With many people fearing a total dollar collapse, it’s easy to see that if the U.S. will fall down on its knees, all its citizens will go back to a bartering society, meaning trading goods and services with other goods and services.
Even if the dollar survives, you can still use the advice I’m going to give you to successfully negotiate monetary transactions, to be able to give your family food, water, medicine and anything else they might need.
#1. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal.
As long as you’re not desperate to make the trade, walking away is always an option. Not just to pressure the other guy into accepting your terms but because there might be much better deals for you out there.
Yes, this implies you have to keep looking. It also means you have walk home empty handed and tell your spouse and kids you didn’t get it. But, like I said, if you don’t really need the item, this strategy alone could get you some pretty sweet deals in the long run.
#2. Start with a lowball offer.
This works in conjunction with my previous tip. As long as you’re ready to walk away from the deal, you can afford to set the tone with a really low offer that will get the other guy to start with a “price” that’s lower than he or she wanted.
Many people make the mistake of thinking they’ll just meet the other guy in the middle. They do it because they’re lazy and don’t want to think they can do better… but that’s not how things work. If you want good deals, you need to get a little greedy.
#3. Give them a bonus.
There’s something about bonuses that make deals look better. Of course, you should know in advance what you can and cannot give them because you don’t want to trade any of the essential things that you or your family might need later on.
Maybe you can take several bonuses with you before you leave the house? Ideally, they have to be something you can get plenty of, maybe something renewable such as clean water, fish, vegetables or even your skills.
Proof is one of those things you can never have enough of. However, even with such a simple thing, people can still screw up. You definitely don’t want to look like you’re not sure about it and you definitely do not want to lie.
When you have real proof, you also want to walk and talk like your offer is the most valuable thing on the planet. This will not only increase your chances of getting a good deal but will also, give credibility to your proof (keep in mind you might not always be able to prove what you say).
#5. Be a good source of information.
If you can provide valuable information to the other party, they’re more likely to buy. You’re earning their trust and they’ll come to the conclusion that your price must also be fair… all on their own.
For example, if the other guy doesn’t know much about prepping and you’re bartering some duct tape or Paracord, you can teach them about all their possible alternate uses (by the way, you can find them here and here respectively). You’ll not only raise your value in their eyes but you’ll also be giving them even more reasons to make the trade.
#6. Do your homework.
Find out as much as you can about your future partner so you know how to approach him, what’s valuable to him, what he’s likely to see as “fair” and, of course, to make sure they’re trustworthy.
Bartering in a post-collapse world is going to be dangerous to say the least. In fact, you might consider not doing any deals at all with people you or a friend don’t know.
#7. Be fair.
Being fair is another way of saying: don’t try to screw the other guy. You never know when you might need him again, you don’t know if he’ll come after you when he realizes he got a bad deal… Building and maintaining a good reputation goes a long way.
#8. Don’t let your own emotions stand in your way.
This one is easier said than done. As you may have guessed, the only way to make sure your emotions won’t work against you is to practice bartering and negotiation beforehand. The flea market is a great place to do it because the sellers there are always ready to give you a bargain if you can make a good case.
#9. Bring a friend… and a gun.
There’s always power in the numbers and in a post-SHTF world, bringing someone to have your back might mean the difference between you getting home… or not.
Speaking of which, you definitely don’t want to appear wealthy. Your “partners” might take in interest in you and you could wake up with looters or even with a home invasion.
I think I know what you’re thinking… after reading this article, you may come to the conclusion that bartering is easy. It’s easy but only if you practice. Practice with your kids, practice with your spouse, practice with your prepper friends, you can even go to online forums (in their classifieds sections) and barter with preppers from around the country.