Barter items are trade goods. They are things you stock and store that you know you don't depend on to live or probably won’t use, or you fell into a sale that allows you to actually say, “I have more than enough.” You keep the extra stored away against the day you find that money is just paper but a trade of something you have extra for something you have none of is worth its weight in gold.
Trade goods are another name for barter goods. Extra toilet paper is hardly ever extra! I am talking more about items like coffee if, since you started prepping and storing, you have stopped drinking as much coffee to save a few dollars. I gave up most caffeine years ago. One day, I just had enough. Since I started prepping, I have seen coffee on sale with a coffee coupon in my stash and thought, $1 for coffee? Why not? I can trade it for bullets!
One of my sons traded in a hand gun for a better model. There was ammo left over so he has that ammo stored separately from his stash and it is marked for trade. I have a stash of coffee and homemade first aid kits. I fell into a deal of individual packets of alcohol wipes and aspirin. I made dozens of zippered baggies that I call trade aid kits! Each kit contains; wet wipes, alcohol wipes, aspirin, band aids, a small tube of triple antibacterial cream, a small hand sanitizer kit, some gauze squares and gauze wrapping. These kits are also great to grab on the run for a last minute hike pack. One of my sons is storing pickled fruits, veggies and meats as a by-product of learning how to can and pickle. He eats some to test his skill. Some is for later, but extra are for trade.
Skills are barter items, which is why I keep saying list your skills. If you are faced with a situation when you need something and the person who has it wants none of your tangible items, you could offer your ability to do some task the person you want to trade with can’t do on their own. Maybe you can knit. I can not. I have tried and failed and I would gladly trade what you need for a good pair of socks.
Know what you have. Also, know what it is stored in. Maybe you don’t imagine it today, but there could be a time when the canister you store your rice in could have more value to someone else than the rice! I have been in a few surplus stores lately and the price of ammo cans is rising with the price of ammo.
The need for things and the possibility these things will not be readily available is the reason preppers say two is one. There may come a time when you can no longer go to the mall to replace a worn pair of shoes, so buy two now while you can. Two last longer than one. Three means someone who didn’t plan so well would pay more in goods or skills just to have one.
Most disaster scenarios have the element of not being able to get what you want or need just by throwing some paper money at it. If this comes to pass, where will you get your next pair of work boots? Where will you get your next meal? This is the core reason for preparing. What do you have in abundance that will be needed when TSHTF? I have a huge stash of thread and needles. I got yard sale lucky. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, eventually repairs to clothes will be essential. Do you have thread and needles? Will everyone?
I am not saying anyone should buy four of an item you only need one of because you may need to barter later. Acquired barter items could be the deal you run in to when looking to find two or three of an item for yourself. If you can buy one get one free, you have what you need. If you were going to buy two anyway and fall into a BOGO situation, buy those two and get two free! Barter items tend to be exactly what you would need in an emergency situation.
Don't forget that when you really do have extra, as I have enough hand sewing needles for a small army, you can give to those who have nothing but hope.