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I was stationed in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Which was a largely lawless warzone, and the people were largely illiterate. My wife and friends would send me care packages for me and my team. We had more toileteries than any of us could humanly use during our tour.

We had a Gem dealer, who was a local Afghan who would set up shop right outside my building on the FOB. He accepted cash for his wares. One day, one of my teammates asked him "Could I get this emerald for a bottle of Shampoo", he replied "yes!".

This area was so remote, that it was even hard to get the crappy pakistani toiletries. Here we were with American crest, colgate, herbal essence, AXE products. We then routinely bartered toiletries for emeralds, tourmalines and sapphires.

Just something to think about, add a case of small travel size toiletries to your preps. Im sure a few months into SHTF, soap may be worth its weight in gold, or emeralds. Has anyone else had any interesting real world bartering experiences?
 

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I was stationed in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Which was a largely lawless warzone, and the people were largely illiterate. My wife and friends would send me care packages for me and my team. We had more toileteries than any of us could humanly use during our tour.

We had a Gem dealer, who was a local Afghan who would set up shop right outside my building on the FOB. He accepted cash for his wares. One day, one of my teammates asked him "Could I get this emerald for a bottle of Shampoo", he replied "yes!".

This area was so remote, that it was even hard to get the crappy pakistani toiletries. Here we were with American crest, colgate, herbal essence, AXE products. We then routinely bartered toiletries for emeralds, tourmalines and sapphires.

Just something to think about, add a case of small travel size toiletries to your preps. Im sure a few months into SHTF, soap may be worth its weight in gold, or emeralds. Has anyone else had any interesting real world bartering experiences?
1st, thank you for your service to our nation!

And yes, those types of barter have been discussed many times here on the SB. Most understand that TP, soap, tooth brushes and paste and other items will be highly prized items!
 

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just me and mine
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Crash, first off, thank you for your service.

As far as bartering, the only real world experience I have had is I bartered a Toyota pickup for a snowmobile which I then bartered for a 79 Camaro. No cash or credit cards were used. That and a few trades/ barters for firearm accessories here and there.
 

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Nadafinga!!
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I can vouch for the gemstones in Afghanistan. They are incredibly cheap and the locals will swap anything American for them.

Favorite barter item with the Afgans when I was there: Red Bull. You could get just about ANYTHING for a can of Red Bull.
 

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Bartering is a way of life around here.
I traded to get my International Farmall, I got 200lbs of beef for a NEF 45-70 and 100 rounds of ammo, I traded a 1998 F-150 4x4 for an ATV and a dirtbike, I traded two jet skis and an AR-15 to get our boat. Most recently I traded two ducks for 4 chickens. I already got a dozen eggs from them!:D:
 

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I've been successfully bartering on a daily basis right here in the good 'ol U.S. of A. I've been trading these pretty but otherwise useless and valueless pieces of paper, which for identifying purposes,I refer to as "FRNs". I've found that if you play your cards right, you can trade these things for nearly anything, from gasoline to chicken burritos. Give it a try, there's no telling how much longer this will work :D:.
 

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Prepared Firebird
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Good thread........and definitely something to think about.

Many on this board are happily squirreling up a pile of cigarets, booze, and ammo......thinking that these will be the most wanted barter items.

Personally, I think those are the most likely to get you killed, once word gets out that you have them. And word WILL get around, as soon as you do the first trade.

However, I don't believe anyone is likely to get shot over a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo. And, I think these (and other hygiene items) are not really recognized (yet) as prime barter goods. They will be very much wanted in a situation where you can't just go to the closest store and get what you need.
 

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I am counting on my ability to sew for my future bartering exploits. I have a bolt of quilt batting, in a 100 foot roll hanging by a bar from the ceiling in my sewing room. I figure I can barter for quite a lot of stuff in exchange for a queen size quilt, all nice and warm.

I can make clothing, mend clothing, mend tents and tarps and such things. Being handy with a needle is a good skill to have.
 

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I was stationed in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Which was a largely lawless warzone, and the people were largely illiterate. My wife and friends would send me care packages for me and my team. We had more toileteries than any of us could humanly use during our tour.

We had a Gem dealer, who was a local Afghan who would set up shop right outside my building on the FOB. He accepted cash for his wares. One day, one of my teammates asked him "Could I get this emerald for a bottle of Shampoo", he replied "yes!".

This area was so remote, that it was even hard to get the crappy pakistani toiletries. Here we were with American crest, colgate, herbal essence, AXE products. We then routinely bartered toiletries for emeralds, tourmalines and sapphires.

Just something to think about, add a case of small travel size toiletries to your preps. Im sure a few months into SHTF, soap may be worth its weight in gold, or emeralds. Has anyone else had any interesting real world bartering experiences?
We regularly trade produce for services. Oh, wait...I sometimes read this board from work...um, I just made that up, and I'm a compulsive liar. Especially about guns. Yeaaaah; that's the ticket.

BTW, I once tried to use the .mil suggestion program to get little soaps added to MRE accessory packets, but they turned it down because it would "encourage service members to use water for washing instead of consumption." I fired back with "have you ever tried washing your socks with a baby wipe?" but that went nowhere fast. Sorry, bro. I tried. Sent care pkgs, instead. And thanks for your service.
 

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Prepared Firebird
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I am counting on my ability to sew for my future bartering exploits. I have a bolt of quilt batting, in a 100 foot roll hanging by a bar from the ceiling in my sewing room. I figure I can barter for quite a lot of stuff in exchange for a queen size quilt, all nice and warm.

I can make clothing, mend clothing, mend tents and tarps and such things. Being handy with a needle is a good skill to have.
*********************

You may want to re-think this idea. I homesteaded for ten years, and I had a standing offer (with notices tacked up on every community bulletin board I could find) that I was willing to trade a large queen/king size handmade quilt for a season's worth of someone willing to teach me how to can and preserve.

I had color photos of my quilts included on the barter notice. I'm a very skilled and experienced quiltmaker........and a whiz at combining color and pattern. I thought this was a very fair offer.........but I never got even one response.

It sure wasn't the fault of my quilts. I've exhibited my work in a lot of shows and events. Won some contests and sold my quilts for years, too.

So, the quilt barter idea may not work. I can sure see where the basic sewing and mending would be valuable, though. Most people can't even sew on a button or mend a ripped hem, etc.
 

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Two guys hung drywall in two rooms in my basement and they wanted $1,000 ($500 each). I paid one of them $500 cash, but the other one was a customer of mine - his two daughters were in my daycare. So instead of paying him $500, I watched his kids without charging him until their bill reached that amount.
 

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When USSR fell apart many local trades were done in home made alcohol. You could get a lot of things done for bottle of good moonshine.

My grandmother was making some superb moonshine. She had a large plot of very good land that kept us fed though the worst of the years. One time she paid some guy with very large tractor. Probably one left from Soviet Communal farm to come over and plough her land. All was well until tractor operator decided to consume most of the alcohol while working. He forgot to raise plough while leaving my grandmother's land. He plowed under several streets on his way home.

Needless to say my grandmother was not very warmly received in that town for a while.
 

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*********************

You may want to re-think this idea. I homesteaded for ten years, and I had a standing offer (with notices tacked up on every community bulletin board I could find) that I was willing to trade a large queen/king size handmade quilt for a season's worth of someone willing to teach me how to can and preserve.

I had color photos of my quilts included on the barter notice. I'm a very skilled and experienced quiltmaker........and a whiz at combining color and pattern. I thought this was a very fair offer.........but I never got even one response.

It sure wasn't the fault of my quilts. I've exhibited my work in a lot of shows and events. Won some contests and sold my quilts for years, too.

So, the quilt barter idea may not work. I can sure see where the basic sewing and mending would be valuable, though. Most people can't even sew on a button or mend a ripped hem, etc.
I can and I can just about everything from soups to jellies to chicken and other meat. And what I don't can we could learn to can together! And, I love quilts, a 1st cousin in her seventies that I've never met, only talked almost daily through email sent me a quilt she made just for me! But as much as I love quilts, I would happily teach you to can just for the pure joy of it.
 

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I was stationed in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Which was a largely lawless warzone, and the people were largely illiterate. My wife and friends would send me care packages for me and my team. We had more toileteries than any of us could humanly use during our tour.

We had a Gem dealer, who was a local Afghan who would set up shop right outside my building on the FOB. He accepted cash for his wares. One day, one of my teammates asked him "Could I get this emerald for a bottle of Shampoo", he replied "yes!".

This area was so remote, that it was even hard to get the crappy pakistani toiletries. Here we were with American crest, colgate, herbal essence, AXE products. We then routinely bartered toiletries for emeralds, tourmalines and sapphires.

Just something to think about, add a case of small travel size toiletries to your preps. Im sure a few months into SHTF, soap may be worth its weight in gold, or emeralds. Has anyone else had any interesting real world bartering experiences?
Ha ha! I spent two and a half years in Paktika province, at Orgun E and Sharana, and a few smaller FOBs. It is amazing what you can get for a 30 cent bic pen! Or a bar of soap.
My last trip there was in 2005 and I am sure things have changed but I used to be able to trade a bar of Irish Spring for a live goat, easily. We ate a lot of goat. I even kept one as a pet for awhile.
A buddy traded a ballpoint pen for a monkey. That monkey used to ride on the barrel of the Mk19 on patrols. Then 1st SGt made us give him away.
 

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*********************

You may want to re-think this idea. I homesteaded for ten years, and I had a standing offer (with notices tacked up on every community bulletin board I could find) that I was willing to trade a large queen/king size handmade quilt for a season's worth of someone willing to teach me how to can and preserve.

I had color photos of my quilts included on the barter notice. I'm a very skilled and experienced quiltmaker........and a whiz at combining color and pattern. I thought this was a very fair offer.........but I never got even one response.

It sure wasn't the fault of my quilts. I've exhibited my work in a lot of shows and events. Won some contests and sold my quilts for years, too.

So, the quilt barter idea may not work. I can sure see where the basic sewing and mending would be valuable, though. Most people can't even sew on a button or mend a ripped hem, etc.
I'm a top notch award winning woodworker. Most of my skill is worthless. Same with just about any skill that can be done over seas or by machine. Those carvers in south east Asia have spent their life learning the craft and make a good living at $3.00 a day. A guy down the road makes cabinet doors with a friggin computer cheaper than I can buy the wood. :confused:

Come SHTF I hope you have a lot of cloth tucked away cus walmart got repoed by China and I'll need long johns.
 

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Although not 'direct experience', I find the TV show "American Pickers" on the History Channel to be instructive (as well as entertaining).

These are unstaged "horse tradin'" sessions with some real wheeler-dealer types. You get to see the art of 'making the deal'.

Definitely helps if you have the propensity for verbosity. :thumb:

http://www.history.com/shows/american-pickers
 
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