Bartering for services... NEED ADVICE!

Business By bubbleyummys21 Updated 5 Feb 2014 , 5:22pm by Claire138

bubbleyummys21 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 1:25am
post #1 of 19

Hello! I recently had a professional photographer friend take photos for me. In return I offered to bake for his upcoming wedding. Unfortunately, both of us are new to bartering so we didn't hash out the details. The photoshoot was 4 hours + time for editing. I provided everything myself. What would be fair: A. to trade based on the VALUE of his work vs the VALUE of the baked goods where i would provide everything ie true retail cost for either. B. trade based on time spent, 10 hrs of photo taking & editing for 10 hrs of baking; in addition, they would provide all the supplies. THANK YOU

18 replies
leah_s Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 1:34am
post #2 of 19

retail cost is what I have used. 

AAtKT Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 1:45am
post #3 of 19

I agree with Leah...


Whatever his retail cost would have been for the shoot is what your retail cost of a cake would be covered...


If his retail was $500 and he picks out a $700 cake, you credit him the $500 and charge him the $200... 

Godot Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 6:54pm
post #5 of 19

AI barter for services often. I use retail worth. For example I made a cake for my massage therapist and got a 1 & 1/2 hour massage. The beauty shop next to me writes up their coffee and then I get treatments/products for that value. The list goes on.....

Claire138 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 8:07pm
post #6 of 19

This reminds me of the plumber who came to fix a tiny problem in our bathroom (took him about 3 mins) & who then said when my husband wanted to pay him "no payment, I'll take a cake instead" I was so angry. Bartering is not always the best way to go about caking..............

Claire138 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 9:20pm
post #8 of 19

It was serious, he called me up that night to tell me what cake his wife had chosen! You might be right though, I hadn't thought of it in those terms, I was just put out at his nerve.

costumeczar Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:03pm
post #9 of 19

Use retail cost. You have to declare bartering activity as income on your taxes, so you need to keep everything aligned with what you'd be charging regularly.

AZCouture Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 11:39pm
post #11 of 19


Original message sent by MimiFix

Killjoy...  :wink:   But you're only talking about real businesses, right? Because hobby/businesses have a different set of rules, right?


gatorcake Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 12:13am
post #12 of 19
Originally Posted by MimiFix 


Killjoy...  :wink:


There is only one set of rules.  Whether a real business or a hobby business, you are required to report any income you generate. If you earn income from your hobby it is taxable. The only question is whether you are able to deduct your expenses.


The exception to the bartering reporting requirement is if the arrangement is "an informal exchange of similar services on a noncommercial basis." Discussion of this phrase emphasizes the arrangement is a casual exchange between individuals i.e. the exchange was not bargained for and thus there is no obligation to give or receive things. To be an informal exchange the plumber that said he would take a cake in Claire138's example has no expectation of receiving that cake as payment. But based on the limited description provided he did---hence it is not an informal arrangement.


In addition, this example also probably runs afoul of the "exchange of similar services" requirement. One might be hard pressed to explain how fixing a pipe is a similar service to a decorated cakes--especially given the description of the plumber showing up for 3 minutes to fix a tiny problem. On my view, at least, even if retail costs are similar, the services provided do not appear to be similar.


Even if an individual claimed their cake making was a hobby they still generate income by selling their cakes and would be required to report that income. If they then enter into an agreement to exchange a cake for plumbing services, they have entered a formal agreement and thus have to report it is an income. Put another way being a hobby does not preclude you from paying taxes on income generated from the hobby including bartering as it is considered income.

Claire138 Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 6:19am
post #17 of 19

I didn't think of it in those terms ( I hadn't been doing it for that long at the time), I did however tell my husband that I felt he should pay for the cake:-D

costumeczar Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 11:27am
post #18 of 19


Original message sent by Claire138

I didn't think of it in those terms ( I hadn't been doing it for that long at the time), I did however tell my husband that I felt he should pay for the cake:D

Either that or tell him he has to make the cake, and he'll start saying no when people make suggestions like that!

Claire138 Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 5:22pm
post #19 of 19


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