North Idaho Man May Be King Of Bartering

COEUR D’ALENE — Imagine getting anything and everything you want without spending a a single penny. One North Idaho man does just that, Michael Moore has mastered the lost art of the barter.

We did a few stories about bartering a couple of weeks ago…Its becoming a lot more popular in this economy…And we talked to a few people who dabbled in it…They’ve made a few trades…

But each of them sent us to one coeur d’alene man who has bartered hundreds maybe thousands of times…

Moore, a Coeur d’Alene man has traded for just about anything you can imagine.

“Basically I’m able to obtain anything I want through bartering,” he said.

Literally anything from goats, to trees, to cars.

“They liked a shotgun that I had, so they brought over the goats and took home a shotgun,” said Moore about one of his trades. “Every car you see down there I traded for.”

From cars to repair work on his home, all traded for.

“We had the house painted and the garage out there painted.. we traded a vehicle for that,” said Moore.

From the outside of the home to the inside of the home, Moore has even traded for appliances.

“So I say ‘What’s the deal on that fridge?’ He says ‘You wanna make a deal on that fridge?’,” said Moore.

His bartering has even earned him a lofty title.

“Well, sometimes they call me the king of bartering,” said Moore.

Moore barters a lot, he’s made hundreds of trades worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I’m dealing with property, automobiles, tractors, high-end stuff,” said Moore. “Items in the thousands of dollars.”

So what has he traded for and what has he had to give up to get what he wants?

Moore traded a motorcycle to get his entire home carpeted and he traded a table to get a new sprinkler system.

“A guy walked in here yesterday to look at guns but saw this table and went, ‘Wow that’s a great looking table,’ ” said Moore. “We ended up making a deal on the table.”

He’s traded guns to get his house professionally painted and a few cars to get a new roof.

Moore traded a broken X-Box for a farm tractor and farm animals for a few means of transportation.

“That old Ford… I traded some Yaks for that,” he said.

Moore traded to have his garage remodeled, he turned it into an apartment.

“I traded some Yaks for some Southwest Airlines tickets,” he said, “So I sent a guy and his family of four to Disney World. He worked here for three weeks doing whatever I asked him to do around here.”

The fences on his property, the plumbing in his sheds, all bartered for. Even a gate to the entrance of his property.

“He spent about two weeks on-and-off, built this beautiful wall and I gave him a couple of rifles,” said Moore.

So how does Michael figure out what to barter for?

“I will literally lay in bed at night and its like a Christmas wish list,” he said. “I’ll say ‘Wow, I really need a new driveway poured and wouldn’t it be nice to have the house painted and wouldn’t it be nice to have a new floor in this room.’ “

Once he’s identified things he wants or needs, he simply posts requests on craigslist.

“I’ll just put ads out there and I’ll say, ‘I need a guy to plant trees, I have many items for trade,’ ” he said. “I’ll get lots of responses.”

After a few emails and phone calls, he gives interested barterers a tour of his place and asks them what they would be interested in trading for.’

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, that’s really what it’s all about,” said Moore.

Moore says everyone can barter, but not everyone’s cut out for bartering.

“It does take a certain, I hesitate to use the word skill, maybe mentality is the better word,” said Moore.

Moore says some people just can’t divorce the actual monetary value from a product and attempt to determine if two goats are in fact worth one shotgun.

“That’s the beauty of trading, nobody feels like they got the short end of the stick,” said Moore. “Everybody feels like they got the better deal.”

So, while many consumers keep spending money, Michael continues to barter, trading stuff he no longer values for stuff he wants.

“I want them to have a smile on their face and I want to have a smile on my face, then it is a good deal,” he said.

Moore says he has his biggest success trading guns and cars for the things he needs.

Moore has personally seen the bartering traffic on craigslist triple in the last few months. This isn’t an unheard of phenomenon, 40 and 50 years ago, bartering was common.

If you want to barter you need to know the law. There are very specific IRS regulations about bartering, they can be precarious and confusing.

Anyone interested in bartering needs to be aware of the tax laws before bartering for big ticket items.