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St. Pete Timebank

Exchanging Goods? This is how we do it

The Giving and Receiving of Goods, or the Exchange of Material Capital

In the market economy, we buy and sell goods by exchanging the financial capital we have acquired for the material goods offered. These types of transactions are accepted as a common method of exchange in our society. Cash for goods. It happens every day. Usually, the seller determines the price or value of the item, a contract is created when the buyer agrees to purchase, and there are often federal or state tax implications with this type of exchange.

In Timebanking, we do not sell or buy goods. We are making a choice to share the material capital or goods we have acquired for the benefit of the community and agree to receive time credit(s) offered by the recipient to document the exchange. In timebanking, there is no value determined by supply and demand. The value of time is not currently taxed.

In St. Pete Timebank, a member offers material capital that they have acquired (which is often referred to as non-handmade goods) to the community and any member can request to receive it. Usually, this
is done on a first-come, first-served basis – whoever responds first receives the goods. If the recipient does not show up within the agreed upon time frame, the provider may offer the goods to the next person who responded.

Rather than a price being determined by perceived value of the seller, the recipient must determine how many time credits they are willing to give to the provider for the goods being offered to create the exchange. Remember, time credits are simply a record of work (time capital) you have done within the community and is documented in your time bank account.

How much of your work are you willing to exchange for the material capital another timebank member is offering?

For goods that are personally made by a member, what we refer to as “handmade goods,” (not my grandmother’s hand made quilt, but something I put my own time into,) the financial capital that is used to create an item is reimbursed to the maker outside of the timebank exchange. St. Pete Timebank does not track or manage the exchange of cash used to reimburse a maker of “handmade goods.” In St. Pete Timebank, the exchange of material capital (handmade goods) is documented in the timebank software by recording the amount of time it took for the member to make the item. In most exchanges, the recipient does the  ecording in the software. The amount of credits offeredshould be discussed and agreed upon prior to the exchange taking place. If the exchange is not documented within 24 hours, or if both parties agree, the provider may record the exchange.

If you have any questions about this, or other timebank related questions, reach out to us:


note:  please remember, we do not allow the exchange of animals for time credits under any circumstances