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Old 13-03-2006, 14:56   #1
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Trade Goods

The Admiral and I are making the break from landlubber to liveaboard this summer. We are currently unloading a housefull of s**t so we can rent it out. I've read about people trading various stuff to forigen native people for goods and services. Please tell me what items(small) we should hang onto for barter. In one thread I read, 2 gimmie caps was worth a month's worth of bananas delivered to their boat when needed. I would like to hang on to some of the smaller s**t that might be usefull as trade items. The Carribean/Central america area is what I'm most interested in. Thanks T
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Old 13-03-2006, 15:39   #2
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At one time, I too fell for the "trade goods" myth. Generally, the concept of casual trading with the natives has, long since, run it's course (unless you want to be a professional 'smuggler').
Give-aways are always appreciated (by less affluent locals), but don't expect to trade caps, T's, lighters (etc) for bananas, or anything beyond a little good will.

Notwithstanding, I have traded gasoline for fish.

You might actually have more luck trading goods & services with other cruisers.
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Old 13-03-2006, 17:24   #3
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I ran dive charters in the Bahamas off & on for 10 years and have traded fresh watermelon for conch or lobster, on most of my trips-so its not a complete myth- A med sized watermelon is worth about 5-10 pounds of fresh cleaned conch, it has also worked for lobster on many occations.

The trick is you need to find the factory boats that come from Nassua , in the late afternoon before they get done cleaning the days catch & putting it in the deep freeze- these boats stay out about a month at a time and after 10-12 days there out of everything fresh, so they are eger to deal- and will love to see you coming. Kinda like a delevery service in the out islands. A good fresh watermelon is worth about $25 in trade to the guys on the boats.
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Old 13-03-2006, 19:19   #4
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Trading

Trading depends on the society and who you know. The Pukekohe pub in the South of Auckland is the place to go. Keep in mind that the purpose of the work week, is to earn money and make plans for the weekend. This is B4 the days when everyone had phones and computers. Mid week meetings would be scheduled the prior weekend for planning purposes. The pub became the trading post. You brought whatever you had and did your best to trade it for something you needed. My brother traded crayfish for meat. I traded upholstery jobs for whatever I could get. Either Friday night or Saturday morning the weekends mission started and would be carried out with more precision than an army unit. Those that screwed up the plans would not be included in future missions.
For cruising sailors in there is a need to carry freight to remote Islands. Items such as small televisions, generators, books and such would be well received in some places. Best to enquire what they might want first.
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Old 06-08-2018, 19:57   #5
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Re: Trade Goods

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
At one time, I too fell for the "trade goods" myth. Generally, the concept of casual trading with the natives has, long since, run it's course (unless you want to be a professional 'smuggler').
Give-aways are always appreciated (by less affluent locals), but don't expect to trade caps, T's, lighters (etc) for bananas, or anything beyond a little good will.

Notwithstanding, I have traded gasoline for fish.

You might actually have more luck trading goods & services with other cruisers.
Gord is right. Not any trading to speak of in the Caribbean. Helping out where you can in the hurricane damaged areas will earn thanks and respect as well as personal “feel good”. Also - Be careful who you call a native. That can be offensive on some islands.
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Old 06-08-2018, 20:25   #6
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Re: Trade Goods

It is important to have items that someone wants. tshirt is boring. It's already free, so why would they bother trade?

I made plenty of trades in the carribean as well as everywhere else.
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Old 06-08-2018, 20:58   #7
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Re: Trade Goods

Sought after trading g items are going to change over time. If you have
An SSB or Ham radio, try to get in contact with some one who is actually there and might have actual knowledge of what’s in demand. When we were in French Polynesia the hot item was US bowling shirts. Don’t ask me why as I don’t think there was a bowling alley in FP even in Papeete at that time.
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Old 07-08-2018, 00:34   #8
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Re: Trade Goods

And I would say, it's a weird distinction, but don't think of it as trade goods. Instead, think of it in terms of reciprocal giving. The reason is that what is tradeable for something may not equate to dollar value, but to its desirability at the time and place.

We had some Canadian friends who did very well with thrift store jewelry, which she would wear ashore, then offer as a gift. Well, if you're in Polynesia, a gift given requires a gift in return, and the locals know pretty well what most yachties want. Those flashy earrings and rings brought a good return. We found that parents appreciate gifts to kids, so baloons and candies were good. We knew a lady who knew how to make origami cubes, and they made great baloon substitutes!

Luxury items from 75 yrs. ago usually go over well.

For special gifts, I made wraparound skirts for local women. Very well received.

Ann
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Old 28-08-2018, 11:01   #9
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Re: Trade Goods

In the Pacific, I had my cockpit filled with coconuts, that I really did not want, after giving a native an old pair of dive fins. I had bought a bunch of used dive fins and masks at garage sales and second hand stores. Gigs that can be bought at a tackle shop are hot items and unavailable in the islands. They are used for spearing fish at night and on lobsters. Lights, whether flashlights or room lights, that are recharged by solar cells are a very hot item. Solar yard lights are a big disappointment as they are not bright enough. Thick gloves for catching lobsters, but they can't be leather. Leather falls apart too quickly. Fishing lures whether Repella style or buckeye or hula-skirt. Used line no longer suitable for a cruising sailboat is valuable to a native. Cheap sunglasses....safety, wraparound style, bought for $5 at a hardware store. Used rain jackets or old weather gear">foul weather gear is much appreciated. I have traded or just gave away all these things to natives in the Caribbean and across the Pacific.
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