Bartering Making a Comeback Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Neighbors are trading toilet paper for face masks and hand sanitizer.

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The coronavirus pandemic has brought back the bartering system as neighbors are offering to trade necessities for items they can't buy in stores like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

"I made a pie for someone else and they gave me eggs," said Micaela Rios.

Rios is a member of the private Positively Downey Facebook group, which brought bartering back with posts specifically created to trade items during this national emergency. 

"I was amazed how many responses there were," Rios said. "It’s great because there are some people who have toilet paper, some people who didn’t, some who had extra food and it was a great way to help each other."

One of the hot commodities? Toilet paper, with many people offering to trade for it.

One person in the Facebook group was willing to trade 12 rolls of toilet paper for a face mask & hand sanitizer. Another person wanted to trade 6 pack of toilet paper for groceries, including rice, beans and spaghetti sauce. 

Rios thinks bartering will becomes more common now that the Governor has issued the Safer at Home order. 


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"I think now people are going to be more scared or panicked because now they’re telling you you have to stay home," Rios said.

But so far, the makeshift Facebook trading post has worked out well for her.

"I got rosemary from another lady because I needed it for cooking," said Rios. "I gave her bread with her rosemary as a thankful gesture so she gave me avocados and I used the avocados to trade for something else."

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