Could bartering become the new buying in a changed world?

The increase in bartering is nowhere better exemplified than in Fiji, which inspired Barter United Kingdom, a London group. The country has a long tradition of barter, known as ‘veisa’. It’s only grown amid Covid-19, and Fijians have harnessed modern technology to connect even more people.

“I knew that money would be tight to stretch out and even harder to come by. I asked myself what happens when there’s no more money? Barter was a natural solution to that,” says Marlene Dutta, who started the Barter for a Better Fiji group on 21 April. Its membership is just under 190,000 – more than 20% of Fiji’s population. Items changing hands have run the gamut – pigs for kayaks, a violin for a leather satchel and doughnuts for building bricks – but the most commonly requested items have been groceries and food.


Social Media is the driver that puts the groups together.