Topic: bartering

My wife convinced me to do a mock-up of a website for her favorite local restaurant, thinking that we could then show it to the owner and barter services (we'll work for food).  So I spent a couple hours on it last night and put together a pretty descent mock-up.  After showing it to my wife this morning, she was so impressed and was absolutely convinced that they will give us free food for it.

So, my question is, what's the best way to go about this?  Do I walk in, ask for the owner, and show him the site?  Do I call first?  Do I send a letter?  What would you do?

Re: bartering

On bartering in general, I love the concept, but the three times I've done it with web design have all three been bad experiences. One was a disaster that almost ended up in a lawsuit. Consequently my wife and I have decided on a no-bartering policy.

Beyond that, I'm not sure how you'd go about it. My cases were all meetings in person, though I hadn't necessarily planned them that way.

"Bear 270, young man. Bear two, seven, zero, over." - Musings of a flight simulator guru, me.

Re: bartering

I think this sums up my feelings on bartering, as it relates to doing web-dev work...

http://sam.brown.tc/entry/281/malarkey- … ey-as-do-i

http://twitter.com/Malarkey/statuses/777394415

However, if they're willing to pay you directly in food, then I guess it's a moot point.

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: bartering

I actually think bartering is an awesome concept (though this is my first time attempting it...I may have a different opinion afterward).  It gets us back to a time when services and products were worth what you could get for them, in a very practical sense.  Food is as good as (if not better than) cash, imo.

Re: bartering

Hey, as I said I like the concept. Trading chickens for milk or pigs for plowing really does sound like my idea of a good thing. My point above is it hasn't worked for me in the web dev context, probably because its a somewhat intangible service rather than goods. I think a lot of that may lie how the mind of the restaurant owner works... odds are against you, I think, but it certainly could work out.

"Bear 270, young man. Bear two, seven, zero, over." - Musings of a flight simulator guru, me.

Re: bartering

I would present it as though this was a normal design client and introduce the concept of barter after they show interest in your design.  Because there are more factors involved in the process than just the design (such as hosting, maintenance, etc.), there's more for the client to consider than just the investment of future food.  You can also state in your proposal that payment is to be in cash or the equivalent of products and/or services.

That's my 2 cents :^{>

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: bartering

I haven't done it, but within the last few weeks told my wife to see if any of the orthodontists we're looking at for our kids mouths needed a site...;)

Re: bartering

Money is a "medium of exchange." Anything that can be valued, can be valued with a certain amount of money, which is worth the same to everyone (except those doing currency arbitrage).

Personally, I don't barter because in my experience the value of online work evaluated by offline businesses tend to be wildly different.

Boyink wrote:

... see if any of the orthodontists we're looking at for our kids mouths needed a site

Also, I would rather (i) work for money, (ii) give and tithe, (iii) pay taxes, and then (iv) buy meal(s) in their restaurant.
Otherwise, I find it confusing.

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: bartering

The main problem I see with "bartering" (or product-service exchange) in any field is how to come to an agreement on value. Money you can't argue with. You set a price and they take it or leave it, but exchanging services or products is different.

As for HOW to go about it, I'd say cautiously. Make sure you have in your mind a set value for the work and a fair conversion for what that means in terms of food. Then, don't stray from that and don't do any work until you've agreed on everything in writing. I'd hate to see your favorite restaurant become a place you avoid because of a deal gone bad.

Re: bartering

Natalie wrote:

I'd hate to see your favorite restaurant become a place you avoid because of a deal gone bad.

Actually he said its his wife's favorite restaurant.









That's worse!

"Bear 270, young man. Bear two, seven, zero, over." - Musings of a flight simulator guru, me.

Re: bartering

I'd rather do a website than go into debt for braces...;)

Re: bartering

LOL.  Great discussion going on since I checked in last.  Yes, I do have a value in mind for it.  Hosting, domain registration, etc, is less of an issue because they already have a website, it just is in severe need of updating.  I'm pretty sure they know it, too, because they've recently added more locations and raised their prices.  So it's not a hard case to make.

13

Re: bartering

You may want to see what the IRS has to say about Bartering: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html. You still are required to report that as income... So I say, go for $$$ payments; it'll save you loads of time in the long run.

Last edited by aim (2008-07-03 07:56:26)

Re: bartering

I knew someone would bring that one up.

gaebler.com wrote:

As you might have guessed, the IRS isn't willing to let go of taxable income that easily. In fact, the IRS offers no loophole whatsoever for bartered transactions. According to the IRS code, the fair market value of bartered products and services must be included in income during the tax year it is received. On the other hand, the cost of producing the good or service given away in a bartered transaction can be included as an expense in the tax year it is incurred.

But even though you are required to report bartered goods as income, you can still use bartering as a way of reducing your tax liability since the fair market value of a good or service is often less than the amount that would actually be received at full markup. The result is less recorded profit and less taxable income at the end of the year. If you barter a couple of hundred dollars worth of services throughout the year, it's not going to have much of a tax impact. But if you barter several thousands of dollars in services, the tax benefits can begin to add up.

Ref: http://www.gaebler.com/Bartering-and-Taxes.htm

Personally it is my opinion that taxes on bartering is woeful violation of basic freedom, but I guess I'll have to take that up with congress. Maybe the ACLU could do something useful for a change.

Last edited by Leovenous (2008-07-07 07:54:02)

"Bear 270, young man. Bear two, seven, zero, over." - Musings of a flight simulator guru, me.

Re: bartering

So, Chris, how'd this go?

And for my two cents, I would have approached the owner first and thrown out the idea before spending all the energy in mocking up a website.

I stay away from Spec work for what it's worth.

Last edited by Will Phillips (2008-08-02 16:23:10)

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Re: bartering

A total flop.  When we went to the restaurant to show him what I put together (and to eat), the owner stated that he had a friend who took care of all of his web site needs, and that was that.  Oh well.  It only "cost" me about 3 hours of my time to put together the comp.

Re: bartering

Gotta love those "Friends", but then, I guess I am that friend to some people, you just (hopefully) wouldn't have a compunction to redesign one of my sites. wink

"Bear 270, young man. Bear two, seven, zero, over." - Musings of a flight simulator guru, me.

Re: bartering

Hehe.  I may as well show you what I put together for them.

current website
my revision

Re: bartering

Great job.
You will be able to use that for some client, one of these days.

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: bartering

They don't know what they're missing!  And it looks like the 'friend' has got a copy of publisher, word or front page!!!

James Cooper --  God loving, banjo playing, geek!

Re: bartering

Really nice job! They are definitely missing out.