Top Barter Myths

There are several myths that surround bartering. Let’s address some of the most prevalent.


Many people believe incorrectly that bartering exchanges are not taxable. In fact in the United States, these exchanges are taxable. Federal as well as state and local taxes are often applicable and must be paid on any barter transaction.

Argentina waived the taxes on barter agreements during their 2002 financial crisis and it is possible that other nations would follow their example. Of course, in Argentina and elsewhere, the tax status of a bartering arrangement depends on the transaction being reported. While you should report bartering deals for tax purposes as they are considered a taxable form of income, there is little the authorities can honestly do to track bartered deals. Furthermore, in a true survival situation, the powers that be are going to have a lot more to worry about than collecting taxes on barters and trades.

It’s Illegal

Contrary to popular myth, bartering is not illegal.

It’s Expensive

People assume that bartering will drive up the expense when in fact the opposite is often true. Bartering takes out the middleman entirely in some instances, which can significantly reduce the total cost of the item.


Many people think of bartering as something that happened in the olden days before credit cards and the dollar bill. However, people everywhere still bargain, especially after natural disasters or during times of economic crisis. Both offline and online bartering communities are gaining ground every day.


Some people believe there must be a winner and a loser for bartering to occur but this is simply not true. The most rewarding bartering sessions are those in which both parties are able to obtain something they want by giving the other person a thing or service they desire.