What is barter?

Barter is a traditional form of exchange, characterized in that money as such does not intervene in it, thus differentiating itself from the concept oftransacción, in which money is involved. The practice of barter dates back to the Neolithic era, this being one of the first forms of commercial exchange that humans developed. Bartering has therefore been practiced for more than ten thousand years.

The practice of barter is based on an exchange of both goods and services, and in return is received in contraprestación other types of goods or services. In order for barter to exist in a society, there must first be a surplus situation, that is, there must be an excess of a good that will not need to be consumed. In addition, there must also be the need to acquire another good or service that is the consideration of the barter.

Although various authors and experts have considered for many years that barter emerged as a predecessor of the current economic system based on money, it has subsequently been found that free barter between individuals usually occurred between rival societies, but not as a common form of exchange between members of the same community.

Advantages and disadvantages of barter

Barter as a form of exchange has a number of advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of barter

The main advantage that barter represents is to constitute a form of exchange without requiring the intervention of elements monetaryown transactions.

Disadvantages of barter

These are the disadvantages of bartering:

  • Spatial handicap. Based on the difficulty that may exist in finding a person interested in the exchange.
  • Temporary disadvantage. It is about the difficulty of making the exchange on which the barter is based at the precise moment.
  • Quantitative disadvantage. It is the main disadvantage of barter: the difficulty of quantifying the value of each element involved in it as well as exchanging goods when they have a very different value from each other.

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