The University of Illinois Extension offers these tips for successful bartering:

-- Know who will supply needed materials. Usually it is the receiver; but the provider, in some cases, may have the needed tools, such as a lawn mower. When materials must be purchased, work together to determine specifics, cost limits, quality of materials, deadlines and other details that could become irritants.

-- Don't assume anything. Be sure to agree on the details of exactly what will be done. Be sure expectations are clear to all.  In some cases a contract or written agreement may be a good idea.

When You Provide a Service

-- Be sure you are clear on details of expected service. Don't take on tasks that you cannot do well.

-- Keep the receiver well-informed on your progress. Inform the receiver also of any problems or delays.

-- Decide when the service is to be provided. If needed by a certain date, be sure you have enough time to do it.

-- If you receive income from bartering, you may be required to pay taxes on this income. Refer to IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for more information.

If You Receive a Service

-- Carefully explain what you want and supervise the work. Don't be caught with a completed job that is not what you expected.

-- Check the provider's qualifications.

-- Make sure the delivery of service is convenient and within the time you want the work done.

-- If the task requires your presence or help, make sure you are aware of this.