Around the world, websites that enable users to trade goods and services for the same are thriving in the down economy, the Washington Post reports. Craigslist, for instance, says bartering on the site has doubled in the past year. One Washington man got a plumber in exchange for a ride on his boat. "It's hot right now," said the head of one bartering association in Virginia.
The barter sites also spawn a sense of camaraderie, as people with similar interests band together and trade not just to save money, but also for the fun of it. “This is a new community spirit I've seen within the last three months,” one administrator said. For instance, clotheshorses can find similarly sized companions and simply trade outfits to keep their look fresh. “It's a new way of looking at shopping,” one said. Or, not shopping.