In the coming
years, I think there is a strong possibility that there is going
to be crisis and martial law in the United States and in other nations
as well. During such periods, the items you need to survive will
become increasingly scarce, especially if the crisis and martial
law goes on for an extended period of time.
could have well been entitled How to Be a Successful Criminal,
because what we are talking about bartering during cisis and/or
martial law. In crisis and martial law, bartering of goods will
be considered a criminal act. As such, if you barter you will be
a participant in the black market (at least in the eyes of the government).
Remember, during crisis with martial law, you can be arrested for
just about anything.
The rules I
cover in this article come from the book Black Market Operations:
Marketing Theory and the Fencing of Stolen Goods, A report by
Ted Roselius and Douglas Benton, associate professors in the college
of business at Colorado State University. The book was published
by the now defunct publisher Loompanics Unlimited. You may still
be able to find the book on some internet booksellers. The book’s
ISBN number is 1-55950-017-4. If you can get a copy, I recommend
you add it to your preparedness library.
For the record,
I do not support criminal behavior during normal times. However,
during periods of crisis, especially prolonged crisis with martial
law, you have to do what is necessary to survive. Just because the
martial law government labels your bartering a “crime”
does not make it unethical or evil. On the contrary, your first
duty is to provide for your family. (See 1st Timothy chapter 5 verse
In the book
listed above, the author’s list some characteristics of goods
that are best for selling and trading on the black market. Let’s
examine those characteristics in detail and how the principles will
apply to a pure barter economy during a prolonged crisis with martial
Value-generates more cash per risky transaction.”
trading goods on the black market is always risky. It is especially
risky if you are under martial law, as you can be executed for essentially
anything. Therefore, if your taking a big risk, you want to make
sure that there is a big reward for taking the risk. In crisis or
under martial law how much value your barter items have will determine
how many goods and services you can trade them for. Some items that
will have a high trade value include guns, ammunition, freeze-dried
food (see # 2 ), antibiotics, narcotic pain medication, liquor,
knives, batteries, and radios Under normal conditions bartering
items like narcotic pain medications and liquor could be very risky.
However, during crisis and martial law, the bartering of anything
can get you arrested and possibly shot. So in crisis with martial
law, bartering anything is a high risk activity. Make sure your
barter brings enough rewards to justify the risks involved in bartering.
Low bulk and low perishability”
you sell on the black market will have to be transported and will
have to be in useful condition at the time of the transaction. Therefore,
perishable items are out in most situations. The same is true for
large, bulky items. However, what constitutes large and bulky will
depend on your own situation. If you have a large pick up truck,
you will have the advantage of being able to transport large items
that those without large pickup trucks cannot transport.
Most food will
perish very easily. However, freeze-dried food, dehydrated food,
and to a lesser extent MRE’s (meals ready to eat) will make
good barter items. So will water purification supplies
Here we are
talking about items with a brand name on them. People trust branded
merchandise. In fact, people trust branded merchandise so much,
the criminal class has started branding merchandise like heroin
and cocaine by putting them in packages with brands on the package
so that users will make repeat purchases of their product.
Imagine this: John Smith has a case whisky he is going to trade
for a rifle. He goes to the meeting point and produces a clear glass
container with a light brown liquid inside and there is no seal
on the top of the bottle.
Peter Sloan has a case of whisky he is going to trade for a rifle.
He goes to the meeting point and produces a glass container with
a label on it that says “Crown Royal” and the seal on
the bottle is in tact.
you were the man trading the rifle for the whisky. Which of the
two people listed in the paragraphs above would you be more inclined
to do business with? The correct answer is Peter Sloan, because
Peter Sloan has branded merchandise. John Smith might have cooked
up some grain alcohol in a still and put some brown food coloring
in it and called it “whisky.”
If the crisis
and martial law last long enough, and you can produce useful goods,
you should consider coming up with your own brand and putting that
brand on your product.