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Bartering for Services

Friday, January 30, 2009 - 6:10pm

People are doing just about anything and everything to ride out the financial storm. NBC 33’s Emily Turner introduces us to two men who are literally bridging the economic gap.

Tim Elsea sits in the lobby of a dentist office, hoping to get some work done on his teeth. He says, “I have a bridge that came loose and I think it needs to be reset.” But he doesn’t plan to pull out his billfold to pay for it, instead, he barters. Elsea has a full job working for a local newspaper, but with five children to support, money is tight. “My wife said she’d prefer the money, but you know something is better than nothing.”

With 20 years of experience with graphics and website, Elsea felt he could offer his services to upgrade Dr. Richard Wampold’s webpage to pay for dental work not covered by his insurance. His email address isn’t linked and maybe he could add some more pictures.

Surprisingly, Dr. Wampold has been trying to get his webpage updated for a while. In his opinion, Elsea’s proposal makes perfect sense. “We’ve had people come in and offer goods for services; especially in this economy people are looking for ways to defray costs.”

Dr. Wampold sat Elsea in a chair and looked at his teeth. After examining the x-rays, Dr. Wampold found decay around two of the teeth holding Elsea’s bridge, meaning his existing bridge would have to be replaced, a procedure that would normally cost around $4,000. It is an amount Elsea would not be able to pay for in full.

What you need to do s look at it, tell me what you would want to do with it and how much your services would usually cost and I can tell you how much your bridge is going to be and we can go from there.” Could this be the wav of the future?

This isn’t the first time Elsea has bartered. He provided website design for a meat company and received several pounds of beef in return.