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Is barter dead?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Would anyone here accept barter if a client offered it?

I noticed my midwife doesn't have a website (one of the few in the area that doesn't) and her business name is available as a domain. I've also noticed that she has several typos on her handouts ( a pet peeve of mine) and she's not comfortable with computer software so she leaves them instead of fixing them. Since I'm a bit of a tech geek and am also taking a html course this fall I thought we could help each other out by me setting her up a web page and fixing her documents in exchange for a discount on her fee.

I feel really bad approaching her though as it seems that barter is kind of a thing of the past. If I suggest it to her is it going to look like I don't value her time or am just trying to get out of paying?

What do you all think? Would you consider a professional job in exchange for a professional job a viable option if a client approached you with it?
post #2 of 23
i'm a doula and i absolutley would barter. it sounds like you can provide something she could use. i see no harm in offering.
post #3 of 23
As a doula, I'd barter for things that I really need (and have in the past). One client's partner painted our house. I waited forever, hoping for a client who could install wood floors, and am now hoping for one who can build a fence (can you tell we are not very handy? )

It never, ever hurts to ask!
post #4 of 23
My midwife loves to barter - unfortunately for us, we don't have any skills I felt we could have offered up.
post #5 of 23
you can ask
it depends on if the mw can afford to barter, and if she will value the service- and if you can agree on the value of the service--- which is part of how bartering ends up not simple nor always comfortable--
things to consider
what would be the per hr value of the service for a small business like hers- bigger business can and do afford to pay more to professionals
how long will you provide the service for- updates and management for x length of time
often mws are reluctant to do trades that will extend beyond the time of birth because time management and priorities change for new moms - sometimes contracts can be made up for contingencies but in states where it isn't legal to practice mw a contract can be a bit of evidence against a mw
barter is taxable income.......

and if you can organize your info/thoughts before you ask it may be simpler to achieve.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Would anyone here accept barter if a client offered it?
Depending on the barter, absolutely!!!! I have with doula clients and my preceptor has with homebirth clients. Things like chiropractic care, haircuts, handy-man work, and childcare. I had one client who before finding out she needed a c/s was going to barter with some massages.

If you came to me with that barter offer I would accept it in a heartbeat!

With the state of insurance in our country and considering many women who want to homebirth simply can't afford to, I feel very strongly about bartering. I think it should be a part of a midwife's practice.
post #7 of 23
I would barter if it is something I could use and was completely laid out for me. I would want to see something like:

web design and hosting and updates for x many months/years valued at $x
redesign of handouts estimated x hours for $x/hour= $x value

Total value= $x

And then if there is a remaining portion that you would owe on top of that, add that to the list as well.

I think that would be a great way to approach it with her as a possible plan and only she can decide if it is something she would be willing to barter for. It is worth approaching her with though!
post #8 of 23
I'm a midwife and I LOVE TO BARTER! Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. I would gladly barter for a sleek, cool website. Or lawncare. Or housecleaning. Or a new car.
post #9 of 23
I'm not a midwife, but as a doula I would love that type of barter. Not only are you trading your time, but it will help her to get more business, so it's quite valuable.
post #10 of 23
I'm a doula, and I would absolutely barter. Especially for childcare. As others have said, if it were something we needed, definately. I'm not sure I'd take someone up on barter for something that we didn't do anyway.

I was wondering, though, if this midwife may just not really care about a website, etc. Some like to keep things low-tech, or already have the amount of clients that they can handle, etc. So that leaves it up to whether it's something she really desires.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by memiles View Post
As a doula, I'd barter for things that I really need (and have in the past). One client's partner painted our house. I waited forever, hoping for a client who could install wood floors, and am now hoping for one who can build a fence (can you tell we are not very handy? )

It never, ever hurts to ask!
I so thought about your wood floors when I saw this post!
post #12 of 23
I dont think it can hurt to ask. the worst she can say is no. I think that sometimes a partial trade/barter is more attractive, since they wll be getting *some* money, unless the skill/item you have to barter is truly worth the complete cost of her services. Like you said, setting up a website for a discount/reduction in fee sounds very reasonable, *IF* she is interested in having a website. Perhaps she would even need her records/appts/handouts/paperwork overhauled, digitalized, etc.....
post #13 of 23
I'm a doula and CBE, and I love to barter for services or things that I need. For example, I have a client who couldn't pay me completely in cash, and I don't accept credit cards. But a store at which I shop accepts credit cards, so the client got me a gift card to said store. I've also bartered for lawn and landscaping services, in the past. I am completely in favor or the barter economy, so I'd seriously consider your offer, if it were me.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmama33 View Post
I'm a doula and CBE, and I love to barter for services or things that I need. For example, I have a client who couldn't pay me completely in cash, and I don't accept credit cards. But a store at which I shop accepts credit cards, so the client got me a gift card to said store. I've also bartered for lawn and landscaping services, in the past. I am completely in favor or the barter economy, so I'd seriously consider your offer, if it were me.

A good way to accept credit cards is to use PayPal. I have found this an awesome option for families that need it!
post #15 of 23
I have bartered.

My client asked me if I wanted to barter, she was selling a car for $500. She knew I was looking for a car, she wanted doula services.
I gave her $500. postpartum doula time.

Ask your midwife, she can say no.
I have also donated my services for fundraising events.

Sometimes we really only need money to pay our bills!
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
A good way to accept credit cards is to use PayPal. I have found this an awesome option for families that need it!

Pam,
I have been thinking of doing this, how much do you have to pay to paypal?
post #17 of 23
As a doula I have bartered before and it worked out very well. Like previous posters have said, be sure to outline exactly what you are willing to do and for how long. You may also want to consider giving her an estimate on what she can expect to pay for upkeep of a website after your bartering time is over.

-Annie
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post
My midwife loves to barter - unfortunately for us, we don't have any skills I felt we could have offered up.
That's the same for us.....sadly there's no skills that we necessarily have either.
post #19 of 23
I'm really hoping the midwife DH and I choose will accept a barter agreement. I will need to use a CPM that isn't on my insurance companies provider list therefore, I know I will have a heck of a time getting reimbursement.

My husband has awesome woodworking skills, so we could totally trade furniture for midwifery expertise!
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I appreciate everyones responses. She was open to the idea : We're now just discussing how much of the cost will be covered in exchange before she makes a final decision. Having a very limited budget and needing to upgrade from car to van with this birth, a barter will be a true blessing. I'm very excited to see if it works out.
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