Barter Points

Your barter points represent what you are offering the traveller

What is a Barter Point?

A Barter Point is Working Traveller’s approach to helping Hosts and Travellers work out an agreeable exchange of work for compensation. That compensation is usually in the form of a bed and meals, but sometimes it extends to drinks and use of additional facilities – or payment.

This system will help you make exchanges simpler, if, for example, you  have a skilled mechanic who you’d like to work more than a usual volunteer schedule and need to determine how to compensate them fairly.

One Barter Point is equal to the price (in your part of the world) for the following:

  • Price of a hostel bed +
  • Cost of three meals +
  • A backpackers night out

…Divided by three.  That is the value of a Barter Point varies in the location in question.

Here are a couple of examples

A Barter Point in London

  1. Price of a dorm bed = £25 a day
  2. Cost of food for the whole day = £15
  3. Booze for an evening, back packer style = ~£20

Added up, bed + food + booze = £60 and …divided by 3 comes to £20. So, one barter in London is worth £20.

Western Desert of Egypt

  1. Price of a dorm bed = £5 a day.
  2. Cost of food for the whole day = £6
  3. Booze for an evening, back packer style = Around £5

Added up, bed + food + booze = £16….divided by 3 comes to £5.20. One barter in the Western Desert of Egypt is worth £5.20 or 63 EGP (local currency).

How do I set Barter Points for my area where I am a host?

Depending on which country, region and even what county you are in – the value of a Barter Point varies. To set the barter points for your county do the following in the Work in? section and make sure the recommended Barter Points for your area are accurate in order to help the WT community.

  • Navigate to your county page in the Work in? section of the site.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see the barter point ratings for each area – bed – bread and beer.
  • If they are blank, you are the first person to set the rate. Add what you think is right for the cost of each section and it will calculate the amount for one barter point for your county.
  •  If someone has already set them, and you agree, that’s great. If you do not agree what the cost for each section is, you can make changes – up to 30% from what is shown. Allowing hosts and travellers to change the barter points will help set realistic prices for each service and act as a valuable guide for travellers coming to your area.
  • When you are on your county page. It will be very helpful for you if you update the text sections to provide travellers with information what what kinds or work they can expect to find there. For more details on this have a look at the Work In help page.

How do I choose my Barter Point Rate?

In your own profile rate yourself from 1 to 10+ in the edit my profile section to let travellers know the number of barter points you ‘charge’ to stay at your place.

  • If you are giving them a basic bed and food, charge 2, one for each item.
  • If you are throwing in some alcohol or use of the swimming pool, charge 3. It’s up to you.
  •  If you choose 3 barter points, that means a traveller who is charging 3 barter points for their work will be staying as a volunteer. So there is no exchange of money.

Barter Points Help You Offer the Right Compensation

If you are charged 3 points for a traveller to stay with you, but you want a larger amount of work or want more skilled labor, you could offer a higher rate – say 5 barter points.

For example:

Extra Points for Extra Work: If you are in a region that suggests a barter point is $10 a day, based on the above calculation, you will owe $20 to the traveller

Beyond Money: It does not have to be money, it has to be what you both agree) as they are charging 5 points and you are charging 3 to stay.

How do I set my barter points on my Work Placements?

Above explains how you set your rate for what you charge to stay at your place. When creating a Work Placement posting, you set what barter points you are willing to give in exchange for a days work.

  • So you charge and give points. If you charge and give the same amount, it’s called volunteering. If it’s different ,you owe the number of barter points over the cost of staying at your place at the rate shown in the Work In? section for your area.
  • Check in the Work In? section to see what a barter point is rated as and if it is not rated yet, set it to what you think is fare and help grow the barter system for you and future travellers to your region.

Sounds Complicated?

It might sound complicated as you aren’t used to using barter and more used to money.

Let’s explain it as if you were using money. In your area, one barter point is $10.

  • You charge $30 a night to stay at your place including three meals a day and the local moon shine.
    • The traveller coming to stay is charging $30 a day for the work they are doing for you…… so no money changes hands and keeps it all as volunteering.
  • If you agree to pay the traveller $50 a day and charge him $30 a day to stay, you owe them $20 a day for each day they worked… Or two barter points.
    • That means you might throw in some good wine, or let them stay on an extra week for free or pay them $20 for each day they worked. It’s all down to the host and the traveller.
    • That is why it is called barter, they are just guide lines to show travellers what it would cost them if they stayed in a hostel when they are in your area.

By keeping the system to Barter Points, you are legally using volunteers for the majority of the travellers that stay with you and so do not have to get involved in work permits etc. Charging travellers $30 to stay and then paying them $30 per day for the work they have done over complicates things. The barter system keeps it simple and legally as volunteering for most work placements.

Where Will My Barter Points Appear?

  • Barter Points appear on your profile to let travellers know what you charge per day for them to stay.
  • They also appear on your Work Placement postings in the Work Search, allowing traveller to search for work that is offering a certain level of barter points.

Barter Points Are Only Guidelines

You will need to negotiate with travellers, as they probably have no idea what the cost of living is where you are.

  • The barter points set for the area you are located gives them an idea of what to aim for when negotiating a deal with you, but they are only guidelines, intended to help you make the most of the travellers you host.
  • If they want to charge £200 a day no matter what a bed, costs in your area, that’s their choice, and good luck to them! 🙂

Working Traveller - Work your way around the world / or let the world come to you.

Working Traveller enables you to work and travel on your Gap Year - whilst gaining relevant work references for a job when you go back home. Working Traveller Ltd is based in the UK at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ. We are a private limited company registered in the United Kingdom.
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