Bartering Makes a Comeback

Consumer Watch -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some people are getting creative to try to put food on the table. More people are swapping items for things or services they once paid cash for.

Bartering is nothing new and there are barter exchanges and clubs all over the web which charge a fee for matching up people with trades, but Craigslist is free.

Tammie Bryant is a single mother in Sacramento with a job that pays her half of what she was making in the past. To makes ends meet, Bryant is using Craigslist to trade her work skills for food. "Accounting skills, administrative skills, ah personal shopping, childcare, housecleaning," said Bryant.

Officials with Craigslist said there have been over 140,000 barter listings on its websites. That's twice the number from a year ago.

From construction to computer repair the possibilities are endless.

But Bryant's also gotten plenty of offers to trade for sexual favors, or nude house cleaning.

Which brings us to a good point: when using Craigslist, there are several safety measures to take. Know who you're dealing with before going to someone's home or office. Tell a friend or family member where you're going, and trust your instincts. When meeting someone for the first time, insist on a public meeting place like a cafe.


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