The Barter Economy is Online at Homesteaders Co-op
Today I am very proud to announce that we are now featuring a barter marketplace in our Homesteaders Co-op. This post is an update to our fundition project.
Our marketplace of sustainable goods and ethical services is now organized into three main markets:
- Shop - Monetary exchange for goods and services (STEEM, SBD and USD).
- Barter - Goods and services are exchanged for like value. No money is needed. [New]
- Gifts - A market of gifts. [New]
What is Bartering?
A barter, or a trade, is an exchange of goods or services between two or more parties without the use of currency. Bartering for a good or service is different than purchasing a product because there is no money involved. Bartering is a form of non-monetary exchange.
Often monetary value is used to find an equivalent or roughly equivalent value of goods or services that are being bartered. Since most of us are used to valuing goods and services in currency, currency can be a convenient measure of value. However, it is not necessary to use currency to measure value. Often, value can be very personal and when monetary value is removed from the picture, expression of value can be more open and less constrained.
Hybrid barter and Monetary Exchange
It is certainly possible and normal to use money (such as STEEM, SBD or USD) to make up for some value when the agreed value of goods/services being bartered are not equal.
Proof of a Desire to Barter
We gave our vendors the option to elect whether they are open to bartering. 8 out of 21 vendors have already specified that they are open and willing to consider bartering with customers and/or vendors. Nearly half of our vendors already see value in being able to barter. This is very positive feedback we are on the right track.
The Fear of Missing out on Profit
Aren't we worried that we won't be able to oversee bartering activity or profit from it? What if vendors barter and we can't control their activities?
This is exactly the fear that we want to avoid. Fear of loss of profit can lead to greed. As mentioned above our vendors have already expressed through their actions that they would like to have the option to operate in non-monetary exchange of goods and services.
By letting go of fears and letting go of control we are able to open our marketplace to new possibilities in personal freedom and economic choice. These freedoms and choices are not new but they may not be obvious or easily realized in our dominant economy, dictated by industrial commerce.
Opting Out of Greed
By not seeking profit, our market's participants may interchange [ @wwf ] goods and services for like value. By not choosing profit we can opt out of middlemen in our transactions. Middlemen of transactions historically seek profit. A middleman that chooses to grow, and is able to grow, plausibly passes a point of seeking profit that turns into a greed snowball. Greed places dollar signs on the backs of customers, shoppers and advertisers until they are no longer seen as humans, but are seen only as profit or lack thereof. All decisions are made based on maximizing profit or minimizing loss, rendering ethics, morality and humanity obsolete.
Homesteaders Co-op is not a middleman in any transactions, whether they are made with money, by trade or as a gift. By choosing not to be a middleman we have the unique opportunity to opt out of greed. Certainly it is possible for greed to make its way into our marketplace, our minds and our actions. But our initial success and track record has been built on generosity, independence, empowerment and choice. Our actions and reputation are on the steem blockchain for anyone to audit.
What is possible, that wasn't possible before, when we put our ethics first and fear takes a back seat? This is what we hope to continue to reveal as we continue on with this intention.
First Successful Barter
I appreciate that @papa-pepper (of Pepper Family Homestead: vendor of seeds, accessories, crafts and more in Homesteadesr Co-op) recently made this request to barter with my seed project, Seeds of Abundance. He was interested in a few of the seeds that we are offering and suggested a trade. I had already been interested in some of The Pepper Family Homestead's products and found a few more that interested me and we set the terms of our barter by email, outside of the Homesteaders Co-op marketplace.
It was a true peer to peer exchange. It was a successful barter [ @sagescrub ] inspired by our marketplace and transacted outside of any system, even outside of Homesteaders Co-op.
In my experience bartering can (but doesn't always) lead to generosity, especially when I am bartering with people I know, people I respect or people that I can share interest or values with.
Because we are communicating about an exchange we have the opportunity to exchange ideas, language and ideally build more trust. When we are bartering we have a relationship that goes beyond the typical add to cart and checkout - click, click, swipe, swipe. And in the case of this barter, @papa-pepper inevitably offered to share some plants that aren't available in his store, and that led me to feel more generous and offer more seeds to Papa Pepper that aren't available in my store. We both got more value than we expected and a feeling of gratitude to share and trade with each other.
There is a certain lack of perfection in this type of transaction. A computer or a businessman might call this transaction messy and having a lack of accountability. But isn't life often messy? Nature is messy and imperfect. Being of nature, perhaps we humans are also meant to be less than perfect. Perhaps it is ok not to hold ourselves to a standard of perfection, a standard of clear reconciliation and a maximization of profit.
And so I celebrate money because it gives us opportunities to transact with people we may not have been able to transact with otherwise. And I celebrate bartering because it reminds me of my humanity and brings me closer to the people that I transact with (those whom I trust), which leads to more pride and humility in my actions and appreciation and respect for my peers and our community.
This is an update to our fundition project: Free Community Marketplace for Handmade Goods in STEEM/SBD
We Have Free Instant Steem Accounts to Share!
We have free steem invites for anyone in the #homesteading, #gardening, @ghscollective, @naturalmedicine, @tribesteemup, @ecotrain, @earthtribe communities that have any friends or family members that are interested in joining steem and joining our communities.
With our invites they won't need to wait 1-2 weeks or pay ~4 steem to get an account. If we have enough free SP at the time of sharing an invite it will come along with a small delegation so that they have some RC to start out with. Direct message @sagescrub in discord for an invite to share with your friend or family member.
A Free Marketplace for Steem
We provide a FREE marketplace for you to transact in STEEM, SBD and USD. Our vendors are committed to sustainability, ethics and quality in their lives and work.
Unlike other marketplaces our vendors are not charged listing fees, subscription fees or transaction fees. This service is 100% free.
Support Your Alternative Economy:
- Purchase handmade products with STEEM, SBD or USD at homesteaderscoop.com
- Join the conversation in our Discord Group
- Follow our Curation Trail on SteemAuto to automatically upvote our contributors and vendors
- Delegate SP to @homesteaderscoop
- Donate to our ongoing Fundition project
Why Delegate to Homesteaders Co-op?
Your delegations will help us grow our community and reward our members for their ethical choices and actions.
In our modern world it is not always easy to choose to live sustainably. To do so often means forgoing income potential and the status quo. Our Steem Power is used to up-vote community contributors and vendors in thanks for their efforts.
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I am sure that this will be an integral feature for the co-op. Awesome!
Thank you @sunscape :) I was very happy to find your application this morning! Btw I could not find you on discord.. what is your username there?
Hi sagescrub, I use sunscape on discord. I am not on there very often, but that is what I use. I have been listing a few items, voted and delegated some steem. I look forward to getting to know many more people. I am still not sure of how to figure the shipping. I need to look at your help section. ;-)
Hmm, I still cannot find you on discord, I do not know why. I have emailed you a link to our discord server in case you'd like to join us there! btw @nateonsteemit is very excited about your soap offerings, which look amazing btw, and he is saving up some steem. He has been hoping a soap vendor will come on HSCO for some time now :)
Regarding the shipping options - I actually need to write a help section for that and you are inspiring me to get to it sooner than later, and so I will. In the meantime if you have any questions about it please email me or message me directly on discord and I will be glad to help.
Good luck with your store and thank you for the votes and delegations :)
Thank you so much for the compliment, I can't login to discord either, it wants me to set up a server, etc. I used to talk on there and post to photography all the time. I stopped using it due to time constraints. That is fine, I am always busy creating and posting, answering questions too, so I know how that goes. Thank you for the explanation for the shipping. I had to go into each and make corrections. ;-) Thank goodness it was before anyone tried to buy anything. I have a lot more items but will keep these few on for now. Thank you again, sunscape
You're welcome! I am glad you got the shipping figured out now :) I hope you are all set up and can enjoy creating and selling now. Yes, good idea to start with some inventory and see how it goes, no need to go full bore right away :)
This is cool! I'm probably going to buy some stuff. Resteemed.
I am glad you found us and find value in our efforts. If you find a vendor you want to support or products that you want to buy, please write back and let us know about your experience!
Delightful! ReSteemed and upvoted.
Thank you for your support :)
Wow, I already love the homesteader's co-op, and the bartering option makes it even better!! Love it!
Aww thank you so much @squishysquid! Its great to hear your positive feedback about this new feature!
Oh yeah... I dont know if it's a possibility, but you know what would be nice? A way to update reviews. So I could buy seeds, make a positive review, then update a few weeks later with positive comments on how well things grew. Or negative, I guess... But Ive had nothing but positive results with my orders. ;)
Good idea! I don't know if that is possible and I will look into it. However, at the very least you can add a new review with your updates and I think even as a separate review it would be helpful for others. Thanks for sharing your feedback it is much appreciated!
Ok great! I wasnt sure if that was allowed. Ill have to do that once the plants grow a little more!
Yeah it is definitely allowed, as long as its not abused (as in spam). Good luck with your sprouts :)
I think it's great!
I finally got enough steem to make an order. Looking foward to my dandelion seeds~! Haha, there just arent any wild ones around here for some reason...
Oh that was you! I just saw your order come in :) Will be shipping it out very soon. Thank you so much for the support! I am glad we can supply you with those dandies! Maybe you'll leave some dandy roots as perennials and let them seed in your garden!
You bet! I want those things growing wild for sure! Great plants to have around!
Thanks for encouraging barter which I always enjoy.
Will be looking at a trade for seeds. Stuff that works in NE Oklahoma zone 7a. We have a greenhouse and deep mulch garden, plus just starting some permaculture with lots of shade and a few sunny spots. Interested in things to eat plus others for the mulch garden to keep the bugs and voles away. The raspberry seeds are of particular interest. We have a lot of blackberries. Enjoyed having a good sized raspberry patch when living in northern Iowa. Haven't yet determined whether its too warm here for them.
Will trade any of my products and can answer any questions about them.
That is great what you are doing in your garden :) We have quite a lot of blackberries too.. ours are wild and quite pervasive. I was able to put up a lot of blackberry jam. Got a few pints of raspberry jam from the raspberries you are talking about before the bear got to them all :) I'd sure be happy to send you some seeds so that you can try them out!
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