker of Forbes Magazine, people today are conditioned to buy more than they need. He goes on to state that the average American home has grown from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet, personal storage generates $24 billion in revenue each year, people consume twice as many material goods today than they did in 1970; and we do all this with an average of nearly $16,000 in credit-card debt. Too many people today waste money on new toys, not because they need them, but because they think a new shiny object will them happy. Sadly, like drug addiction, that happiness quickly wanes, and people move on to the next fix ─ another new toy. Meanwhile, the toy they just tired of wastes away in a closet or storage facility.

People consume twice as many material goods today then they did in 1970. And they do this with an average of nearly $16,000 in credit card debt

I always try to find a bargain, even when I do need something. This does not mean I buy items based solely on price. My philosophy is to pay for quality because quality items last a lifetime. Therefore, I will often pay more for something than most people. That being said, if I can wait for a sale and get a quality item for twenty dollars less, then I will. You may be thinking, "Big deal. It is only twenty dollars.” Say that five hundred times, and you will find that you whittled away $10,000 of your wealth. The way I look at it: If I save twenty dollars, then I am twenty dollars richer today than I was yesterday. When I say that five hundred times, I find myself $10,000 richer. This is how you accumulate wealth people. Stop waiting for that big break, get smart, and adopt a different attitude.

Say "It's only twenty dollars" 500 times and you will have whittled away $10,000 of your wealth

I am also a big believer in cost neutrality (see my other blog The Power of Cost Neutrality). This is where pseudo-bartering comes into play. Before purchasing a new item, I will attempt to cover the cost by pseudo-bartering something I already have. For instance, I am currently preparing to produce a vlog. This required that I purchase the following items for my studio:

$210 - High-end Webcam

$315 - Quality Microphone

$178 - Greenscreen

$703 - Total Spend

Before I spent $703, I took inventory of items that I have not touched for over a year. I find that if I do not use an item for over a year, then it is unlikely I will ever use it again. These items were a professional carpet cleaning extractor (a hold over from a business I used to own), a punching bag that I can no longer use due to a shoulder injury, and some gardening supplies. I listed these on Facebook Marketplace. I hate to promote Facebook, but I must admit that when it comes to pseudo-bartering the use of Facebook Marketplace practically guarantees success. Best of all, they do not charge a fee. Next, I used Facebook Marketplace to find the same green screen in new-never-opened condition. This brought my costs down to $614. Within a week, I sold the items and financed my vlogging studio without loosing a penny in net worth.

Thanks to pseudo-bartering I was able to finance my vlogging studio in a week without loosing a penny in net worth

People often think I am rich because I buy quality items and act like money is no object when I am out on the town. What they do not know is that I can afford to live like money is no object the 2% of the time when I am out on the town because I work every angle to save every penny the other 98%. And let me tell you, those pennies add up fast.

Quick Tip: If an item doesn’t garner any interest of Facebook Marketplace after a week; then, before lowering your price, raise your asking price by $10 and pay Facebook $6 for a 3-day campaign to boost the listing.



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Apr 16, 2022

Great strategy. Wish more folks would adapt this way of living. Another thought, having too much “stuff” weighs you down mentally, let alone monetarily.

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