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Shopping without cash: The Kamloops Barter Kings

The Barter Kings Facebook Page
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October 01, 2014 - 10:00 AM

KAMLOOPS – Bartering is a little like trying to make money – you don’t have much to work with in the beginning.

Jason Blyth got into trading online with a piece of exercise equipment he didn’t use anymore. He swapped it for patio furniture. Then he started looking around the house for other items to trade and he eyed his broken down truck. Yep, he was hooked.

He is now an administrator of the Kamloops Barter Kings Facebook page which his friends started nearly two years ago. The page, inspired by the popular Barter Kings television show, has nearly 10,000 followers. Blyth, who is an administrator on the page, says each day it gets around 40 new followers.

“It just escalated from there,” Blyth says.

He's always getting new items in the process, even if the trades seem unequal or random. He once traded 12 large Tim Hortons coffees for a Playstation Three game controller.

“I’ve gone through everything from vehicles, boats, quads, dirtbikes, pool tables, electronics,” Blyth says. The regular rotation helps keep his boredom at bay. He sells the higher value items for cash on a different site.

“I’ve made so much money from the (trading) site,” he says.

Because of the site's boom, the team of 15 administrators struggle to manage all the posts and followers and maintain regular jobs. 

“It’s just so hard to keep up,” Blyth says. “We don’t get paid for it. We’re just there to keep the page going.”

There are several rules for the page, but the main one is simple: No cash.

“Not a lot of people have cash on them and they want something new to play with,” Blyth says.

People will trade everything. On Tuesday afternoon, someone posted an ad for two hot water tanks. They've seen a brand new truck, even a house, go through the site.

Most go into the deal hoping for an equal exchange on both sides, but Blyth warns the site is trader-beware.

“You really gotta watch and do your homework on a set item that you’re trading for,” he says. “Sometimes you get shafted.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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