Sunday, November 15, 2009

the bride's bartered lingerie came out with a catchy article title, "Barter Boom: Swapping Sex Toys for Plumbing", which I felt compelled to investigate further. The recessionary times have caused an increase in the bartering various goods and services, as well as the appurtenant trade organizations or events. The article covered one such event in Bristol, Connecticut. Some of the barters listed were:
  • Jewelry for meat, advertising, plumbing and heating services
  • Newspaper advertising for moving services
  • High end clocks for graphic design/printing services
  • Lingerie and other adult products for plumbing services
By far, the most alluring of trades was the last: lingerie/sex toys for plumbing. Seems like an odd juxtaposition of goods and services but I'm sure there are many a romantic tradesman out there. And, as some are unabashed by butt cleavage, walking off the jobsite with something like Just Married's Thunderstick A-2000 in his tool belt wouldn't be something to get worried about, unless he needed to subsequently barter the services of an electrician as well.

Bartering sounds like a great way to mitigate the effects of the recession but how does it work when litigation creeps into an otherwise perfect picture? Say, for example, the plumbing leaks and permanently ruins the sex toy dealer's entire stock of Thunderstick A-2000s. It is unlikely that the sex toy dealer would settle for more services of the said plumber. Could the plumber instead negotiate a third party trade - say, cases of meat from a butcher than was pleased with the plumber's work - to pay for damages?

Of course, with perishable goods, a standard for the time-value of barter may need to be established.

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