Now open: Uptown area barter and trade group

Looking to barter with a henna artist, or sell off baby clothes? A new Facebook page is devoted to buying, selling, trading and bartering in the Uptown and Lakes area.

Recent sellers advertised snowboarding gear, mason jars and cloth diapers. Buyers canvassed for bubble wrap, yoga mats and kid-sized bowties. One woman offered to clean or dog-sit in exchange for wool sweaters or exercise classes. Another woman undergoing chemo requested firewood to burn while she reads.

Founder Kathy Jo Peterson said her page is a step above craigslist. The photo-heavy page is filled with items for sale at-a-glance, she said, and you never have to drive to Coon Rapids to make a purchase.

“It’s a strong rule that the exchange needs to be done in the Lake and Uptown neighborhoods,” she said. “If the person selling lives in Edina, they need to come over here.”

Peterson loves to buy and sell used items. She teaches classes on how to make Kombucha tea, and she works with farmers to sell their syrup, salmon and grass-fed beef. When someone suggested she post her syrup on a barter-and-trade website in St. Paul’s Mac-Groveland and Highland neighborhoods, she decided to start a similar group here. The Uptown group started about two months ago, and stands at 600 members.

Peterson expects more members to join this summer, perhaps meeting for trades at local landmarks like the Lake Harriet Bandshell.

“I have a huge expectation that this will be one of the most happening exchange groups ever,” she said.