Tag Archive for How to

Shoot Like a Pro! How To Take Better Pictures Of Your Items

We all know that a good picture will most likely increase your chances of successful trading. People want to see a clear and detailed shot of the product. By doing this, you will attract other users and will become a pro at bartering!
Here are some easy steps on how to make your Haves and Wants stand out!
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1. Use natural light
Natural light makes good photos, it’s as simple as that. Take pictures during daytime and avoid using a flash, as it will create unwanted shadows. Natural light will display your item with a good color balance and will attract more BarterQuest users.

2. Shoot from different angles
Get down on one knee, tilt your camera slightly to the right, and shoot. Those are simple angle adjustments that will truly make your items stand out. Using different angles will add depth to your photos, will show all sides of your item, and will enhance your item’s features.
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3. Get in close
Taking close ups of your Goods on BarterQuest is important. To take a nice close up shot, you need to use the Macro button (the flower icon) on your camera. This setting will create a small depth of field, bringing your items in the foreground into sharp focus, and minimizing any distracting elements in the background.

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4. Choose a plain background
Using a white seamless neutral background is the best way to highlight your item’s features. The item must be the first thing that people see when looking at your pictures, there should not be any background clutters. Remember that you are trying to barter for your items. If you do not have a white background, you can always use a poster board, a bed sheet, a light colored wall or even pattern wallpapers.

5. Take multiple shots
You are a beginner at taking attractive pictures, not a problem; just take as many shots of the item as you can. Some of them will turn out to be just great! Members of the BarterQuest community love looking at different pictures before choosing which item they want to barter for. Take a variety of shots using different angles. Posting multiple pictures of your item shows that you are trustworthy and that you have nothing to hide!

You are now a professional at taking beautiful pictures of your listings! Remember that fantastic pictures will increase your chances of finding a trading partner! The more pictures, the better. Now go use your camera and take a picture worth a thousand swaps!

-Tiffany

How to Barter Services

Originally at: http://www.barterforcash.com/how-to-offer-barter-services.html

Another interesting aspect of trade aside from common exchange of products would be barter services. The method involves trading specialties between parties. On most occasions, the exchange is bilateral and direct between the parties involved. You need to have full knowledge regarding the details of this type of barter since the goods cannot be fully quantified.
Intro to Barter Services
Barter services are the offering of services and specialties by one barterer in return for another type of service or specialty that they need. The trade is done through physical or online meetings wherein the parties involved will define the type of service they are offering including all other details such as duration of service, coverage and limitations, overhead expenses, etc. This is an effective approach for individuals who cannot fully afford with cash. It is also a common practice used by individuals who are still beginning to improve in their craft.
Examples of professional services that are offered are home repair or construction, plumbing, accounting, health care, electrical work, mechanical work and engineering. There are also personal services exchanged which may be valued less such as pet grooming, babysitting, running errands and art making. The good thing about bartering services is that any individual from any walk of life can offer their talents and skills including students. Other inclusions available include article or thesis writing, poster making and web site designing.

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It may be easier for you to find on the internet services you need to be bartered. There are web sites that particularly cater to bartering services. These will serve as your common meeting ground where you search for options and begin negotiating. Reliable web sites usually have a profile and complete list of all registered users so that you can immediately contact and offer to trade via private messaging, telephone or e-mail. Effective systems will provide you with exchange matches to make searches easier as well as monitor the transaction to ensure that all goes smoothly and satisfaction is guaranteed.
Things to Remember When Bartering Services
Define the service you are providing as well as the service you are looking for. Include the main service you need, how long you need it for, date and venue of services, specifications or things to be emphasized by the service, how many people are intended to provide the services for you and how expenses on the project are going to be paid for. You should also inform your fellow barterer all these details regarding the service you offer when discussing the exchange.
When looking for potential trades, try looking for local barterers who will be easier for you to locate and meet to further discuss details. If you find a remote source, it is recommended to look for a third party or inform a web site moderator regarding the trade once you finalize everything. Confirm the trader’s profile and save a copy of your emails or messages.
It will help to ask other members online who have already done barter services with the person you are transacting with. Check references or ask for some if there are none shown. You can finalize the details in paper once everything is settled. Write a barter service contract to avoid any complications and conflicts in the future. Have it signed by all parties then send a copy to the web site moderator.

BarterQuest on FoxBusiness News.

The Secret to Saving Money

originally from daveramsey.com

The Secret to Saving Money

In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. –Proverbs 21:20

Saving money is not a matter of math. You will not save money when you get that next raise. You will not save money when that car is paid off. You will not save money when the kids are grown. You will only save money when it becomes an emotional priority.

We all know we need to save, but most people don’t save like they know they need to save. Why? Because they have competing goals. The goal to save isn’t a high enough priority to delay that purchase of the pizza, DVD player, new computer, or china cabinet. So we purchase, buy, consume all our dollars away or, worse yet, go into debt to buy these things. That debt means monthly payments that control our paychecks and make us say things like, “We just don’t make enough to save any money!” Wrong, wrong, wrong! We do make enough to save money; we just aren’t willing to quit spoiling ourselves with our little projects or pleasures to have enough left to save. I don’t care what you make—you can save money. It just has to become a big enough priority to you.

If a doctor told you that your child was dying and could only be saved with a $15,000 operation that your insurance would not cover and could only be performed nine months from today, could you save $15,000? Yes! Of course you could! You would sell things, you would stop any spending that wasn’t required to survive, and you would take two extra jobs. For that short nine months, you would become a saving madman (or madwoman). You would give up virtually anything to accomplish that $15,000 goal. Saving would become a priority.

The secret to saving? Focused emotion. The secret to saving money is to make it a priority, and that is done only when you get some healthy anger or fear and then focus that emotion on your personal decisions. Harnessing that emotion will make you move yourself to the top of your creditor list. Then ask yourself, “Which bill is the most important? After tithing, who should I pay first this month?” The answer is you! Until you pay God first, then yourself, then everyone and everything else, you will never save money.

The advertisers and marketing community are affecting our emotions every day and taking every dollar we have by making us see our wants as needs. It is time for this to stop! Emotions make great slaves, but they are lousy masters. No matter how educated or sophisticated we are, if we are not saving all we should be, we are being ruled by emotions, not harnessing them as financial planning slaves.

So whether you are saving for college tuition, a trip to the family reunion, new school clothes for little Bobby or Sally, or anything else, start saving now! It’s never too late!

No cash? No problem, if you barter

No cash? No problem, if you barter

originally posted by A. Kawlowski on http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/09/02/bartering.rise/index.html

(CNN) — Miriam Brown has always wanted to visit Cape Cod, but when she recently began to plan a trip and found out she would have to pay $200 or more a night for lodging, her dream vacation seemed out of reach.
Miriam Brown and her husband bartered their services for room and board on Cape Cod.

Brown, who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, is an accountant. Her husband is a home renovations contractor.

Like many people dealing with a soft real estate market and high food and gas prices, they just don’t have that kind of extra cash for a trip.

“I have traveled a lot in prior years, but after [Hurricane] Katrina, there’s just no money for traveling,” Brown said.

So she still plans to go, but she won’t spend any cash at all on lodging.

Brown has joined the growing ranks of Americans who are bartering — trading goods and services without exchanging money — as a way to cope with tough economic times.

Brown posted an ad in the barter community last month, offering to trade her accounting skills and her husband’s knack for home repairs in exchange for room and board on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

She has lots of company.

“When the economy turns unfriendly, users become far more creative to get their everyday tasks done,” Susan MacTavish Best said.

Swapping ‘to get by’

Other Web sites that put Americans in touch with like-minded people who are willing to trade everything under the sun have also seen a boost in traffic.

“I think a few years ago it was more for fun,” said Jessica Hardwick.

“But we’ve seen a real shift in the last year, and especially an increase in the last few months, where I think people are really doing it to get by.”

Some of the most popular items to trade for late this summer were school uniforms, which some parents found they could not afford to buy for their children, Hardwick said.

Experts aren’t surprised Americans are becoming more financially creative during an economic downturn.
Dealing with the economy

• 67 percent of consumers have haggled in recent months, compared with 33 percent in 2006

• 61 percent of consumers now regularly use a shopping list, compared with 35 percent last fall

• 70 percent of shoppers now look primarily for “the deal” in the Sunday inserts, compared with 51 percent last fall

“Historically, when times get tough, you see a 50 percent-plus increase in bartering as a way for people to be able to buy things or get things and do it economically,” said C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America’s Research Group.

The company talks with thousands of consumers every week to gauge their spending habits and attitudes.

A couple of years ago, many Americans had $500 to spend at the end of the month, but that money has evaporated because of rising prices, Beemer said.

“We’ve never had a time, at least in my lifetime, where you have food and fuel going up at the same time. So it isn’t a question of buying things, it’s a question of buying nothing,” Beemer said.

Breast implants and a horse

Businesses have long recognized the benefits of bartering, and there are hundreds of barter networks set up across the country to fill their needs.

They use barter credits as currency, so a plumber in need of a filling doesn’t need to search for a dentist’s office with plumbing problems to make a deal. He can fix a leaky pipe for one member of a network and use the credits he earned for that job at any other.

“Really, there are no limits to it. We trade for just about anything you can think of,” Michael Krane said.

Bartering on this scale is also robust in tough economic times. Krane said his exchange has seen a 20 percent rise in barter transaction volume in the first six months of this year.

A longtime client is Thomas Forrest, an orthodontist in suburban Pittsburgh who barters his services for everything from office improvements to stationery. His practice hasn’t been affected by the economic downturn, Forrest said, but some of his patients seem glad to be able to visit him under the barter arrangement.

“I think if you have a business owner who has children in need of braces, I sense a gratitude that that’s available,” Forrest said.

Barter exchanges must carefully document all trades, since the Internal Revenue Service considers income from bartering as taxable. However, a barter exchange “does not include arrangements that provide solely for the informal exchange of similar services on a noncommercial basis,” according to the IRS.

In New Orleans, Brown and her husband are getting ready to go to Cape Cod after finding a taker for her bartering offer. The couple will work five hours a day in exchange for staying in “a beautiful three-bedroom house right in the center of it all,” Brown said.

“We can do a lot more if we don’t have to pay for room and board,” she added.

Quote of the week

“He who wants to barter, usually knows what is best for him” – African Proverb

Ways to Save Money during Summer

originally posted by Farnoosh Torabi on http://tinyurl.com/2g2z3je

Summer’s well upon us, and after last year’s “staycation” trend there’s some pent-up demand to go out, get away and have fun. At the same time, we still want to save money. From dining out to buying airline and concert tickets, here are some great saving strategies, … and in some cases free deals!

Restaurants

Americans spent more than $200 billion eating out last summer, according to the U.S. Census.

Day Trips

• Look for Target free arts and culture events. The retailer offers free or discounted entry to museums, concerts and galleries across the country. This year there are more than 2,000 free events.

• Free summer movie days at Regal Theatres. The chain runs a “Free Family Film Festival,” with a nine-week schedule of free movies with select days and times.

• If you’re a member of a discount club you may get discounts when they buy movie tickets in bulk.

• The U.S. National Park Service is offering free admission on August 14-15 at more than 100 parks that normally charge a fee.

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Travel

The average family of four will spend $4,000 on a vacation this summer, according to American Express. Eighty percent of those surveyed said they plan to lower their travel costs. Here’s some help.

• Swap homes. Join a home exchange club like www.barterquest.com. There’s also a housing swap section.

• Book plane tickets on either Tuesday or Wednesday when prices are cheapest, according to travel experts.

• Reserve hotel rooms on Sundays, when the weekend rush is over and hotel managers have time to talk on the phone and discuss available discounts.

Beach

Stock up on food, drinks, beach towels and chairs before you get to the beach. Otherwise, you’re likely to pay a premium for things you can easily get for much, much less back home.

Bartering to save money — share your experiences

originally posted on http://littlehousesouthernprairie.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/bartering-to-save-money-share-your-experiences

Bartering to save money — share your experiences

I would love to live a life where, for reasons much more about Ain’t Got Extra Cash than fuzzy-wuzzy-community-building (though hell, why not), a nice chunk of what I need is exchanged through bartering.

So far my efforts have been not so hot. When I threw out my back and then lived in flabby-ass-confirming misery for two weeks, I posted a possible trade on Craigslist: Work in my garden, and in exchange, I’ll do some sort of writing/editing/tutoring work. I got two bites. One from a guy who wanted me to tutor his daughter, but when I emailed him back for specifics, he never responded; one woman said she didn’t do gardening work but if I needed my house cleaned and could pay her to do it, she was interested.

In the coming weeks, I’m doing to try some dog care swapping with another stay at home mom in my neighborhood. Basically, she’ll watch my pups when I go away for a few days and vice versa. I feel good about it, and if it works, this relationship could save us hundreds in kennel fees.

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But what keeps me from pursuing a full-on Life O’ Trading is …

1) For some of these jobs, like dog care or anything where I allow someone in my house, even when I’m there, I need to feel like I can really trust them. And to really trust them, I need to really know them. And if I really know them … I feel guilty about asking them to do any work, even if they’re getting work from me back, because everyone I know is already stressed out and busy enough, you know? In some ways it’s easier to hire a stranger who you can imagine has nothing to do all day except for help you. The unfortunate downside, of course, being hiring costs money. Is bartering best with some magical level of acquaintance?

2) Worries about inequity. I already suspect I’m going to be calling on my dog friend for help more than she will need to call on me. How do you keep things fair, and from one side from feeling overused?

3) That Person. The people who make you feel like you just should have done the project yourself or hired someone. You know, the usually-cool friend who sincerely volunteers to help, but doesn’t follow though because they’re “really busy right now,” and then you’re stuck with more work because you counted on them and shouldn’t have and need to figure out Plan B. We all know people like this, right? Let’s name names in the comments section! Just kidding.

I’d love to hear others’ experiences in bartering (or just, you know, a deal where you help out a friend and vice versa), and any tips you have to share!

Bartering is Back

Bartering

Originally posted on http://canadiansavings.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/bartering

Bartering

Last night at the Gail club meeting we attend, the topic of Bartering came up. What is Bartering? Bartering is simply trading one thing for another. Say I have a goat and I want a chicken, if I can find someone with a chicken who wants a goat, we can exchange these products without needing to first convert the goat and chicken into money.

Believe it or not, money was invented to make bartering easier. Using money means you have a set medium on which everything is valued. Houses, cars, cows, goats and chickens all have a dollar figure associated with them. If a chicken is worth $10 and a goat is worth $15 dollars and as a chicken owner I can’t find anyone willing to trade, or anyone that wants a chicken but owns a goat, I can sell off the chickens to people who want chickens and then find a goat owner to buy the goats from.

Money enables the transactions of goods to happen relatively easily. Back to bartering. In the meeting a member of the club mentioned there was a bartering society in the Kitchener and Waterloo area. While trading services is something that I have seen done a lot in my family, it is not something I’ve ever tried. Believe it or not, Bartering enabled my dad to pay for my teeth cleaning at the dentist, along with his benefits from work, printing business cards allowed my teeth to stay clean. When I needed a counselor, printing up billing pads for them got my father a 50% discount. My father traded something he was good at, running a printing press, for services he needed for his family, and boy did I need those services when I was a teenager.

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The bartering society is different from the informal and very direct form of bartering my father did. They have a currency in the system. Apparently called “Barter dollars” it allows for the easy exchange of dollars for a service you need and the ability to sell services you have to get barter dollars from others. Basically it is money in a closed system. You can’t take the barter dollars and spend them outside of the barter society. This is simply because if you took them to a Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart employees would look at you funny as if you were giving them Canadian Tire money.

So why haven’t I tried to barter? I’m great at fixing computers, but that becomes tedious. I work in a cell phone company, but there is nothing there in that required skill set that can be bartered away. I know my stuff when it comes to personal finance, but dishing out advice to people in exchange for something is highly regulated and I really don’t need the headaches that come from over stepping my bounds.

Have you ever Bartered? have you ever joined a bartering society? Is there a secret barter handshake?