Best barter items to stockpile... what do you guys and dolls think?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by stratbastard, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. stratbastard

    eugene oregon
    Active Member

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    Always looking for ideas I didn't think of (and yes I'm sure there's PLENTY LOL) so sound off!
    We have already heard the arguments for gold & silver, so let's stick to straight up use-based commodities... here's some on my list:
    AMMO... possibly worth it's weight in gold someday if a bullet is the price of protecting your every other item.
    BOOZE... just gets better with age LOL... I go into the liquor store, see what's on sale and buy a case to stash.
    TOBACCO... can't store PACKS of smoxe, they don't keep well. However, drums of rolling tobacco last years... opened one purchased 3 years ago and it's just dandy.
    SOAP... have been going to Grocery Outlet for years, buying big bricks of Zest and Lava cheap.
    BOOTS and SHOELACES... ditto St. Vinnies and Goodwill, child to adult sizes and cheap.
    MEDICAL SUPPLIES... ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, bandages, antibiotic ointments, yaddida yaddida...
    FEMININE PRODUCTS... ditto Grocery Outlet very cheap
    Anyway, just a partial list to hear some ideas from others....
  2. Guilty

    Salem, Oregon
    Active Member

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    Here are a few items:
    Water filter...access to clean water is critical
    Matches and lighters
    Green coffee beans
    Heirloom seeds
    Wheat berries and grain mill to make bread for barter
  3. GOG

    State of Jefferson
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    This is for barter as well as to give to folks in need

    extra rice and beans
    toothpaste & toothbrushes
    inexpensive knives (not garbage, just inexpensive)
    Bic lighters
    percolator type coffee pots
    sleeping bags
  4. simon99

    Central Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    Tobacco ( and I'm a non-smoker)
    Silver and Gold
    Diesel, propane, Kerosene , etc
    Alcohol - the drinking kind
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  5. rdt

    SW Portland
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    tools, especially for stuff like boot making/repair, animal husbandry equipment/supplies, horseshoeing. how about motor rewinding stuff, motor wire. fence repair tools. locksmithing tools. survey optics.

    FUEL. fuel stabilizer.

    consumables/materials: sealed welding rod/wire, chainsaw chains, circular saw blades, drill bits, hacksaw/bandsaw blades, razor blades, grinder wheels (handheld and bench), bulk sheet gasket material, tubes of form-in-place-gasket, cans of expanding spray foam, glue, motor oil, hydraulic fluid, wd40 and other solvent/lubricant products. aluminum foil, bottle caps, mason jar lids, matches, BATTERIES! especially rechargeable with charger, solar battery chargers, pencils, plastic pipe cement, pre-digital film and developing chems, bulk industrial chems in general,

    spare parts for cars, motorcycles/dirtbikes, tractors, generators (oil filters, fuel line, belts, spark plugs) parts for radios. parts for bicycles (cables, chains, bearings, pads,wheels, tubes)

    if you got the space: rebar, livestock, 55# bags of salt, ingots of high quality alloy steels, heavy guage wire for fence repair, boxes of nails, tar paper, stove pipe,

    Ammo is kind of a sketchy trade item when there is no Rule of Law. but why stop at ammo? include powder primers jacketed bullets reloading presses dies etc. bore brushes. gallons of CLP or whatever. whAt about firearm spare parts? like AR barrels or ? arrows? Another sketchy one is dynamite, even though it could be indispensable to re establishing commerce (restoring roads etc) and therefore very valuable to the right person.
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  6. ATCclears

    North of Seattle
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    My notes taken after watching one of the videos on The Modern Survivalist are below. I give this fellow a level of credibility since he spent many years living in the mess in Argentina (their economy collapsed in 2001).

    top 10 barter items
    - it's a huge gamble to bet on specific barter items
    - very uncertain, impossible to predict

    economic collapse items
    - precious metals and jewelry (don't spend more on it than the value of the precious-metal content), and consider it like pocket change
    - guns -> guns that sell well: Glock, mid-range 1911s, hi-power, AK, AR, magazines
    - toys
    - body armor
    - reloading gear

    war, siege, or natural disaster items
    - food
    - water filter
    - cigarettes and alcohol, might want a few bottles of grain alcohol
    - fuel and cooking supplies
    - medical supplies
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  7. saxon

    Active Member

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    no one said Honey? any sweet thing that keeps for a long time
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  8. Mark W.

    Mark W.
    Silverton, OR
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    Somethings never go out of style
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  9. mjbskwim

    Well-Known Member

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    ATCclears,you say it's impossible to predict then give a list that is the same as most others.
    Food,like rice and beans,water and filters,cigarettes and alcohol,fuel and cooking supplies,medical supplies,all stuff that has been on most every list.
    It's not impossible or the least bit hard,there are certain "needs" humans have and will have during EOTWAWKI situations.

    How well you live better than the rest is location specific.Coats(hats,boots,gloves etc) for the coming cold,sun shade items for that miserable heat without air conditioning.
    I thought back on 'The book Of Eli' and how he was so jazzed when he found those boots on the guy hanging around the closet.If you're moving a lot then shoes will wear out fast. Could be a great barter item.
    Spare hunting items of any kind will work. I bought 2 diving spears. Hey if I'm starving I can at least try.
    Personal hygiene items will rock. Heck a outdoor shower would make a guy some money (keep it clean)
    Toys might sound silly except if you have kids to please(keep a little quiet)

    Mostly ammo and other hunting items for me as extras
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  10. ATCclears

    North of Seattle
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    No, those were notes of his comments in his video. His comment was that it is impossible to predict since it is very situation/environment-dependent, and then he went on to give his top items.

  11. EZLivin

    SW of PDX
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    For barter? Inexpensive, basic consumables with long shelf life that you (and family) use regularly. What one uses regularly will be wanted by just about everyone else, and will never be wasted since you use them anyway. Toiletries, otc medicines, alcohol, cooking oil, herbs and spices, sweeteners, all of which are easily divisible for any size transaction (since barter is an inherently inefficient means of commerce). And some junk silver too.
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  12. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Toilet paper ammo & smokes :)
  13. MrNatural

    Well-Known Member

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    Bartering is less an act than a mindset.

    A few basic rules to consider for planning for post-SHTF barter:

    1. EVERYTHING you stockpile must benefit your lifestyle, even if SHTF never happens. This takes a great burden off the planning risk of making errors in choosing items. If SHTF never happens or the item is not in demand after SHTF, you can still us it yourself to good benefit. If you don't drink, don't stockpile booze. TP, on the other hand, has been shown to be a universal currency (in the short run anyway) and you can always use it yourself.

    2. Trading goods for goods is a zero-sum game. Trading your skills for someone else's goods is the way to real gain. For instance, instead of trading tools, RENT the use of your tools to others. Being able to recharge batteries. Being able to rent a filter to provide clean water. Having a working fridge to provide cold storage for medications. Having a functioning shortwave radio to get news updates (no tv, no radio, remember?) or contact others outside. Being able to show movies or play music (boredom will be a BIG problem after SHTF). Providing reliable daycare will probably be a good business. etc, etc, etc.

    Learn skills that will be in demand after a disaster - there are many.

    3. NEVER, EVER trade anything that can be used against you. So much for ammo-as-the-new-kruggerrands theory. Extra guns and ammo are best used for equipping your own people. If you don't have your own people, then you have failed at one if the most essential preps.

    4. NEVER trade on your own turf or under your real identity. There will be LOTS of gangs looking to rob the store and the storekeeper. Have (several!) safe places to do business far removed from your inventory and anonymous ways to get to and from them.

    Indeed providing a safe venue for others to trade at is going to be VERY profitable concession after SHTF. Requires forethought in site selection and provision of supervision, trading rules, enforcement of those rules and especially (armed) security. Lots of details to take care of, but will be an incredible resource to customer and entrepreneur alike.

    5. "The secret of success in business is the art of being a good middleman." Identify sources of supply and skills controlled by others NOW. After a SHTF situation, you can approach them and offer to market them, for a cut.

    There are many other rules of a barter economy. These are just a few thoughts. As you consider them, many things will become clearer.
  14. oknow

    amboy wa.
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    ^^^you hit the nail on the head with that post^^^
  15. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer
    Completely Out of Ammo

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    I disagree on the ammo. 22lr is probably the best barter item out there. Just IMO. That may be dicey though because guns and ammo will probably be immediately outlawed.

    If cost is factored into the equation, water will be by far the most desirable barter item, followed by water filtration devices/filters. Specifically, those $20 drinking straw filters will be worth 100x their weight in gold.

    It would be wise to also invest in some type of water tester. Strips or electronic. Someone bartering for water will want some evidence that what they are buying is potable water, not something drained from an old toilet or cesspool.

    Go to Costco or a bulk warehouse and buy the cheapest cans of chili or black beans you can find. The exp date nonsense is meaningless. You can eat them 20 years from now if stored in a mild climate, never frozen, not sitting in a 100-degree attic etc. Nothing against Freeze Dried food, but in most cases it isn't really necessary unless you plan on living to 120. (Exception is storage in areas that freeze or harsh climate)

    Batteries - buy all you can afford. Odd 'coin' types and other also, not just AA/AAA etc. Inc rechargeables.

    Cheap led lights/flashlights/lanterns. Anything that helps or brings comfort in the dark will be a hot item.

    Anything related to LIGHT. SHTF it will most likely be dark for a long time. We will resort to the ancients - Sun daylight/good, dark evil/scary.

    Perimeter security devices - driveway alerts run on batteries (both trans and receiver) will be a hot ticket item; see Dakota Alert. Again it is dark and you cannot be peeping out the window 24/7 to watch for guys wanting to liberate you from your possessions or life.

    Did I mention water? Water.

    OT - If you are into firearms, but haven't even invested in a Gen1 night scope for $375.00, maybe you need to rethink that a bit.
    You may have 20 guns, but that guy with the 22lr and night vision just might outmatched you. You'll be trading a $375 NV unit for a $3000 rifle.
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  16. clambo

    Vancouver, Wa.
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    Here is a controversial one, yet important. Painkillers i.e. morphine, etc. Hard to get, poor shelf life, legal issues, etc. But there is an easy, inexpensive, legal way around all that. P.M. me for more info. Im not wanting to create any addicts or cause any problems. Still a good thing to have around in a doctor free enviroment.
  17. oremike

    Creswell, Oregon
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    The thing I would barter most is my skills, my thought being a man with tools that knows how to use them will be a valuable commodity.
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  18. Blitzkrieg

    Well-Known Member

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    Hint: Antibiotics are already near useless



    Wool gloves and socks

    Rice, white

    We are going to be growing hothouse coffee beans and tea shrubs so we can barter that as well
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  19. oli700

    Rogue Valley
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    Skills and knowledge, especially skills that involve knowing how to make projectiles and black powder , old means of machining , use of water for power to run lathes and such, food production…….knowledge can be bartered over and over or you can use your knowledge to create barter items that the average person can’t provide...raw materials like lead are nice as well
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  20. viehmann7680

    Active Member

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    I know some things mentioned on here i have read from some of Selco's stuff. Bic lighters and cheap knives would be best. They are inexpensive and easy to store. He mentions being able to refill BIC lighters. So learning and having the equipment to do that would be nice.

    I think trading ammo would not be a good idea unless you have a lot and you are trading it like it is gold.

    Those cheap survival ponchos, emergency blankets and such. I think they are Colghlans or something like that.

    You can get bags of tea candles and packages of tiny boxes of matches at the dollar store. Both would be great.

    On the other side of things. Having reloading supplies for yourself. Other people (depending on things) will collect up brass to trade or sell. Being in Afghanistan people around the base (we called them scrappers) would collect up anything from brass to the rounds itself that impact... big or small. So being able to trade for brass to reload could be nice and very feasible.

    Building supplies. 2x4's, plywood, nails, rebar

    Lastly I would say canning supplies. Mainly the jars.
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