Paying With Time and Talent, Not Money

Growth in bartering makes it easy -- and cheap -- to find help.

By + More

Want a new coat of paint on your bedroom? A new design for your website? Or perhaps some editing help? You can have it all -- for free.

Well, not exactly for free, but it won't cost you any money. Instead, you can exchange the skills that you have for the ones that you don't. The recession, along with websites that make such trades easy, are bringing the old-fashioned practice of bartering back into style.

Trading services is a great way to take advantage of the bad economy, says Kimberly Seals-Allers, author of The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion Into Profit and creator of "You'll have a large number of highly qualified individuals [offering their services] who you couldn't have afforded before. It's an opportunity to find talent and negotiate things." For example, she adds, "I'll edit someone's website if they'll solve my computer problems. I've offered myself as a writing coach." Seals-Allers suggests being creative about your skills. Could you teach cooking? Woodworking? Website design? There's a demand for all kinds of niches on sites such as and You can post what you're looking for and what you have to offer and then wait for responses.

  • For more, see 7 Ways to Make Extra Money.
    • Have you had any luck with bartering? Share your experience below.