Sault Bartering site a hit

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The need for a haircut while on a tight budget has sparked a citywide interest in online bartering.
Shannon Broos started the Facebook group “Sault Bartering” on Jan. 5 and already it has more than 2,500 members, and every day it grows.
“It all started because I needed a haircut,” Broos told Sault This Week. “Money is tight after Christmas, and I am on maternity leave right now so that makes money even tighter.
“I made a post in a mom’s group on Facebook asking if anyone would be willing to barter some baking for a haircut since I have a small business making cheesecakes from home. One of the girls who commented on my post liked my idea and suggested I make a group.”
Broos didn’t expect the group to grow as fast as it has, but she is happy that so many others are as excited about it as she is and hopes it will continue to grow.
“I would love it if everyone in town and surrounding areas joined,” she said. “The Sault to Goulais to Prince Township – everyone is welcome!”
She hasn’t yet had to implement a long list of rules, as everyone has remained respectful and fair so far.
“The main rule I’ve made is no trades for illegal items,” said Broos. “Also, making sure to follow through on your trades is important, too.”
Flexibility in terms of what can be bartered means anything legal goes, whether it’s goods for goods, service for service, or a mix of both. Some of the more popular goods and services up for trade so far include clothes, crafts, pet care, houseplants, home renos, and baking.
It’s also flexible in how the trades are determined. Some have posted specific trade requests, like one member who owns a cabin and is willing to give vacation time at the cabin in exchange for installation of flooring there. Some post with what they’ve got to offer and a list of potential trades they’d be open to, such as a bread-maker in exchange for picture frames or wall art.
Others have posted what they’re looking for and left it open to those responding to set out a potential trade; one member asked if anyone does piano tuning. “What would you want/need/like in exchange?” asks the poster.
Still others have simply posted their skills or the kinds of things they could offer, just to see what they could get in exchange. Works of art and craft items – such as a crocheted baby Yoda – are often listed this way.
Though only days old, several successful trades have already happened, such as a small plant in exchange for a few empty mason jars.
Broos herself has already had two successful trades through the site; in exchange for some of her baking she has had her driveway shoveled and the haircut that started it all.
Broos says anyone thinking about joining the group, should not to be afraid to post.
“I’ve seen a few people say that they don’t have much to offer, but everyone is willing to work with everyone,” said Broos. “There has even been some ‘paying it forward’ in the group which I think is fantastic. I just love that we have a community of people so willing to help each other out.”

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