It’s not uncommon for me to get requests from people, especially other craftsmen, asking if I’d be willing to swap out a whip for one of their items. I’ve made such inquiries myself over the years and I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst anyone can say is “no thanks.”
There’s some things about bartering that I really like the idea of… One of those things is that in an even swap, no money is changing hands and Paypal isn’t getting a cut. (Trust me, they get enough of my money already!) And though the IRS claims barter is taxable income, I guarantee if John Q. Public trades Joe Sixpack a $150 widget for a $150.00 lawn mower, it ain’t going on either of their 1040 forms!
The primary consideration for me is whether I can I afford to make the swap or not. Whip making is not a side-line business or a hobby anymore. It’s what I do. If I spend a day making a $250 whip to trade for some neat widget someone wants to swap, it’s not paying the bills or putting food on the table. I have to factor that into my decision to trade. My family needs come first.
Just this week I emailed a certain craftsman about making a swap. I knew he liked my whips and he sold a particular item that I would love to have. I let him know I was willing to swap, but he declined because he was expecting a new baby soon and needed money more than a new whip. I told him I totally understood his situation. Again, it never hurts to ask.
One thing I get a lot of requests for is people wanting to trade a whip for a whip. Now, I want to be very delicate in how I put this, but there’s not really much that interests me about swapping whips in general. It’s not that I’m a whip snob, but I make whips all the time and I have whips that I’ve collected over the years. I’m fairly happy with my collection, most of which were gifts. The whips I would like to add to my collection are way out of my price range. So basically, trading a whip for a whip is one of the last things I want to do.
The offers I really hate are when someone says they’re willing to trade, but everything they have is worth like 10 times what my whips cost. I’m sorry, but if what someone has will cost me a whip plus $779, I’m not even remotely interested.
When I first set up cowwhips.com, I bartered whips for the web design. That worked well. One time I even traded a bullwhip for a bolt action Savage rifle. I really liked that trade. I’d like to get some more deals like that.
So, maybe now you’re wondering what all would I be interested in trading for?
Well, It’s hard to say. It just depends on what you’ve got. It never hurts to ask. Shoot me an email. The worse I can say is “no thanks.”
February 5th, 2013 at 1:51 pm
Hey Rhett, good thoughts on the subject! I’ve made some good & bad trades over the years. Though it’s not offensive to me when someone declines an offer of mine (disappointment maybe), I’m afraid that I’ve offended others in not accepting their offers. But as you said, family needs come first. Great post!