I would never befriend ANYONE who would stoop low enough associate themselves with me.Humans actually invented and used credit long before they invented money. (See Debt: The First Five Thousand Years.)
Rural communities and networks among friends and neighbors still operate largely on informal credit. The major farm I collaborate with for my plant breeding work has volunteers who help with the labor bottlenecks. Most started as people who were familiar with and had benefited from my books, and just wanted to help me in turn. The farm in addition provides dry beans and dry corn and winter squash to volunteers. For some this matters a lot. Others, it matters little. They just enjoy celebrating fall by helping us harvest. And visiting with others during the breaks and talking about gardening, farming, cooking, good food, etc.
The woman who makes great apple pies can usually get all the apples she needs. A friend or neighbor provides the apples and in exchange gets half the pies. If you are good at canning veggies or fruit or making sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables you can probably easily arrange for someone with the raw material to provide it for a share of the canned or fermented results. One guy helps his neighbor do some fencing. The neighbor helps the other with something hard and physical that is easier to do with help than alone. In rural areas where wood stoves matter, you order a few cords of wood for the winter and it is dumped in your driveway. You need to stack it in the woodshed or under tarps before the rains and you need your driveway. If you have a network of friends and relatives, they all come over and help you stack your wood. So a number of people work hard for a couple if hours and enjoy it. It's partly social. Where it would take one very fit person a couple days and would trash their bodies if they could do it at all. And you in turn help them. When you move into such an area, when you introduce yourself to neighbors, one or more will say something like, "Hey, let us know when your wood's gonna be delivered. We'll come help stack it." And you say, "That would be great. And let me know so I can help stack yours." And someone says "Hey, do you like fish? I love to fish and always end up with extra." And you say you love fish, and ask what veggies they like so you can grow a little extra of those. (If you are a gardener, always grow extra tomatoes. They, along with fruit, are best for trade/gifts.) Such trade or gifting relationships are not just economic. They are a sharing of the best we have with others we care about. It's deeply rewarding.
The personal relationships involved in the trade may not be direct. A friend of mine needed somewhere to store her camper trailer for more than a year while out of the country. I went to my farmer collaborator and told him about my friend, and said she had developed a network of volunteers in her city that put in several hundred veggie gardens for poor, disabled or elderly people, doing all the labor and providing the soil ammendments and plants, so all they had to do was learn to maintain an established garden. My farmer friend reckoned he could find room to store the trailer for such a person. Part of your credit is your reputation and past record of being generous with others.
Sometimes a formal trade is established, so much of this for so much of that, but not usually. Of course, you can end up providing gifts or labor for someone able-bodied who doesnt reciprocate. But its all approximate. City folk might give you a bad check. Stores can sell you [email protected] goods. Insurance companies can take your money for years and refuse to pay when its needed. Ordinary economic transactions aren't perfect either. You live and learn who to participate with. In many cases you dont expect or want reciprocation, however informal. You mow the lawn of the elderly neighbor and help her in various ways, cause you know she was generous with others when she was young and able. Everyone pitches in to help the family whose house or barn burned down.
Most trade outside cities between friends or neighbors operates on such informal credit. Not on formal trading. No one tries to be "independent"--not of friends and neighbors. The object is not independence. It's to have enough skills and to contribute enough to be able to hold up our end of friendly interdependence.
Thanks dude! I wouldn't hesitate to do business again any time. We're lucky to have members like you!
I've pulled my trade adds as well. I doesn't matter how good or reasonable the deal is if no-one wants or needs the items.I have had little success with my trade experiments so I'm winding them down. I think most people have more money than time these days so I added cash prices to my two remaining ads. The cash price is close to double what it would cost the purchaser versus buying the food items to trade. I will let the ads ride for a week and then go back to shopping for myself.
Unless the trade was a great deal or something I was desperate for, I wouldn't expend the time or fuel to get it done.I am thinking about putting up a classified ad to trade some of my primers for pinto beans. The pinto beans are readily available but the stores don't take primers for payment. I could sell the primers for cash and then buy the beans but I am interested in practicing the bartering aspect of the exchange. Has anybody else been doing this type of bartering/trading recently?