Barter With Etiquette, Please

Proposing a Trade

Always introduce yourself professionally and in a courteous manner. If you are e-mailing someone, you should never end your mail with "Either way, thanks for your time".

E-mail is not one hundred percent reliable and that person may not have received your message. This leaves you with the conclusion that they were not interested in your proposal. Instead, you should always end your proposal with a question that requires a yes or no response.

Consider that if you haven't heard back, it may be that they've gone away for holidays or have been very busy. It's fine to send a follow up e-mail but no more than two should be sent until you receive a response. Unless they have specified to be contacted by phone, the initial contact should always be made by e-mail. You could then ask for a convenient time to call, remember that they may not be in your time zone.

Declining a Trade

This needs to be done in a polite and timely manner. If you're business bartering, keep in mind that you're representing your company and the way in which you conduct your business. A personal or business proposal may not be of interest to you but you should always try to respond with something along the line of "Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I will keep you in mind for the future."

Regardless of how your response is worded, just make sure there is one! The worst thing to do is not respond at all.

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