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By Lena Stephenson

Before money was used, bartering of goods and services took place. However, the introduction of money made bartering largely redundant. It is only recently that it has become popular once more, thanks to the internet. On trading stuff sites, you can exchange goods like books, games, electronics, furniture and clothing. It is even possible to trade big ticket items like cars, motorbikes and boats in this way.

There are very large sites where all kinds of goods and services are traded. Niche websites deal with one particular service such pet caring or house cleaning or the bartering of specific goods such as games, books, clothing or furniture. A site may also be dedicated to serving a certain area, enabling people to easily meet face to face to do the exchange.

These bartering websites all have different ways of operating. Some of them are smaller and more exclusive and do not just accept anyone as a member. On others registering is a very simple process and you can post your items immediately and start looking for a trade. When you find what you want, you make an offer to the other person and they can accept or decline it. It is as simple as that.

It helps to do some research before choosing a site as they all have different ways of operating, some of which are safer than others. You need to understand exactly how the trade is going to take place and what measures need to be taken to ensure safety. If you are going to meet someone, make sure that it is in a safe place with plenty of people about such as in a local coffee shop.

However, many trades can safely be made without actually meeting the other person. Some sites have procedures in place whereby individuals get points for the goods they want to barter and can then use them for the goods they want. The individuals never communicate directly with one another. Goods can be mailed or shipped quite safely too with all the procedures put in place to protect members on such websites.

The value of goods is always relative, depending on particular needs and wants as well as preferences. Bartering is a sweet deal when there is an equal trade that both parties benefit from. For example, there are websites offering parents the opportunity of swapping gently used clothing. Children grow very quickly and it can cost a fortune to keep buying them new clothing. Swapping hardly worn clothing with parents whose children are younger than yours is a simple solution.

Websites devoted to clothing and accessories are also very popular. Women who are fashion conscious often get tired of clothes very quickly. Those who are on a budget, can exchange clothing and update their wardrobe without laying out any cash.

Bartering websites are proving extremely popular, showing that trading in this way is far from defunct. Bartering assisted by the power of the internet does away with many of the impracticalities that lead to its decline. It provides a safe, convenient way for individuals to get rid of what they do not need or want in exchange for what they regard as something better.

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