NEWS » Bartering flourishing in Italy

Bartering flourishing in Italy

Crisis? We don’t need money, we barter!

Bartering markets are flourishing in Italy and it is probably a consequence of the crisis but also a sign of a way of consuming and sharing what people already have. It is a new way of living, and seeing things.

Following the boost of the swapping economy promoted in the USA, Italians too have embraced barter as a new trend based on the roots of economy.

Initiatives of this kind are flourishing, ranging from “swap parties”, real barter markets, the “swap shop”, shops where it is possible to exchange objects and fashionable clothes, but also books and music. In this regard it is becoming more widespread the phenomenon of book-sharing, the exchange of books leaving books on a shelf in a park or a café where people can take them and leave other books.

More than a million Italians from the North to the South of the country participate in this self-consumption ignoring the theory of the earnings based on liquid assets. This trend, according to experts, has particularly involved the basic goods concerning daily life: from food to clothes.

Italians like barter because it helps in times of crisis and supports the real economy against the disasters caused by finance. The exchange of goods without money is an idea that appeals to three out of four Italians, according to a survey of Coldiretti.

In Bologna, there is the Officine Minganti market where it is possible to buy and sell, without spending. You can find, cakes, bicycles, books, T-shirts, but also massages, advice, cooking classes and language lessons. This year also the dormitories of the city contributed to the market.

Coldiretti in Milan has organized this year the first bartering market for spending at zero cost in the moat of Castello Sforzesco where it was possible to swap cheeses, meats, fruit and wine paid for with shoes, watches, tennis rackets, helmets and CDs. 

In Forli at Pelacano Loft, in Pelacano street, to each object is assigned a value, some credits. Credits that you can spend to buy (we speak of a sort of local currency, redeemable in an internal circuit) another asset. Currently there are 70 members of “By reusing and Recycling”. The clientele is varied.

This is the oldest and newest way of shopping.      

Giulia Lombardo

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