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What to trade during a depression or collapse

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posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 12:26 PM
I think its instructional to look at occupied europe in the wake of WWII.

When people are stressed, they look for releases in vice:

Cigarette lighters
hershey bars
Champaigne & Wine, from newly liberated territories.
American whiskey, which became fashionable in newly occupied axis territories

Harmonicas were extremely popular, being small and not requiring batteries. (also because the ameriicans siezed the Hohner harmonica factory when they met the russian troops. For some reason the trombones and accordians didn't catch on.)

I'd also take a look at items traded on the american frontier. Guns and ammo are obvious, but granulated sugar is critical for most food preservation and canning. And in most of the US, it isn't produced locally, OR on a small scale--I think you'd have to have a plantation to produce it.

Wheat would quickly become available again, since it grows "volunteer" and can be grown and floured on a small scale.

I think chocolates and sweets in general would be extremely popular.

posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 07:32 PM
"What to trade during a depression or a societal collapse" has been a question that I have given quite a lot of thought and consideration over the years. In fact, it is something that I have pondered for much of my life!

My mother and father were refugees during WWII. They literally were running for their lives in a European Theater of Operations that saw some of the most intense fighting and some of the most intense personal deprivation -- the Baltic region, to be specific, Lithuania. Trapped between two armies: German and Russian, only the battle for simple survival could match the intensity of the war that my parents and hundreds of thousands of other refugees from the Baltics and Poland faced.

The experiences that my parents and so many others endured left deep psychological scars that affected their behaviors for the rest of their lives. These behaviors, likewise, were passed down to my brother and me. First off, I learned to maintain a larder or cache of canned foods. It might seem bizarre to some but I maintain quite a quantity of canned items from beans, vegetables, soups, fruit and juices all duly rotated as one item or another is used up in the daily preparation of meals. I learned early on to take advantage of sales and coupons to purchase an extra can or two whenever the opportunity arose. Besides saving money (as all items that I purchase never go to waste), it gives one "peace of mind" knowing that if things went "terribly wrong" we won't go hungry.

I also learned to take advantage of freeze dried foods such as Knorr soups. Besides tasting wonderful, one can always add meats and other items into the soup to provide a healthy and delicious "stew".

Naturally, when sales dictate, I take advantage of the opportunities to purchase canned coffee, tea, and cocoa. From what my parents related, these items were always desirable as were jars or tins of fruit jams and jelly's. These items were prime trading commodities as they were easily divided into smaller units and could be traded for other items of necessity.

I also tend to stockpile some rather mundane items: sewing needles, thread, patent medicines such as aspirin, tyelenol and advil. Painkillers might come in handy in a situation where there are no doctors or hospitals. Likewise, antibiotics and first aid supplies will be in demand. If you are diabetic or rely upon specific medications for survival, it's probably a good idea to try to establish a stock pile or cache of these items. As morbid as it might sound, it's probably a good idea to acquire as many these medications as possible -- when the opportunity arises --- save various meds from the deceased members of your party. They might, if not traded, still help someone else out of a bad situation.

One thing that my folks told me was that Gold and Silver often become worthless in extreme times. If you are hungry enough, you will gladly pay for a piece of bread with a gold coin. The thing is, a smaller item to trade might have sufficed. Having a gold coin might come in handy later. It's important to have "change" or smaller items to use as bartar items. Watches, cheap gold rings, flash-lights, zippo lighters (with flints and fluid), batteries and small pocket knives quickly become valuable commodities in a barter system -- especially when those items would be quite desirable in an extreme social environment.

Another thing to keep in mind is to position oneself with the "right" commodities and the "right" situation for later -- when things begin to normalize. What items will be considered valuable when the "smoke clears" and order begins to re-establish itself (in whatever form this might conceivably take).

posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 07:44 PM
reply to post by gotrox

IN the event of mass destruction, I am hitting the pharmacy first.

I am also thinking candles.rope,soap,razors,canvas,evaporated milk(for that coffee:lol

[edit on 23-8-2007 by nixie_nox]

posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 07:52 PM
reply to post by benevolent tyrant

These are the exact issues I was thinking of. Thanks for posting; you've given me some good ideas.

I keep sheets of plywood in the garage for the same reason. After Hurricane Hugo, I remember Home Despot selling 3 x 5 sheets of plywood for up to a hundred bucks, and portable generators for several thousand. I think the ICC made them donate the ill-gotten booty to hurricane relief.

I love those flashlights that you wind or shake. My kids like them for toys, but I suspect they'd bring top dollar (or pint ) in the middle of a crisis.

posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 08:21 PM

Originally posted by Sky Eyes

And it was about this time that we glanced down at our hands and hollered "Beers!!"

Brewing your own would be good skill to acquire ahead of time........a renewable resource. Or learning to build and run a still.......they'll be lining up to buy or pay you to teach.

A laying hen can turn worthless bugs into valuable eggs, fresh daily. ( My Dad told of an elderly Italian couple that he came across during WWII, they literally lived off one old hen and the egg she laid daily. )

And as the dr. mentions, those wind up/solar flashlights, radios and such that one saw before the 'Y2K disaster' my Dad one of the radios, it was pretty neat.

[edit on 23-8-2007 by frayed1]

posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 10:07 PM
I've got several radios. People gave them to me as gifts, knowing my survival interests. But several of them were only AM/FM or weather wind-ups. I own a crank radio that covers the shortwave bands I want for a national emergency; but I haven't sold the others. I figure they'll be worth the most when the lights are out.

I've never raised chickens, so I'm reading up prior to getting my beak wet. Cattle and pigs yes, and some limited horsework. But I'm interested in chickens because of a friend. He runs an egg business in another part of the state, selling organic eggs to the locals outside the big city.

He said chickens were the least amount of work, and could produce even when you cannot afford store feeds and supplements. He said you could raise good chickens on just cracked grain (plentiful for me), and crushed oyster shells.

It's also supposed to be easy to get going with no prior agricultural experience--I'd plan to sell chicks to other entrepeneurs during a major economic crunch.


posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 11:48 PM
With the discussion turning towards raising ones' own livestock as an emergency survival commodity, it's important not to neglect stock-piling vegetable seeds.

Leaf lettuces, radishes and onions can provide a food source in only a matter of weeks! Sure, it's only a light meal, a salad at best, but it is still food. When you are hungry, anything will do. Right?

But let's also not forget the other vegetables as well: beets, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers....well, you get the idea. Vegetables of all kinds will be essential in providing food and much need vitamins in a survival situation.

As a trading commodity, seeds will probably be quite desirable and, with a packet of seeds, one would have quite a trading stock with which to bargain.

Another aspect of vegetable seeds would be medicinal herbs and plants, like garlic, which could supplement one's medical supplies.

Considering that packets of vegetables are relatively inexpensive and, when frozen, they can be maintained in a viable state for a number of years, seeds are an ideal item to stock-pile and store. While you are at it, it might not be a bad idea to start that garden you always wanted! With the surplus crop (there's always a surplus), it might be a good idea to try your hand at canning. From my experience, fruits and vegetables that you have grown and canned yourself always taste the best.

posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:30 AM
Just a real quick note here for some ideas for trade goods and a rousing good story read Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. there is an interesting part in there ware the main character is in the town square with other people looking to trade and it talked about how the worth of something could drop as the day got latter. such as fish. A fish offered first ting in the morning is worth more then the same fish still setting there at noon.
While ime at it Some consider books useless but think about how much they would be worth in a total collapse. they would be the only enternment. the library would be vouge again.

That too came from Alas, Babylon. ime telling you folks its a good story you could learn alot from it. give it a read

posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:36 AM
like everone is saying cigarettes and booze

posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 03:16 PM

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
He said chickens were the least amount of work, and could produce even when you cannot afford store feeds and supplements. He said you could raise good chickens on just cracked grain (plentiful for me), and crushed oyster shells.


Certainly true........since our girls got large enough to discourage the cat's unwanted attention, we have let them out in the morn with no feed except what they can find in the garden, and they come in every evening with full tummies and almost no interest in their laying mash! Their feed bill is practically zero right now.

They also love kitchen scraps and can be fed their own egg shells if you don't have oyster shells. I love the laying hens for eggs, but if you want hens to raise their own chicks, rather than using an incubator, the game hens make much better moms.....they're more the wild jungle fowl, and seem to have better survival instincts. ( The game hens will also present a harder to catch target for human looters.

posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 10:03 PM
[edit on 27-8-2007 by Rubicon03TJ78]

posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 10:03 PM
Well I have the salt covered since I live by tons of it. But I would say a couple close friends that are just as handy as you with weapons would be a great help. Also the medical and fun stuff. But the most important I would think would be your will to survive andnever give up.

posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 11:12 PM
Wires for electronics and other various types.
Gunpowder and ammo.
Small Mirrors.
First Aid and drugs.
Matches and lighters.
Small pocket sized survival manuals.
Small books on farming, and gardening.
Repair manuals and building manuals.
Topographic maps.
Hand Tools.
Hot Women.
Boots and shoes.
Small bottles of hard liquer.
Pot and potseeds.
Needles, buttons, and thread.

posted on Aug, 31 2007 @ 11:52 PM
reply to post by manta

Ammo all kinds, firearms and spare parts for them, Dry Goods , Medicines, (you can get most everything you need at your local pet supply stores by the way that is just as good as human meds ,, 'cheaper too ! " , fire starter equipment , wind up radios with shortwave and flashlights , knives , wool army blankets , water purification tablets , Good whiskey ( for medicinal purposes only ! ) Ha ! Ha ! fishing line and hooks , frog gigs , burlap sacks, shoes , tools for building and farming , seeds , ropes ,and para cord ,coffee, sugar , beans , rice , m.r.e.'s pre made animal snares , traps , old and current military survival manuaLs and skills that you can barter with for goods that you may need . The list goes on and on . Oh Yeah , and keep a tight circle of people that you can trust with your life if necessary to ensure yours and their survival because there is strength and comfort in numbers , and remember to keep your stockpiles of survival/ trade items well hidden / protected and away from your general base camps ! there is always something else that will come to mind no matter how trivial it may seem that will come in handy in some kind of situation ! Adapt , Improvise , Overcome . Semper Fi................

posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by manta

We are planning to install a 6' fence topped with barbed be replaced with razor wire later if necessary. Additionally, we're purchasing well bred guard dogs. I will train them well. We currently are poor and obtainfood stamps. Am I stocking up? In the words of Sarah Palin, "You betcha!"

posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 02:43 PM
If it is a depression then I think that a bunch of change would be good to have around, any money is going to be hard to come by. Reason I say that is that my grandfather, grandmother, uncle and his wife all lived in one house, all were working and they lost the house because they could not come up with the money to make the monthly payment, $6. They had chickens, greens, dresses and shirts all in payment for the work they did but they could not get any cash. Inter-tubes for bikes, sewing needles and thread, hand air pumps, just about any thing that you take for granted. Sharpening stones for knives. Learn how to be a butcher, its amazing how many people will refuse to kill and dress their own meat. My other grandfather during the depression was a butcher and always had work. At the tail end of it my dad picked cotton. I think that back labor will be worth more than brain labor so hard work will become a trade item. If in a depression you do not have a job that pays cash take any job that does, and I mean any job, that was what I learned from my grandparents. Also in parting get some chickens and rabbits and raise them, eggs and fresh meat will always be good trade items.

posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 02:36 AM
Let's get practical here! I happen to be able to brew up a darn good pale ale using basic ingredients. I'd put a well brewed product at about an 8 out of 10 when the chips are down. Anybody opposed?

posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 02:26 PM
What to trade?

A lucrative post-x business could be built by recharging batteries from a wind/water/solar/steam driven genny..there'll be enough demand for basic electrical goods such as 2-way and SW radios or vehicle batteries

posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 02:41 PM
reply to post by citizen smith

Good idea Wolfie.

I think skills would be the best trade item, tit for tat scenarios. I'll help build you a wall, you help irrigate my field, that sort of thing.

posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 09:54 AM
Small easy to care for live stock, rabbits and chickens.. very easy to care for and they provide food and bread quickly.. and they basically can survive on the grass and bugs in your yard..

These would be very valuable barter items, a few chickens can provide you with all the eggs and meat you'd need to survive, with extra to barter for other items , same goes for rabbits... minus the eggs.

My parents had 10 chickens soon they ended up with 50 and they could not give eggs away fast enough.. they ended up butchering them and have a freezer full of birds now.. need less to say they got out of the bird hobby but have everything sitting there ready and the knowlage if they need to to go back in when they need to.. they now know whats needed to do it and flourish at it.

Other items, gas, diesel, ammo , guns, salt, kerosene, solar power , radios batteries, seeds. and luxuray items like tobaco, alcohol,

I can make my own wine, wine is easy to make for even the most basic items.. and if you need you can even distill it to make fuel.

One other item that may also be valuable in really bad times.. information.. for example basic recipes, learning tools like how to manuals for even the most basic stuff like cooking, hunting etc..

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