A lamp for a plow; trades made to clear driveways

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Snow plows tore up and down the streets and in and out of driveways Friday afternoon.

“All right, and we’re off,” Kevin West said as he put his red 1989 Chevy pickup truck into gear. With a plow on the front, West sped out onto the snowy street ready to wheel and deal. “If I didn’t trade I would have nothing, I would have this truck,” West said.

After he got laid off in December West said he needed to find another way to make money, so he traded in his Mustang for a truck and a plow.

Now, self-employed West trades and plows for a living, “People have stuff but they don’t have extra cash laying around.” 

As soon as the snow started to fall West posted an ad on Craigslist, “I’ll plow your driveway” he wrote as the headline, “Trade for anything of value or cash.”

From tools to weed whackers to children’s toy, West said he’s seen it all and he’ll take just about anything.

“I probably wouldn’t take anything that was too weird,” but he lets his clients decide, “I tell the customer whatever they think is fair price is fine with me,” West said.

There are dozens are post on Craigslist to advertise snow removal, but West’s ad is the only in the barter section, “I’m going to give him a lamp and ten dollars,” Fayth Robison said.

On her freshly shoveled steps Robinson said for that she couldn’t believe West cleared her driveway and sidewalk, “A young man wants to shovel the driveway and the walkway and I said for real?”

Other plowers priced Robinson’s driveway at fifty-dollars, West took the job for ten bucks and a lamp. Robinson said it was a bargain she couldn’t turn down, “The fact that he let me give him something I didn’t want any more, that’s what did it.”

West said he sells the stuff he gets in exchange for his services, he takes the goods and puts them right back on Craigslist.

“You never know how much something is worth until you find the buyer,” West said.

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