He’s Got My Back! (Barter Part 5)
Barter continues to be a theme that resonates in many aspects of our business. It’s been a while since I wrote anything about it. Over the past few months I have bartered for plumbing, carpentry, fish, and soon tax work ( I promise, John!). I am really excited that it has now gained footing in the North Bay! I have known for some time that Kelley Rajalla and her crew at The Share Exchange were the Point People to expand Bay Bucks here in our backyard. If you haven’t checked out The Share Exchange in Santa Rosa, you should. They are one of the nation’s first local economy centers and are a great place to start if you want to localize your place on the planet. Apparently they are doing a bang-up job, because I now trade for getting my back fixed.
Meet Dr. Casey Tucker, fearless leader of Tucker Chiropractic in Santa Rosa. I was referred to him by my now retired chiro doc, so I booked an appointment. His assistant Carissa was very patient as I had to reschedule twice before I finally made it in. I got all checked in and spent the obligatory 20 minutes filling out my medical life story. Does anyone ever actually DO anything with that info??? You would think in this day and age that Big Brother would have a central database that could supply all that info. They seem to know everything about me down from my shoe size to the last time I had a charley horse! But- as usual- I digress…
Dr. Casey actually knew who I was because he recently had joined Bay Bucks and found me on the network. This was looking good! We talked a lot about barter and why Bay Bucks works so well. Meanwhile, he was using this gun on my spine that sounded like an impact driver. I was trying to form sentences while actually feeling my bones rotate back into their proper place. It’s one of those situations where you know you’re going feel great in two days, but you’re not sure it’s worth the excruciating pain you will endure to get there. This, by the way, is not an indictment on Dr. Casey. This was my own fault because I waited a month between when my original doc closed and I got in to see Casey.
Now that my spine was straight, my feet properly arched and my head sat squarely on my shoulders, it was time to pay up. First thing I noticed was that I was paying less that the posted price. Now don’t get the idea that you can waltz in to Tucker Chiropractic and get a discount just by throwing around Bay Bucks. He would be out of business before I could walk upright again. I bring up the discounted price because it was a direct result of the common relationship we had and the mutual, unstated promise of future business to come. The other thing was I could count on him having some sort of package available on Bay Bucks that worked for me. On the very next visit I used the Bay Bucks I had earned with my meat boxes sold through the barter network to “purchase” a block of 5 appointments. No cash was used at all. That brings up a cool sidebar to think about when you are negotiating a barter arrangement privately.
Throwing cash into the deal in conjunction with goods or services can really tilt the deal in both parties’ favor and should not be discounted just because you want to trade instead of spending the almighty dollar.
I have written before about the huge benefit of forming personal relationships through barter as opposed to the anonymous act of buying online. The value of those relationships can be found not only on a human level, but can actually be monetized! It’s not that I think everything should have a dollar figure attached, but if you’re trying to justify the “hassle” of bartering versus the “ease” of modern commerce, putting a dollar figure on that time justifies it in spades.
Add in two new acquaintances, Casey and Carissa of Tucker Chiropractic, an expansion of my favorite barter network and new ambassadors to spread the word, AND the fact that I can once again get out of my chair without the aid of an engine hoist, I think we can see that this was a huge win across the board. Next up, bartering for a new pick-up!