Bartering Services

I’ve been offered service barter a couple of times. My first instinct was to say “No”, which I promptly did. Later I wondered why I was so quick to say no. After all, I was actually interested in their services – perhaps not right away, but I could definitely use them.

There are several issues with service bartering (setting a fair value and scheduling being two of them), but let’s say we agree on the price, and both can accommodate each other’s schedule as needed. What bothers me is this:

• Would I perform just as well, knowing that I’m not getting any money for it, and maybe, nothing at all immediately?

• And would they do a good job with their part, after the memories of my contribution have faded? Wouldn’t I become just an annoying “freebie”?

I think for most people it’s fair to assume, we’d both do a half-assed job, or more likely, would take forever to do it.

Service Barter: Not a good thing for established businesses, probably okay for students and beginners.