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Old 24-11-2013, 15:07   #1
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Barter tips South Pacific

The Mrs and I are heading out this spring on the Milk Run. We have heard that DVDs make good barter and trade currency; but what about CDs (not the type funding our trip)?

Since we have ripped all our DVDs and CDs to a hard drive for the boat (and a spare for storage), we have what I'm hoping is a treasure chest of barter/trade goods better than green backs.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me? What is the appropriate exchange rate?

Thanks.
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:03   #2
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Re: Barter tips South Pacific

as far as i am aware, in most 3rd world countries they have videos on dvd the same day they are in theaters. piracy is a huge job for those folks. in Paraguay i know this to be the case. so your old DVD's would be worthless there, as they sell the copys for $1 US. thou you could try to use them as a tip for customs officials?
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:25   #3
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Re: Barter tips South Pacific

T-Shirts,suit jackets, shoes from salvation army, .22 shells for the village hunter (I am not sure about the legality of this one) it used to be forbidden. Bubble gum for the kids, any kind of steel edged object that can be used for carving or shaving woods. Manual drills w/ bits. Just about any manual kind of tool. Johnny Walker Red whiskey, Marlboro red cigarettes, Hershey's chocolate bars. Guitar strings.
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:46   #4
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Re: Barter tips South Pacific

i'm pretty sure, but not totally certain, that dvd's - and possibly cd's - are recorded in a different format in many parts of the world. in europe, for instance, they use a system called pal which differs from the system we use in the states. this might well be true of the french islands in the pacific. so whatever you record here would be unusable there.

i'm certain this was true back in the days of vhs tapes; i once sent some recordings of a tv program to friends in germany, and they quickly found out they were not readable there.

someone please correct me if i'm totally ignorant....
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:48   #5
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Re: Barter tips South Pacific

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
i'm pretty sure, but not totally certain, that dvd's - and possibly cd's - are recorded in a different format in many parts of the world. in europe, for instance, they use a system called pal which differs from the system we use in the states. this might well be true of the french islands in the pacific. so whatever you record here would be unusable there.

i'm certain this was true back in the days of vhs tapes; i once sent some recordings of a tv program to friends in germany, and they quickly found out they were not readable there.

someone please correct me if i'm totally ignorant....

its called region today. many new players can play any region DVD's. computers can play all.
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
i'm pretty sure, but not totally certain, that dvd's - and possibly cd's - are recorded in a different format in many parts of the world. in europe, for instance, they use a system called pal which differs from the system we use in the states. this might well be true of the french islands in the pacific. so whatever you record here would be unusable there. i'm certain this was true back in the days of vhs tapes; i once sent some recordings of a tv program to friends in germany, and they quickly found out they were not readable there. someone please correct me if i'm totally ignorant....
No, I think your right on, plus I believe the DVD's are region specific, you know you install a DVD player and you have to commit to a region.

Just saw Scoob's post, OK newer players can play all, didn't know that, but there are differences between NTSC and PAL, don't have a clue though if the islands are PAL or not though.
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
i'm pretty sure, but not totally certain, that dvd's - and possibly cd's - are recorded in a different format in many parts of the world. in europe, for instance, they use a system called pal which differs from the system we use in the states. this might well be true of the french islands in the pacific. so whatever you record here would be unusable there. i'm certain this was true back in the days of vhs tapes; i once sent some recordings of a tv program to friends in germany, and they quickly found out they were not readable there. someone please correct me if i'm totally ignorant....
You are correct. Digital content is coded by region specifically to curb piracy (doesn't work well). DVDs coded to North America would only work on players also coded to North America.

There are some devices that are region free and hence can play coded material from any region. An Xbox 360 I bought on a military base in Japan 8 years ago was one such device.

I would think it's very unlikely that people in the South Pacific have such region free gadgets so content coded to North America would only be good to a villager that happens to have a portable DVD player from the states.
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Old 24-11-2013, 16:53   #8
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its called region today. many new players can play any region DVD's. computers can play all.
Not true. The software for region free playing is available but not prevalent. A laptop bought at Walmart surely would not be region free.
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Old 24-11-2013, 19:22   #9
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Originally Posted by SunnySpot View Post
The Mrs and I are heading out this spring on the Milk Run. We have heard that DVDs make good barter and trade currency; but what about CDs (not the type funding our trip)?

Since we have ripped all our DVDs and CDs to a hard drive for the boat (and a spare for storage), we have what I'm hoping is a treasure chest of barter/trade goods better than green backs.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me? What is the appropriate exchange rate?

Thanks.
CDs are old as I was amazed that mp3 is the most common form for music and every one seems to have mobil phones even when there is no electricity in the village. They charge by solar. One guy came out to us in his dug out to get a fast charge and in return let us copy all his island music. In the remote islands we found wanted items where AA batteries, T shirts, childrens clothes, caps, bra's, fish hooks lures and squid jigs and fishing line. Tobacco is like gold in the more remote locals. Money is still what they like the most and expext to pay market prices for crays crab and lobster at the moment 15 au dollars a kilogram.
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Old 25-11-2013, 12:19   #10
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Re: Barter tips South Pacific

From what I have gleaned from books and cruising buddies: School supplies, reading glasses (Bibles have tiny print, and that's frequently the only book in the hut), axe heads, boxes of galvanized nails. +1 on the hand tools and fishing gear.

As others have pointed out, you perhaps aren't expected to barter. You're expected to overpay in cash like a good little rich Westerner. And not to pump out in the lagoon even if the locals do.
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Old 25-11-2013, 13:23   #11
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Old 25-11-2013, 14:10   #12
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If you are thinking about trading in French Polynesia they are pretty well off compared to the western pacific. Also in the Marquise's the folks are very well versed in trading and of course all the new boats coming in don't have a clue so. It's always amusing to see the weighted side is in favor of the locals LOL. But the Fp Polynesians are considered very wealthy compared to many other countries in the SP. The folks don't want old tee shirts etc. they want new ones.

We found that perfume and makeup for the women were always good items for trading. Before departing we made the rounds of the various large department stores and got the numerous tiny bottles of samples. big hit. In addition we brought yards of brightly colored material with us and the locals always like that since many of the women make there own dresses, etc. Any kind of dive gear like masks, snorkels, fishing gear, lures, hooks etc.

Btw bringing bullets down is illegal so do so at your own risk.

For the western pacific we would bring bags from goodwill or similar organizations in NZ or Oz of baby clothes. Always in great demand.

A tip for those newbies not familiar with trading. DO NOT bring all your trade stuff out and lay it out as that will only entice very hard bargaining. if there was something we wanted to trade for we would bring only a few items out.

In all honesty we ended up giving most of our trade items away as gifts to people that befriended us. Folks would give us fruit, fish, etc and we wanted to give them something in return.

Wasn't until we got to the Solomon's and Vanuatu that we started trading for fruit, veggies, etc.

Safe sailing

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Old 26-11-2013, 06:01   #13
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We spent 2 seasons in Vanuatu and this year in Papua New Guinea and most of the above comments are good. We carried lots of stuff, clothes, sugar,rice,flour,fishing stuff, etc. But another sailing couple who were stopping cruising gave us a couple hundred eye glasses. After seeing the look on peoples faces when they tried them on I wish we would have had many more. As I understand it you can get glasses free from local Lions clubs.
We also have a good photo printer on board and for people who have never owned a photo of their parents, their wife or their kids this was an outstanding gift. We have printed thousands of photos.
The islands in the west pacific are a wonderful experience!
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Old 27-11-2013, 13:20   #14
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Great tip on the eye glasses Jim. Many years ago we contacted the toothbrush manufacturer butler and received a few cases of toothbrushes for kids. As we went thru Kiribati and Tuvalu we did short instructional demos in some of the tiny schools and handed out toothbrushes to the kids. It cracked us up as some of them were glow in the dark with cartoon characters on them. At night while on the boat we would watch the kids run up and down the beach with these glow in the dark toothbrushes waving a over their heads.

Anything that benefits the community is a great service!

Safe sailing

Chuck
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Old 10-12-2013, 20:41   #15
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Re: Barter tips South Pacific

I don't know about regional playing issues but if they worked, those DVDs would be a big hit in Penrhyn, Cook Islands. We burned some digitized movies to cds and even those were a hit.
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