TEOTWAWKI Flea Market: Trading Post Apocalypse
What kind of trade goods should you stockpile, in case the world ends? What sort of items are nearly indispensable in a crisis, but are compact and easy to store and transport? Survival Blog offers a list of 25 candidates for high value trade goods in a post-apocalyptic society:
1. Alcohol...[miniatures]An interesting list for future shopkeepers of the post-doom world. What you are looking for in trade goods, is something that will pry precious silver from stingy fists. A lot of people who may be well stocked in necessities, may give a great deal for relatively frivolous non-necessities, if the cravings hit.
2. Coffee...Sales price--three pouches/cups for a silver dime.
3. Tobacco products...
5. Lantern mantles...Get 50 or so, sell for a silver dime each in your store. (At the current rate of about 24:1, that's a good one for you). You might also want to stock a couple of dozen lamp wicks.
6. Miniature bottles (1/8 oz.) of Tabasco sauce.... Sell two/three for a silver dime.
7. Toothpaste and dental floss....
9. Antacid tablets....
10. Salt and pepper....
12. Rechargeable batteries....
13. "Free lunch." This is another good one. Consider this your "loss leader" and a promotional strategy to attract customers. As you get your "store" started (the first week, maybe), offer customers a "free lunch"--a tasty bowl of chili beans or spicy noodles and a drink of "bug juice" (that's the red Kool-Aid)--for the first 25 customers or so as a promo strategy. After a few days, you can transition to a paid lunch--a dime or quarter in silver (recycling some of that silver change you put into circulation by buying from other merchants and from your customers).
14. The "bug juice" is another good idea. The water we filter/boil/purify may not taste so good and a sweet drink will be big, especially with the kids. I just priced these at the grocery store--packages (unsweetened) of cherry Kool-Aid are $.27/ea. and make two quarts. I bought 100 packages (compact; takes up very little space for the value). Your post-TEOTWAWKI sales price might be a silver dime for three or ten for a quarter.
15. Butane lighters...Sell individual lighters for a dime each or three for a quarter.....
17. Pool shock.... "Pool shock" is calcium hypochlorite, a dry powder, sold in one pound packages for swimming pool sanitation. This chemical is remarkably effective at sanitizing water. "Recipes" I have seen online state that a grain or two will sanitize a gallon and that a pound package will treat 65,000 gallons...A one pound bag is about $5....
18. Hand sanitizer...Sell those for a silver dime each (or maybe three for a quarter). Also buy several large bottles--two liter dispensing bottles of their private-label version (same stuff--thickened ethyl alcohol--as the branded product)--for $7.95.....
19. Mice/rat traps and poison. This one should be obvious--When the garbage piles up, the rodents will respond to the "stimulus," too....
20. Sunscreen. Again, everyone will be spending a lot more time outside. Around here, even leathery beach people need sunscreen. This is a great dollar store purchase. Several of our local dollar stores have SPF 15 and 30 in six and eight oz. bottles for a buck. Get a couple dozen bottles; sell for a silver dime each.
21. Bike tire repair kits. As soon as the gasoline supply chain fails, all sorts of old bikes will be dragged out of garages and basements. Many (most?) of these will have flat tires and few folks will have tube repair kits--but you will. Again, check the Big Box stores for kits--a couple of bucks each. You might want to get a dozen; sell for a silver half. Bring your tire pump to your micro-store and offer "complimentary" air.
22. Insect repellant. Living in near-jungle as I do, this one has special significance. I go through a number of Off spray cans every year working in the yard. With all the extra time we will be spending outside hauling water, gathering firewood, manning our Micro Store, and so forth, the bugs will be eating better than anyone. Check your local dollar store for deals on repellant. Price accordingly.
23. LED headlights (for your head, not your car)....I would stay away from the ones with "button" batteries and go for the ones that take AAs or AAAs. Depending on your cost, they would sell for about a silver quarter each or a quarter and a dime.
24. Sta-Bil or Pri-G. Consider this liquid plutonium. Get at least a dozen of the small bottles (treats five gallons of gasoline); sell for a [silver] quarter a bottle.
25. Hard candy. Another great promotion item--Get a couple of bulk jars at one of the warehouse clubs and give away candy to the kids (or to the parents to give to the kids) when they come to your store. These will bring everyone back sooner. A plastic jar of 200 "Atomic Fire Balls" was $6.95 at Sam's (the boys love these) and a similar size jar of Gummi Bears was $7.95. _SurvivalBlog
And what about useful light weight "tools" for the post-apocalypse? Here is a short list of 6 from survivalcache.com:
1. Duct TapeIn the comments section at the above link, many people mentioned the multi-tool as an essential post-TEOTWAWKI tool. Some preferred kevlar sail repair tape over duct tape. Others mentioned condoms, tampons, and sanitary pads. And then there are shovels, edge sharpeners, guns, and more. Portable musical instruments such as harmonicas, ukeleles, penny whistles, etc. could also find a market in a world suddenly without many popular entertainments.
The fame of duct tape has taken on a life of it’s own. What can you even say about it? (or it’s big brother Gorilla Tape, from the folks that brought you Gorilla Glue)
2. Zip Ties
From handcuffs to lashings and a thousand other ways to tie stuff together, you should have a stockpile of zip ties in every shape and size.
“If it moves and it shouldn’t; use Duct Tape. If it should move and it doesn’t; use WD40″
For those larger jobs that zip ties and duct tape just aren’t going to handle good rope is endlessly useful.
A knife is the bread and butter (pun intended) of every survival tool kit. You really should have one on your person at all times. For a list of good survival knives click here.
6. Pry Bar
or Utility Bar. You can pry, hammer, lift, smash, and just generally mess stuff up. (I need to do a full write up on the Stanley Functional Utility Bar or “FUBAR”) _SurvivalCache
Needless to say, anyone who could turn scrap iron into useful tools, implements, and connectors would find a ready market.
Smart, profit-oriented after-doom traders will particularly want to focus on the human vices: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, marijuana, and items related to sex and gambling. A whisky still and fermenting tanks for beer would make good investments for a trading post.
Growing and selling herbs for seasoning and medicines could also prove a profitable venture for one who knew what he was doing. Soap and candles might also prove useful compact trade goods.
The list is almost inexhaustible. But it is good to consider things like this, if for no other reason than to refine your own prepper's list.