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Discussion Starter #1
Quite frequently the talk of trading comes up around here, and the more I think about the various possible post PAW scenarios, the more I think that trading will be a very difficult thing to do.

In my personal situation for example, while I'm on friendly terms with my neighbors, they're not my "friends" in the sense that they're the people I want to spend my time with. So even though I've broached the subject of being prepared with some of them, I don't talk about it a lot, especially with any details of what I'm doing. When I have brought it up, I've gotten the same response of indifference that many of you have also probably received, and I'm probably laughed at behind my back as being a nutcase.

So if we're in a bugged in scenario, and the neighbors are running out of food, water, etc... due to a lack of preparation, the odds of them having something I *need* will be extremely low. Also, if I'm trading with one neighbor, and he tells another one that David has "stuff" that's needed, how long until there's several people banging on my door wanting to "trade" or worse than that, they're just plain wanting for me to "share". And how long until my refusal to share or trade invokes violence?

In a bugged out scenario, the situation becomes a little different, is it a permanent bug-out, or short term? Regardless, there's only so much we can carry in our vehicle, or on our backs, which makes what we have in our possession even more valuable to keep to ourselves. I've been on many back country backpacking trips, and the decision of what to carry is always carefully considered. I'm pretty sure the last thing on my mind is deciding what to take with me to trade.

Some of you have probably seen the "Postman" with Kevin Costner. An excellent PAW type of movie, and in it people were portrayed as living harmoniously in communities of like minded people. While I believe there's potential for that to happen, I suspect it will be far & few between. I think people are going to get ugly & violent, predators are going to prey on the weak, and it's going to be a "watch your back" sort of world.

The only environment where I see trading, and /or a living n a "harmonious" community, is further out in the country. But for city dwellers, I suspect it'll be more in line of my expectations.

I'm sure there's those who see things differently than I do, and I'd certainly like to hear those perspectives as well. Maybe my view of humanity is more dreary than it needs to be, or maybe I'll change my perspective and be more than willing to help those in need in a PAW. I just don't know...

The bottom line... I think that living in a world after tshtf, is gonna be a lot worse than we expect as we sit here and pound away at our keyboards, feeling good after putting up a bunch of dry goods in Mylar bags or storing some extra candles, or SPAM, or 5.56 ammo, etc...

BTW... I did put up several lbs of sugar & salt tonight, as well as a few "spices" and tea. :D:

Sorry... Obviously my glass is more than 1/2 empty tonight. And no, I've not been drinking, nor am depressed in any way...
:)

David...
 

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Nope I had the same thought, mine question wasa bit different.

So I'm bugging out I've decided to go from riverside California to ...... Um Texas my ride dies 80 miles out and I'm humping it to Texas. I see a family van I hail the driver he slows down i see him his wife and two kids. He rolls down the window and quickly tells me he has no food or water to give.

I tell him I don't have to worry but I need a ride I offer to barter with perhaps 4 space
blankets.

How do we strike an accord, how do I give an opening offer? how do you barter with a father would just as likely kill me to keep his family alive. How do you trade an object for a service?
My biggest question is how do you open up dialogue " hey their mr person what do you have to barter with? I would like to
trade!"

What have you bartered with in a survival situation
 

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Good post (other than the movie reference...grrr). I agree wholeheartedly. Trading is going to be dangerous work in the early stages of a large scale crisis. As you mentioned, when word gets out, people are going to insist that you "share," by force if necessary. The most important aspect is to simply not let them know you have anything.

I figure they're not obligated to share the fruits of their labor with me. They aren't obligated to loan me their RV or take me on their latest cruise. They're not obligated to let me swim in their pool, watch their big screen TV, or play with their gadget techno toys. And by the same token, I'm not obligated to share the fruits of my labor with them. Even if it's a life or death situation. Afterall, are we obligated to give our money to the guy down the street who needs medical treatment but can't afford it? Obama would have you think so, but true freedom comes in the ability to say no if we so decide.

Over the years I've put away a lot of barter goods. And I'm pretty well squared away with preps. I can't see myself bartering until things calm down and commerce starts to become established again. My barter goods are more of a way of having a "business" when life starts to come together again, rather than to trade for things I need. But that could change if we suddenly needed something desperately. Hence, part of the reason I have them in the first place.
 

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These are some very sensitive points to considder, and it seems that every situation will have to be weighed on it's own merret.
Lots of mistakes will be made ,compromises will be regretted and trust will be put to the test .
It would seem prudent to have a system of exchange during the first part of the event to ensure a level of safety for both parties . this is tricky .
But with trust and deception being the biword, the only trading I see happening, is with in a closed community.
Any one sticking it out in their own home will have to remain invisable and completely self contained.
Military may be searching for food as well ,armed with stuff that will most certianly level a home , you guna say no ?
On the other hand , small children may be the first to your door being sent by their parents , what then ? You can blame the parents but not the kids .
In poorer countries around the world children beg in the streets even die in the streets ,many of them muslam ,from what I have gathered from people living in those areas. Even I as a child have not forgotten those that were kind to me and especially those unkind to me .
Just a little something to keep in mind .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good post (other than the movie reference...grrr)...
lol... Is it the movie or the actor? I actually enjoyed it, especially the cameo with Tom Petty. Sure, it doesn't represent real life, but hey... it was a movie :)

...I can't see myself bartering until things calm down and commerce starts to become established again. My barter goods are more of a way of having a "business" when life starts to come together again, rather than to trade for things I need. But that could change if we suddenly needed something desperately. Hence, part of the reason I have them in the first place.
Good response.... Unfortunately, I'm not stocked up with enough (stuff) to make it much past 8-12 months, ans who knows how long it takes to get back to a resemblance of normalcy is beyond anyone's guess. I can certainly see where trading would then become a necessity.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lots of mistakes will be made ,compromises will be regretted and trust will be put to the test .
Agreed...

Military may be searching for food as well ,armed with stuff that will most certianly level a home , you guna say no ?
I think (hope) that the military, or National Guard, will be a small part of our worries...

David...
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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Sometimes, i wonder if the real key to all this is to make it past the die-off.

I agree w/ MikeK, early-on bartering or trading isn't likely to be the best strategy.

But 45 days into it? Maybe 60 or 75 days? Maybe it will be six months. Depends on what time of year, probably, and what region of the country.

I live in Wisconsin. I can imagine the SHTF in mid-December. No gardens. Tough to heat homes. No food deliveries.

How long until people start dying? December is a particularly interesting time as 1/3 of the deer population will have been harvested during the previous month of deer season.

Early in my prepping odyssey, I thought that the key was six months--drop out of circulation for six months, and somehow get to the other side of the die-off.

Of course, I never quite figured out how I could do that, but I still wonder if that's the number--six months.
 

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Well, look at it this way, PAW might be just that chance you need to really get to know your neighbors. Probably not going to be a lot on TV after all.

As for trade, remember there is the concept of shared 'need' to be had. If you aren't interested in trading, if you don't need anything, there really isn't any reason for you to be that concerned about trade.

So the first step in avoiding trading if you are concerned about it, is to prep such that you will have no needs. Then, if you do decide to trade at some point, it will only be at a time and place of your choice.

YMMV,
Chad
 

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I can't see myself bartering until things calm down and commerce starts to become established again. My barter goods are more of a way of having a "business" when life starts to come together again, rather than to trade for things I need. But that could change if we suddenly needed something desperately. Hence, part of the reason I have them in the first place.
Well said, MikeK.
 

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Never let your neighbors know what you are doing, storing, weapons you have, dont advertise by toting them around in gun cases for all to see, the whole nine yards. If you are sure your neighbors dont know what you are doing then keep it this way, and when things go bad, you and your family gather together and join the soup and blanket lines from the red cross or salvation army .......just like everybody else. This way it shows your neighbors you have nothing if you are in the soup lines next to them, and it saves a meal or two from your stored goods by joining the lines, thus making your stash last that much longer.

As for bartering, stock obvious things like rolling papers and large tins of cigarette tobacco, pint bottles of popular liquor like Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker (Black label or better :D ) etc etc. As long as you got your stash of food and you know youll be good for a very long time, when things start turning around a little, cash those barterables in for only gold and silver from the ones who invested in it as a butt saving commodity. When and if things get back to normal, you now have the funding materials in those metals to get back to normal and then some.
 

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I've been clipping coupons for Harbor Freight lately and been getting a TON of free stuff, screwdrivers, scissors, socket sets, knives, rope and more. I figure I'll stockpile whatever I can to use for trading once it's realistic.

The other bonus is that I've been stocking up on items I need at the same time since you have to buy at least 1 item to use the free coupons. I've got machetes, magnesium fire starters, rope, hammers and more.

I think we all know Harbor Freight isn't the best quality but it is more than good enough for a lot of items and the price is right.
 

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Trading will deffinately be a tricky situation. Someone who is willing to trade with you might not be so nice when his trade goods run out and he's hungry.
 

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I think bartering goods is a good skill to practice now rather then later. I am trading a rifle today for a diff one I want. The key is to find deals where both you and the other person get what you want.
 

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I am very new to the prepping/survivalist game but my question would be this: Don't you think that the neighbors you have that don't prep, the same ones that you are worried about opsec, will notice that they are all trying to make it on an unstocked cracker/cereal pantry and when that runs out they will all see that, "hey, the people in house 945 haven't come out or been seen since the event". I mean it is something to consider. Where I am going with this is along the same lines as the local trade running out and/or people asking for handouts, you have to be willing to deny and defend your family first and inventory second at the drop of a hat. When the "friends" or neighbors come over after they have discovered you are home and stocked, or the people you have been trading with run out of goods it is going to get very real, very quick. Will you be able to acknowledge exactly when that is and react? Just some thoughts.
 

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Come to think of it things like a trading post might actuaLLY POP UP.Trade items might be culturally disturbing ,but giving the state things can get ,slavery may actually return.
As a matter of survival .
People may indenture them selves, just to survive .
This time should become interesting ,because a mans reputation is baised on his word being absolutely dependable . Once a bad reputation is known ,NO one will do business with them not even forgiveness .
This is one reason strangers were not trusted comming into a small town.
Decent folk knew they had a reputation to maintain. And it effected their whole family either way .
 

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Come to think of it things like a trading post might actuaLLY POP UP.
It's occurred to me that I should be the driving force behind such a thing, assuming we can get to the point where trade and barter is important. Here's something I wrote on that a few months ago; would appreciate some critique:

Barter and trading isn't something that will likely be common right away following any SHTF scenario, but at some point, it will be much more important.

I believe trade is stabilizing. Mutual dependencies are stabilizing. Bartering to enhance or create relationships is stabilizing. The question is how you enable that. One way is to have or produce something everyone wants and barter it to them, but I think facilitating barter among many people may be just as important.


The problem with barter is that each side must need what the other has in surplus, and matching up those needs is often difficult. So how do we get a system which enables that?

Like others, I'm concerned about A) showing what i have which might make me a target, and B) finding ways to barter in which both sides leave reasonably happy.

So here's my ideating on this: Perhaps I would start a barter service or market. Instead of hoping one springs up spontaneously, or that others do it, maybe I should plan for that.

I can envision a place where people would hang notices saying they were looking for this or that, and have this or that to trade. They'd use a code number to identify themselves, and others who were interested would respond, using their code number. I would keep track of code numbers and identities, but only me. There may even be a way to do that more efficiently.

Perhaps it would work like this: someone would post a note which said "I"m looking for some .22LR, 200 rounds, want Rice in return." Someone would produce a notice in response, put it in a slot, and which would then be hung by me, not the person, saying, perhaps "I'll give you 2# of White Long Grain rice for those rounds."

The original barterer might respond saying "I won't take less than 30#", or whatever. The original person might specify a price rather than wait for negotiations.

Or I could then be the middleman between them, negotiating live, representing each other's interests without them seeing each other.

We might even do this with a screen between the parties so each would not know what the other looked like. I can see a situation where they might place their items in a place behind glass, where others could see exactly what it was they were bartering for. The counterparty could put their items in a similar class enclosure so first party could see, then additions or subtractions could be made until both parties agreed. But neither could see each other.

Then, when agreement was reached, I (as negotiator) would reverse the boxes, open the glass, whatever was necessary so each could remove their own goods.

I, as negotiator, would extract some small pittance as the price of my providing not only the place but the negotiating. A commission, as it were.


What is it we'd want to have a barter relationship work, especially with others you don't know, or whom you do not wish to know that you have certain items. Seems to me we want:

1. Anonymity

2. Ability to accept or reject

3. Certainty that when agreement was reached you could collect your items and then exit without the other party knowing who you were.

And as you exited (presumably from opposite sides of the building), nobody would know what you were carrying in your satchel. If we had enough people doing this, nobody would know.

4. Some sort of security. I know how this sounds, but I'd want and need a few armed guards to provide a sense that if trouble developed, there'd be a response. They would hopefully be a deterrent.


I live in a relatively small town, and I think something like the above could work. Would it work in Milwaukee or Chicago or St. Louis or Nashville? I don't know, but a system that preserved anonymity while allowing for fair bargaining would seem to work.



Thoughts, adjustments, extensions, critiques?
 
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