Lessons from Venezuela: Top 10 items to barter with when SHTF
By Arsenio Toledo // Feb 16, 2021

Venezuela used to be one of the most stable and prosperous nations in South America. However, after decades of severe economic mismanagement thanks to socialist government policies, the country has totally collapsed. This is why Venezuelans have all but abandoned their currency, the bolivar, in favor of old-fashioned bartering.


Venezuelans understand that to barter efficiently, they need to focus on the most important items. Here are the top 10 things to barter with when SHTF, according to Venezuelans.


One of the most important things that you need to stock up on is food. Venezuela's price controls for basic food items have disappeared, causing things like bread, milk and pasta to become very expensive to barter for. People cannot survive a collapse on an empty stomach. This is why they will be able to pay a lot for a little bit of food.


Coffee is not essential, but it has turned into one of the country's most luxurious items. Either you or your trading partner will no doubt be able to appreciate a good caffeine fix. If you get your hands on some high-quality coffee, hold on to it and see what you can get for it down the line.

Personal hygiene products

Your need to remain clean doesn't end when the world does. While you can, stock up on soap, shampoo, toilet paper, feminine products and other hygiene items. After the collapse, these everyday items will only get more expensive.


One item that oil-rich Venezuela should not be scarce of is fuel. And yet, the country's citizens have to line up for hours to get a few drops of gas. It will be vital for you to keep a lot of gasoline stored for your family's needs in a time of crisis. Invest in fuel storage options while you can because one day, your neighbors might come by and beg for some fuel to run their generators and other appliances.

Voltage protectors

Voltage protectors are items designed to protect electronic appliances from sudden energy spikes. These are important for places like Venezuela, where the sudden appearance and disappearance of blackouts can destroy electronic equipment. Voltage protectors are very expensive. Make sure you don't have to dig into your supplies by stocking up on voltage protectors yourself.

Flashlights and candles

When you can't rely on the electricity to remain stable 24 hours a day, you need to rely on other light sources in the evening—stock up on flashlights and candles, as well as batteries and matches. When you need some extra supplies, you may be able to trade for them with an extra pack of AA batteries or a few candles.


Venezuela's healthcare system is in shambles. This means that the people there have to make sure they won't get sick because if they do it can lead to death. Stock up on all of the natural medicines you need, including vitamins – everything you need to fortify your health and make sure you never have to make a deal with a back-alley doctor for emergency treatment. (Related: History repeats itself: 2 Survival lessons you must learn from the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.)


If you want to take care of your health, you should not smoke a cigarette under any circumstances. However, this doesn't mean that tobacco products aren't valuable items to barter with. If you happen to have some spare resources, consider buying a few and stowing them away just in case somebody desperate for nicotine is willing to pay any price for it.

Vehicle parts

The Venezuelan capital of Caracas has turned into a city filled with cars that are in poor condition. This is because spare parts have become very expensive. A family car is a ticket for people to bug out of dire situations, and they will pay anything to make sure it's running efficiently.


If you have a unique skill that nobody else in the community has, such as natural medicine, plumbing or gun repair, you will be an invaluable asset. All of your neighbors will pay you in kind or other services for help.

When society collapses, you won't be able to rely on money to get everything you want. Stock up on these items so that when you're also in need of a few supplies, you will be able to barter for it easily.

Learn more about how to deal with the aftermath of society crumbling by reading the articles at Collapse.news.

Sources include:



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