Barter trade is one of the oldest forms of economic exchange and in practice from thousands of years. Barter is an act of exchanging goods and services without using money. It was introduced by Mesopotamia tribes in 6000BC and adopted by tribes after them. Bartering evolved with the time and it made spices, weapons, human skulls and salt as major items of exchange. In 1930s, during the times of great depression, bartering became popular again.
Barter trade has a healthy impact on the economy and life of a common man. The most beautiful part of barter is flexibility. You can exchange anything you have with anything you need. It could be an exchange of product with product, product with service and service with service. Barter allows exploring possibilities and a great room for negotiations among the swappers. Another great plus is the elimination of under or over production. All goods and services are produced against needs of an individual or groups. This also minimizes the possibility of goods or commodities storage. It means that no one can exploit the market or gain unfair advantages. For the inhabitants of developing economies, the real benefit of barter trade is the fulfillment of needs without spending money. Thus they will earn the advantage of saving money.
Barter trade is a viable solution for the developing economies like Pakistan where inflation is high, industrialization has declined and employment rate is low. There are many segments of the society who are skillful but cannot fulfill their basic needs. Barter can enable them to have whatever they want by exchanging goods or services without involving cash. On the other hand, internet usage is increasing in Pakistan. Digitalization has become a game changer for communities and businesses.
Combination of barter trade and digitalization is online bartering, which is a recent phenomenon and gaining popularity in different regions. In US alone, barter transactions have grown to $16 billion annually. An informal study conducted in India, developing economy, suggests that around Rs. 78,300 crore unused goods are stocked in homes. This shows that online barter trade has a huge potential and will have a positive impact on the economy of Pakistan.
Maarchaa.com is Pakistan’s first ever online bartering platform launched by the young business professionals. This is a free service with a provision of swapping of product with product, product with service and service with service.