Bartering with Mavis – When Bartering Goes Bad

Yesterday afternoon my neighbor Girly Girl sent me a text.

GG: Do you have any beets?  My friend wants to pickle some and she will trade you for some of the jars of pickled beets for beets.

Mavis: I will only trade beets for candy.  When do you want them?

GG: Tomorrow?  She has candy.

Mavis: No hard candy.  It’s crap.  Do you want me to pull them now and you can just stick the beets in the refrigerator?

GG: So chocolate only?  We will be driving by in 30 minutes, if you want to trade today.

Mavis: When will I get my candy?

GG: 30 minutes

Mavis: K. Deal. I’m leaving  to go to Home Depot in a few minutes. They will be on the porch.

When I came home this is what I found on the porch.

1 pint sized jar of Dove chocolates.

I think I seriously got ripped off.

Note to self: Always barter in person, never leave vegetables unattended on the porch.



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  1. CathyB says

    It does look like a lot of beets. But then again, Dove chocolate is da bomb…. And seeing as how I hate beets in any way, shape, or form – but LOVE chocolate – I don’t think you got too bad of a deal. A little good chocolate is better than a lot of beets in my book! PLUS, now you can justify not sharing the chocolate with the family – you only got enough for a personal stash! :)

  2. Kari says

    You TOTALLY got ripped off. YOU know you can get that chocolate for under $2 any day… but those beets? Probably over $10-$15? just sayin… NEVERMIND all the sowing, weeding, watering, weeding, watering, (even in the NW we have to water) pulling, washing, etc…
    I would be embarrassed if I only gave that chocolate and got ALL THOSE beets! I paid $25 for 50# of beets last fall at a fruit stand and they were larger and harder to work with than the ones you have above.

    Lesson Learned…
    *at least you got a free CANNING JAR???

  3. LaToya says

    Maybe they didn’t realize how many you were leaving? I mean you can totally get that with a coupon for lik e$1.50 at Walgreens. You got ripped off. Big.

    • Kayla says

      I was thinking the same thing. But if she was planning on using them to pickle, she should have assumed she was getting a lot. Hopefully she has good morals and antes up some more chocolate. :)

    • Mavis says

      Ha Ha HA. Girly Girl is not a coupon shopper. Not to save her life. Or her friend. They probably paid like 10 million dollars for the chocolate.

  4. Ben Andrews says

    You don’t have to be there for the exchange, just make sure there is an agreement on the amounts of each item to be exchanged (i.e. 5 lbs of beets for 1 lbs of chocolate).

  5. Desi says

    That definitely was not a fare trade! Maybe girlie girl told her friend you practically give your produce away. Dealing in person is definitlely the only way to trade.
    My neighbor once asked me if we were going to can all our apples on our tree, we had just bought the house from her and she knew it was loaded. We told her we didn’t have anything for canning as that we were newly weds and if she knew of someone that could use them they could have some. We came home to an EMPTY tree. We were just married and flat broke from buying that house, we had been eating those apples multiple times a day. We were heart broke! Luckily my husband rigged up an apple picker for the stragglers that were at the very tip top.

    I would competely agree to being home when you offer produce to people.

  6. Alyssa says

    I would be ticked too! I think you got the shortend of the deal on that one. If I was the one who had dropped off the chocolate I would have only taken a few beets in exchange for it.

  7. cptacek says

    hmmmm…our town festival is this weekend, and I was going to leave a table full of vegetables with a “Leave what you think is fair” sign on a box for them to put money in. Maybe not a good idea?

    • Mavis says

      I don’t know… I think I like your idea of Leave what you think is fair.” It’s fun to see what people think is fair.

  8. Ashley says

    Okay, first off, I don’t think it was a very fair trade. The time and energy to grow and harvest those beets was worth more than one little jar of chocolates. I will, however, say that I’d prefer to eat those dove chocolates (put them in the freezer- yum!) than all those beets, lol! Maybe if they’d all been dark chocolate, I would have considered it even :p

    I’m wondering if Desi is on to something. Maybe Girly Girl said that you go door to door handing out free zuchinni, so maybe they figured ANY amount of chocolate was acceptable. They still should have been more generous, though.

    • Mavis says

      I just called and told her I published the story… she started laughing. So no, she doesn’t read it. LOL. What a stinker!

  9. LB says

    I’d cry! Dove chocolate is gross. She should have left you a fair value exchange worth. I personally would have left more than the fair value, because you were doing her a favor. Maybe when your neighbor realizes you got jipped she’ll say something to her friend. Then, the friend will bring you gobs of Halloween candy!! I’ll bet it’s already showing up in stores.

    • Elizabeth says

      Agree with you there about DOVE. Nothing special about it unless you are seriously desperate at 2 a.m. during a blizzard. But of course that wouldn’t help because I wouldn’t have it anyways. We tried one of those GREENBLACK bars with the coupon you highlighted. It was OK, but we got kind of a weird one, chocolate with currants and hazelnuts. Most others were sold out. I like the really dark, like 60% to 72%. I even like 80%.

  10. destiny says

    Wow. Some people. I dont think she understands the word “barter”. FAIR TRADE O EQUAL VALUE. NOT: Gimme ur organic baby beets for a half bag of leftover chocolate from my last binge. Next time tell her to beet it. Chocolate nazi!

  11. lana says

    what a rip! But barter karma came round. Remember the huge score you got canning jam with amber. I think you normally come out top no worries your teeth will thank you!

    • Mavis says

      This is totally true. Usually I end up with the better deal when I trade with Girly Girl, so I figured I was due for a low trade. Oh well, now I don’t have to can beets. :)

  12. says

    Well, I like to think that you can’t only make comparisons based on monetary value. Remember the story in the Bible about the widow’s mite? Sure, the widow’s offering was less than the others gave, but it was all she had. Maybe this friend really wanted beets and gave all she had in order to get them. I’ve certainly been there. And when someone gives all they have to offer, they’ve given everything. Then how are the scales tipped?

  13. chris says

    It would not have been so bad if they had left a semi-decent red wine and an used cheezy novel with Fabio on the cover to go with the chocolates. Just saying.

    • Helen in Meridian says

      Yea, maybe 50 Shades of Grey and a good bottle of wine. Don’t you share your chicken scraps with Girlie Girl? She takes you for granted. Tell her she owes you another case of toilet paper and another huge sack of sugar from Costco.

  14. Yvonne says

    Dove chocolate is nasty and what seriously fits in a little pint jar anyway. Bad deal!! But I am sure your neighbors friend is happy with the trade 😉

  15. Susie says

    I think there may be more issues than chocolate vs. beets when GG reads your blog. But I know you’ll stand firm. I’m rootin’ for ya, Mavis!

  16. Tali says

    oh, I got so mad when I saw that tiny jar! A few years back we made a (verbal) deal with someone in town who needed boarding for 4 cows (usually $50/month) to graze until butchering time in exchange for ‘good’ fresh beef….after 4 month (saved him $800)…he brought us some beef in a tiny disposable cooler that tasted worse than the one from the store… and learn….

  17. Laurie S says

    I’m sorry this barter didn’t work out better. Shame on them.

    If I was closer I would love to barter with you for some of your larger zucchini any day and I have lots of stuff!

  18. Sakura says

    I traded some produce yesterday and I felt so lame. My girlfriend sent me a text that her moms green plums were ready and asked if I wanted any. I said yes and offered some tomatoes. She had plenty so I asked if I could give her some pears, that would be good. When I picked up the plums there were 5 boxes that weighed 10+ pounds each all for me. I only had 3 patty pans, 4 lemon cukes, and eggplant and a grocery sack full of bartletts. My son even laughed and told me I was ripping her off.

    I called her and told it was way too many plums, and she begged me to take them because they have 3 more trees. She told me she was happy to get some yummy pears.

    I think GG should check back with you to see if your ok with the trade, both parties should feel like they received a fair trade.

  19. says

    Yep, you got ripped. But that’s the risk in bartering, and sometimes you have to take that risk. I do a produce co-op with a friend, and last week I got some apples that I didn’t need, so I just gave them to her, without asking for a trade. Later at her house, she gave me all her leftover Halloween candy, including 2 HUGE bags of SKITTLES, my favorite munch at the computer item, loaned me 2 movies on dvd I had been wanting to see, and gave me a loaf of honey wheat bread from her co-op extra pack. AND…knowing that I needed a digital camera while I save up for a new one, she loaned me hers. Not bad for a few apples, I must say. LOVE THE BLOG.

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