Part exchange

Part exchange

Part exchange is a term that originated in the United Kingdom and refers to the swapping or bartering or exchange of goods or services. The exact definition for part exchange is "the exchange of resources or services for mutual advantage" and many believe this concept goes back to the start of mankind, it even operates in the animal and plant kingdoms. Barter or part exchange amongst humans pre-dates the use of even the earliest forms of money. One of the earliest forms known to us was the barter through the use of cattle – which included goats, sheep, camels and horses or any livestock that was used for produce or transport.

So successful is this form of interaction that bartering or part exchange is still very much in use today amongst all peoples from all regions. Governments and other organizations often find it easier to part exchange resources and services then to purchase outright, as do companies and individuals.

In fact the internet has given a whole new lease of life to part exchange, by removing the biggest original obstacles – distance and difficulty of finding suitable partners and, more importantly a trusted regulator or medium with whom to conduct the exchange.


The Freecycle Network is similar to part exchange but differs in that there is no requirement for the recipient of a good to give anything in exchange. However, since recipients are often donors as well, exchanges may take place over a period of time.
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