Scouting Ahead–How Planning Your Negotiations Can Increase Your Profit or Lower your Cost

Planning is the first step to a successful barter or trade. It increases the likelihood of a successful negotiation substantially and is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a positive outcome.

Determining Value (Is it Worth My Cash or My Time?)

Bartering is a skill people use every day whether they realize it or not. Some people never advance beyond the basic bartering skills of going to a store and exchanging their money for the items on the store shelf. However, they are still bartering. They exchanged their time and effort to someone to obtain the money they exchanged for goods that the owner of the store had bartered to obtain in a similar way.

This chain of bartering is extensive as very few people trade directly with one another anymore. Everyday people decide if the cost of an item is worth the time and effort it took to earn the money to pay for it. Granted, some people never put a great deal of thought into their transactions and those people will find it more difficult to transition into a world fueled by a pure barter system.

To practice your bartering skills look at every purchase you make. Consider how much time it took you to earn the money you will spend. Is the new CD, movie, or dinner out with friends really worth the time you spent? If you begin looking at all of your transactions this way it will soon become second nature and you may find you would rather spend your time differently.

Let’s say you make $52,000 every year and you want to purchase a new computer that retails for about $3,000. If you are able to use modern day bartering skills of coupons bargain shopping to lower the price to $2,000 you will have saved a week’s worth of work. This is substantial! Imagine what you could do with an extra week of free time.

In a survival situation your time becomes far more valuable than the dollars assigned to it in a stable society. Look at what it will take for you to replace the goods you will be bartering with or the time you will be giving. Make sure that what you will be receiving in return is worth the loss of these things or learn to walk away.