Le Barter trading platform glimpse of the past

A new trading platform called "Le Barter" has been launched in Samoa offering people the opportunity to trade goods for goods on a mutual agreement between traders, instead of cash.

The platform brings back the barter system used by our ancestors to trade items and services.

A similar page was launched in Fiji which has become quite successful hence the trend. 

Margaret Bell, one of the administrators of Le Barter said that her husband is Fijian and recently became an avid contributor of a Facebook page Barter for Better Fiji set up by Marlene Dutta.

"He suggested setting up a similar page in Samoa and my family all jumped on board hence Le Barter where we are all admins," Mrs. Bell said. 

Bartering is not a new system and it was working very well with our ancestors' prior to the introduction of money. 

According to Mrs. Bell, the platform wasn't developed for income but to help people get by.

Marlene Dutta's idea was fitting for these difficult times where everyone is strapped for cash but everyone has idle items or services they can trade for goods or services with no money exchanged at all. 

However, precautions have to be taken.

"Members are advised to ensure that goods and services are legitimate and no illegal trading of any sort. The response received has been immense so far- nearly 2000 members in less than a week which make this an in-demand platform for everyone," Mrs. Bell said.

Ensuring the safety of exchange is the responsibility of the traders. With the COVID-19 pandemic, traders are advised to maintain prevention measures. 

"From some stories, we've seen how they generally share photos prior to confirming pickup. No different from going to the shop or purchasing online just no money exchanged," she said

There are currently eight administrators on the platform which monitors every post that comes through to ensure that nothing looks dodgy as well as the screening of account profile prior approving to join the group. All these admins are family members of Mrs.Bell. 

The Le Barter Platform is operated under our group rules that state that there shall be no money exchanges, not for advertising other businesses, no illegal trading and to be nice while trading.

Posting up a good or service for bartering is quite simple. Post photo or item or service in exchange for what you need, people will comment, pick-up, and drop off and then the trade is done.

More members join the group every day and more exchanges are being made daily as seen on the Le Barter page. 

A satisfied member of the group stated that Le Barter is an initiative to offload some clutter that may be useful to others in return for items needed and perhaps vice versa when required again.

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