Update 2/21/2011: It has come to my attention that Veggie Trader has recently shut down. Below is the original post as written, but I’m asking readers to help shed some light on a similar service if one exists. If you are aware of another produce trading site or program, please share in the comments. Thank you!
Just when I thought I had seen it all, I ran across a website I knew nothing about.Â Veggie Trader is the perfect spot for people to buy, sell, and trade produce with others in their community.Â You see, the setup is kind of like Craigslist.Â You post a listing describing the excess produce you have and what you’d like in return.Â Then, you wait for other members to respond.Â Once both parties have agreed to the deal, they meet in a public place to swap goods.Â Talk about genius!Â Do you know how many yards I see in Florida littered with perfectly good fruit?
Setting Up an Account
It doesnât cost anything to register for the site and to post an ad.Â In fact, it only takes a matter of moments to complete the form.Â Make sure to check your inbox for a confirmation email.Â Without activating your account, you canât do much.Â I tried to log-in without completing the registration and it prompted me to look for an email from the site.
Rules and Regulations
Before you get all excited and list all the extra lettuce from your garden, there are a few things that you should know:
- Licenses â’ Check with your local authorities to make sure that these type of transactions can be conducted without a license.Â Some states require that you have one before you can trade your excess seeds, produce or plants.
- Taxes â’ Trading beyond state lines may make you subject to taxes.Â If youâre not sure that is the case where you live, ask someone who knows more about it like an accountant or attorney.
- Quarantine Zones â’ Check with your stateâs Department of Agriculture to see if any quarantine zones are effect in your community.Â The website warns that this is your responsibility.
- Pesticides â’ Itâs always a good idea to check with the people that you are buying or swapping from to see what kinds of pesticides they have used on their fruits and vegetables.Â Most people will be obliged to share this information with you.Â Avoid those who are not.
- Liabilities â’ Veggie Trader cannot be held responsible for any transaction done through the website.
- Prohibited â’ Stick to fruits and veggies only as the site does not permit you to trade things like eggs and meat.
- US Only â’ Members are prohibited from using the site to import or export food into or out of the United States.
With gardening being so popular these days, itâs great to see sites like this exist.Â If you grow more than you eat, why not share your good fortune?Â There are plenty of people out there that would like to be paid in fresh fruits and veggies.
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.
I think it is crazy that you need a license to trade produce in some areas. Does that only apply to buying and selling or does it also cover bartering?
Welcome to nanny state USA. I remember a number of years ago I ran a casual off roading club and we had an unofficial event one weekend and were out at a park raising money for some charity and since a lot of people came out we thought we'd buy a bunch of hot dogs and snacks and everything to feed the crowd. Once word got around they came and shut us down because we didn't have a permit to serve food.
Ridiculous. You can't even do anything nice without jumping through so many hoops it isn't even worth it.