Bartering is the New Black

Swapping remodeling services, hair cuts, and tattoos is apparently "in" these days.

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In these dire economic times, it's not totally surprising that old-fashioned bartering is making a comeback. These days, it applies to everything from remodeling to hair cuts and pedicures to dental cleanings(!)

According to this story, bartering on Craigslist has increased 100 percent versus this time last year. A recent search of the barter listings in my area included tattoos for plumbing; a camcorder and paintball gun for Xbox 360 parts; and face painting for an Ikea table. Other services offered for exchange included drywalling, tennis lessons, and carpet installation.

All this bartering talk reminds me of a bartering opportunity missed in college, when I turned down body piercing from a girl in my dorm (she was in training) in exchange for unspecified goods. But on the other hand, a good friend of mine used barter in exchange for yoga lessons, which sounds like a good idea, especially since yoga lessons can run $15 or more per class.

Unfortunately for barterers, such exchanges are considered taxable by the IRS (see Form 1099-B.)