First experience bartering

So I have written before about being overrun with oregano. The suggestion was given to sell it. After posting online on several local sites sort of like Craigslist...absolutely nobody contacted me. Mind you, I was offering a huge bag of oregano (picked just before delivery) that was grown without any artificial fertilizers or pesticides for 100 yen. (For those of you in the States, one dollar is 130 yen at the current exchange rate.) Oregano is not even available at most grocery stores, but if you do find it, you get a couple small springs for 200 yen or so. The problem is that people just do not use it in everyday cooking. So then I started offering it for free to friends, but nobody wants it. Soon I will be paying people to take it, I thought to myself. Then I got the idea to post online that I would trade oregano for fruit (whatever you have), and finally have got a taker. I gave away a huge bag of oregano for a bunch of strawberries and some other fruit. I still could do with giving/ trading/ selling more, but the garden just got a little more breathing room with the bag that I traded. I hope to be able to barter again. 😁


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My husband usually does all the bartering for us. He is very good at it. I have little experience and no confidence in that area. It is something I would like to learn to do well.

    @Kuri and Kona is it possible that you received no response to your first postings because you were under valuing your oregano? I know around here if someone is selling something for far less than expected most people assume there is something wrong or that it is poor quality.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bartering is great because we don't always have available cash but, if you have a garden, we usually have something to share.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not surprised that it's difficult to get people to buy something they aren't already using, but I am surprised that you had trouble getting people to take some for free to try it out.

    There is actual research showing that free is perceived as a special price. Even the difference between 1 cent and free has a very large impact on buy/don't buy behavior. So it's very powerful to give something away for free to get people to try it.

    I'm glad you found someone willing to trade. It's often easier to arrange a formal barter or informal swap than to get someone to pay cash. Somehow using cash makes it more "serious" and people get more hesitant.

    I suppose Japanese cooking isn't oriented toward oregano. It's more the Mediterranean cuisines that put oregano front and center.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    The whole idea of bartering is of great interest to me, but it's still something I don't do much of ... yet. I think the challenge for me comes with the fact that I am in a moment in life when I'm trying to get rid of stuff rather than get more stuff. So maybe I could barter, as @Kuri and Kona did, for plants, fruits, veggies, etc. Hmmm. Bartering for plants could be challenging for me to resist. I've only got one proper south-facing window and it's already pretty full. But I dunno. I could probably fit a few more houseplants on there.... :D

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter If you could barter away the stuff you are trying to get rid of, assuming it's still useful to someone, you could exchange it for food to eat immediately or plants to plant in your garden. Win win!

    Barter doesn't have to be formal. It could be sort of a "cast your bread upon the waters and see what comes back to you." Surely your neighbors have some foods or plants they'd be happy to share in return for some of your no-longer-used items?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    @Merin Porter Your houseplant addiction sounds like mine. 😇 But they can be beautiful, & they can clean the air, you can use them for food or medicine...or tea...or...

    There are many reasons to keep collecting (or bartering those even).

  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    @Michelle D That could certainly be true. But people won`t even take it for free. I am thinking of just bringing some to friends and saying, `Here, I brought you some oregano! Here is how you use it!`

    @VermontCathy Culturally speaking, there are no `free gifts` in Japan. It is expected that you would give something back of equal value in the near future. Even when I have gone to visit people in the hospital, I am given a gift in the near future after they are released to 'compensate' me for the trouble. So sometimes people are dismayed to get a nice gift, because they may not be in a good position to pay it back. But as for why people online who don`t know me didn`t want it, my guess is that it wasn`t worth the train fare to come get something that they weren`t sure they could even use.

    @Merin Porter After my one successful attempt, I want to barter all the stuff in my house that I don`t really need or want. We`ll see how it goes. 😁

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    I wonder if I could just make a post that showed what I'm trying to get rid of, specified some of the items I'd be interested in bartering for -- house or garden plants, etc. -- and just see what people offer in return? In fact, that might be something fun to try....

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    In an ad, I would give a basic idea of what I might prefer to see in exchange, yet still say I'm open to other things as well.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    I just contacted a lady selling fly fishing gear who had also expressed interest in some chickens. I'm seeing if she would be interested in a trade. We'll see, but it's fun to at least ask her!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    @Merin Porter I used to do this at craft sales when I was selling herbal honey.

    During down times or even just before the sale began, I would walk around to do some bartering. That was really fun and I found a lot of interesting handmade items from a variety of talented artists!

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    Bartering is fun and I have done it before but these posts have given me some ideas. After cleaning out one of my gardens I ended up with 4 large bags of greens.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 994 ✭✭✭✭

    @Kuri and Kona if I was local I'd have bought 2 bags at that price! 😊 What a generous offer. Too bad people don't recognize the medicinal value of what you're offering.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Back when I was doing some craft fairs, I loved to barter. Got some really cool, beautiful things that way.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bartered a section of my backyard creekside as a camping space in trade for the land being brushhogged and help getting the barn cleaned up. It fell in a few years back

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Kuri and Kona Yes, culture can make a big difference in what gifts are wanted or not wanted, how it is appropriate to give or receive them, and so forth.

    This is true even in different regions of the US.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 721 ✭✭✭✭

    I offered a lady that sells honey in quart jars a couple of cases of jars for a discount on some honey. It still would've been to her advantage, but she said no! I was like stunned- so I just didn't even buy any honey. It was really weird. Just like no one accepting free oregano- that is weird.

    My spearmint needs a few good homes- it is dominating in several areas of my garden. I envisioned keeping it under control better than this.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,088 ✭✭✭✭

    @Kuri and Kona Congratulations! Bartering is a grand solution---win/win for both parties!