Bartering- Advice and Ideas
Found in: Studio Management
Sue C. AU
I need advice on bartering. If someone did baby sitting for me in my home instead of paying for tuition for a half hour private lesson, what length of time is a fair thing, half an hour? Or could I ask for an hour? This would be in my home so I would be there for questions and emergencies and I would have food drinks activities ready.
I am thinking one hour in exchange for a private lesson or half an hour in exchange for a shared lesson.
Carrie L. Michigan
You would just need to decide how much they/you would pay for babysitting. I’d ask them what they’d charge for babysitting and then go from there. I would do a monthly price (less confusing) and perhaps have something written down if you don’t know them well.
Marina G. New Jersey
In our area, the ration would be 1:4 or even 1:5, not 1:2 Per hour private piano lesson vs. per hour babysitting, so you can just find out what babysitters charge in your area and go from there.
Mark M. New York
There is no right answer here, only options for you to choose from. Some people believe that bartered time should involve exchanges of equal time, regardless of differences in the tasks/products involved. The oldest and largest local currency system in the United States,
Ithaca Hours, is based on this notion and has inspired a number of other similar systems.
With this radical equality at one extreme, the other extreme would be to value everything as it would be valued independent of barter. For example, if you were to charge $20 for a group lesson, and the going rate for something you wanted to barter was $10/hour, then you could argue that you should receive two hours of that service in a barter exchange for one group lesson.
And then there is anything and everything along the continuum in between these poles. It’s all a question of values and what you can live with, just as is the case with all or nearly all policies we might craft for our businesses.
Incidentally, some people use a different and specific name to refer to babysitting when the parent is present and getting other things done but available for questions and help. Instead of babysitter, that job is often called a mother’s helper, or parent’s helper, and it typically earns a lower rate than actual babysitting in which the parent(s) are not present. So that may be a consideration for you as well.
Joy V. Texas
Be careful not to short-change yourself. Think about it — you are highly skilled — you do not want to barter time for time. If babysitting involves three or four children at a time, yes this is a good comparison.
I have at this time one bartering situation. One mother already has a lower rate for her two children because they began with me early. She had to cut her budget and asked if I could teach her children every other week instead of every week. Instead, I offered to barter with her — I was already going to lose half tuition anyway. I made an agreement for her to clean all three of my bathrooms, clean my kitchen floor (16 x 15) and clean all the mirrors in my house one time per month for half tuition. I would not normally do this with others, but she does an incredible job each time and the level of work that she does would take me a long time to do — in this area, she’s skilled.
I personally want to be careful to make sure the deals I make are skill for skill, not something that would diminish in my eyes or in other eyes the value of my work, both academically and monetarily.
Terri D. North Carolina
I go dollar for dollar. I barter with a math tutor for my daughter; piano lessons for her daughter. She owes me more time for tutoring than I do teaching piano. One hour of tutoring equals 1/2 hour piano. It works great.