ROCKLAND, Maine — A local police chief needs a defunct trampoline to shade his sheep and is willing to barter for it. A Rockport man had a $100 iTunes gift card he didn’t need and was offered 25 guinea hens.
A new public Facebook group, Midcoast Barter, is connecting people and their extra stuff.
Since Tim Sullivan of Rockland created the group about a month ago, more than 600 people in the midcoast have posted things they need and what goods and services they will provide in exchange.
“It’s more of a community page than an I’m-selling-my-stuff page,” Sullivan said Wednesday afternoon. “I love it. I’ve seen maybe a dozen connections made.”
Sullivan was one of the first people to post. He needed a place to live. In exchange, he wrote that he could edit, build model yachts or maybe fix bikes.
“No one took me up on it,” he said, laughing.
Sullivan pointed out others who have used the page.
“Beth was looking for a place to live,” he said.
“Yeah. And I needed lamps. I was willing to cook for lamps or teach cooking,” said Beth Vickery. “People said, ‘Please let me give you three lamps — have them, I don’t want them.’ I also needed a rat trap for a practical joke. A woman lent it to me and just wanted a funny story in return,” she said.
Over in Thomaston, Police Chief Kevin Haj needs an old trampoline. He plans to put a tarp over it and create portable shade for his flock of sheep, which live in a treeless field.
“I am willing to do bush hogging, lawn mowing, labor. But I got a reply last night and the lady told me about one sitting on [Route] 52 that’s been laying in a field forever. I plan to check that out this weekend,” Haj said.
Haj said he is a barterer by nature and gets a kick out of the website.
“Bartering is good; it goes back to one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You never know what people have laying around in their barns,” he said.
Other spots in Maine have similar pages, though most are much smaller than the midcoast’s group. The Portland (Maine) Barter and Swap group page has about 70 people, some of whom are trading art for canoe paddles. There is also a Downeast Maine Barter and Swap page, Bangor Barter, Swap and Sell and a couple of Central Maine barter pages, among others.