My poor old wheel barrow. It had served me well, and now it was unfit for use. The front wheel wheeled no more and my wheel barrow was no more than a barrow – you get the picture, and so I, took a few pictures and posted my wheel-less barrow up on the Internet.
In France we call the site “le bon coin” – I guess you have the same where you live. Flog your unwanted possessions (old crap) and make a few pennies. Sure beats giving it away to the local charity shop. so, you take a few photos, write a short description, and in a few clicks you post your wares for free. Of course it’s not all free. If you want more than the three standard low resolution photos, or you want priority positioning, that costs. You’re selling a car for example – you want extra photos – that’s 7 Euros for 10 photos. You want priority positioning – top of the list for seven days – 25 Euros. For a wheel-less wheel barrow though???
Then comes the choice of category. Should I put my barrow in the gardening section or “utility vehicles” – reserved normally for vans
So, I put my dead barrow on line at half past four. It is a shell-less giveaway. No one will give serious money for a wheel less barrow, but they will come and collect it, which will save me the time, money and effort if I have to take it down the local junk yard. A five mile drive and the 30 minutes it will take me.
20 minutes after the barrow is up, a man phones me. He has a a rusty barrow with a good wheel. It is a marriage made in heaven. So he turns up, takes the barrow and …
“Oh, I can’t take this for free,” says he, and so he gives me six very nice, ready-to-plant tomato stems for the garden. This is true bartering. He’s happy ‘cos he gets a free barrow and I’m happy ‘cos I’ll get a few pounds of prime tomatoes from his stems.
I like this barter system.
Of course, I couldn’t complete this post without telling yopu how I came by my wheelbarrow.
Back in 2014, an itinerant laborer showed up at my house offering his cheap gardening services. I took him on to tend my little corner of paradise and especially to cut my hedges. He massacred my garden and as he left he said “I’ve left my wheelbarrow, I’ll come back for it in a couple of weeks.” Fair enough, and now a year later, I have given his barrow away. His barrow which served me well for tending my garden, mixing concrete and wheeling friends around the garden when they were too drunk to get to their cars.
Ah, thank heavens for these free buy and sell websites. I’ve sold loads od stuff for the past year that I have been using them. My weirdest sale to date? A bloke in Marseilles who bought a pair of maracas from me. The postage cost more than the maracas.
Long live the low cost, barter lifestyle.
So, now I am waiting for a phone call. I’ve just posted a job lot of door handles for 5 Euros. I reckon I can shift them by tomorrow night.
I suppose tis a sign of our times, this bring-and-buy barter society.
So, in the same spirit, a house exchange, my residence for your residence for two weeks. We are a long way from a beach, but there is a big garden, cheap wine and a big comfy bed in the heart of rural France.