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Barter Economy Matures from Niche to Trend [Germany]
DER SPIEGEL ^ | By Susanne Amann and Janko Tietz

Posted on 01/12/2013 6:45:49 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin

From the perspective of the fashion industry, Johanna Lassonczyk is an ideal customer. She is young, places value on her appearance and, for years, has regularly bought new brand-name clothing and accessories.

From Lassonczyk's own perspective, the fashion industry is in pretty bad shape. The self-employed entrepreneur has recently started attending so-called swap parties. The last one was the "Xmas Event" hosted by the website "Swap in the City" at Cologne's E-Werk concert hall.

You clean out your closet, gather the things that no longer fit or you don't like anymore, and take them with you to a swap party, where you pay an entrance fee. In return, you receive a credit in the form of fake coins. The clothes are prepared by professionals and, two hours later, displayed as if they were new items in a store.

A jury of organizers only accepts brand-name items. While they wait, visitors listen to lounge music, drink cocktails and receive makeup tips, before they eventually have the chance to swap their credits for other used clothing, bags or shoes.

"Germans' consumption behavior has changed considerably," says Harel Shalev, the managing director of "Swap in the city." "This is exactly why platforms like ours can be so successful."

US trend expert and author Rachel Botsman calls it "collaborative consumption," and in her book, "What's Mine is Yours," she invokes a renaissance of sharing and swapping.

The trend is especially exciting to younger generations in Germany, people who have little disposable income to buy things and enhance their social status, and yet don't want to do without anything the consumer world has to offer. They share living space, clothing and cars, and they run community gardens and tool swapping clubs.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs

1 posted on 01/12/2013 6:45:53 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Flea market with a liquor license.

2 posted on 01/12/2013 6:50:33 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.

Swapping’s all the rage here in Centex. My little sister has mastered it, and hardly anything she acquires is for her!

3 posted on 01/12/2013 6:56:28 AM PST by txhurl
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To: P.O.E.
Flea market with a liquor license. Sounds like a money maker - on second thought, it's already hard to find a parking space at our local one.

(Meant to finish my post, but hit the wrong button).

4 posted on 01/12/2013 7:03:40 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.

I’m sure they’re paying every last penny of income tax due on their barter transactions. Of course.

5 posted on 01/12/2013 7:48:10 AM PST by heye2monn
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To: heye2monn

There are ways around it (shadowy and legit), but as long as the cost of enforcement outweighs the benefits, my guess is it can be gotten away with. But I don’t doubt the revenuers would love to get their hands on the money.

6 posted on 01/12/2013 8:00:00 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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