Marketing: Gift Economy One Way Street

There is that wonderful money-less concept called “Gift Economy”, to enable people to exchange goods and services without involvement of currency, largely based on mutual trust.

I have taken this concept to the test, as a website builder, offering my services in exchange for simple second hand goods that I even would pay for by myself.

Real life example in present time: I am about to move to another home, and I want to use wooden platforms (beach footbridge style) to cover the floor for reason of heat and sound isolation. And I’d be happy with used platforms, but have a hard time finding these.

So I have the idea to exchange the supplier contact info against a website. So I just need the contact and then I buy the platforms from there.

  1. I have a deal with a writer who is in need of a website. In exchange he agrees on supplying me with the platform info. I have been hearing excuses after excuse, even after I delivered the website, and to this day my share is zero.
  2. Another real life example, a couple of months ago, a stucco worker needed a website to promote his business locally, and with him I had exactly the same agreement. I needed only platform supplier info for cheap stuff. I have been hearing excuses after excuse, even after I delivered the website, and to this day my share is zero.
  3. Again another real life example, half a year ago, a spiritual foundation needed a website to promote their spiritual teachings, and with them I had the agreement that they supply me with some used dated electronic equipment. After many emails, I still did not get my stuff, even after I delivered the website, and to this day my share is zero.
  4. And so there is another potential candidate, a floor tile seller, but I will not try a fourth time. The “Gift Economy” concept heavily relies on keeping promises, i.e. real trust, and after three hard lessons I have learned that people cannot be trusted in this idealistic concept. Unless legally binding contracting would be involved, although that would largely take away the “humanistic factor”. But hey, business is business …

The Gift Economy concept does not fit in this world of selfish people. Besides, the word “Gift” rather be “Exchange”, as “gift” seems strongly suggesting its original meaning.

Exchange Economy! EXEC

So from now on, I will charge for the websites again outrageous amounts of money, and I leave the Gift Economy to the hippies and the rich.

I need to pay for my living, and that is the long and short of it. Period.