While most exchanges of goods or services involves money going in one direction and the goods or services in the other, barter is a two-way exchange of goods or services of approximately similar value.
For example, a lawyer might trade an hour of legal advice for an hour of a web designer’s time. A cookbook author might trade a cookbook for fresh produce of equivalent value.
Barter can be an effective way to reduce outgoing cash for needed expenses, but the overhead of trying to find appropriate exchanges and negotiate makes it a specialized bootstrapping technique.
Government wants to tax barter exchanges but most barters are not reported.