Wheeler Dealer

Online bartering can be a less risky alternative to Web auctions, but watch out for hidden fees

I used to be a risk taker. When I was six, I tried to run away from home with nothing but a Baggie full of cheese and crackers. When I was 22, I moved on a whim to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to live with a guy who worked on a party boat. Just four years ago, I cold-called my way into a job at TIME. But I think corporate life may be making me soft. These days, I can't even drop a letter in a corner mailbox without double checking to make sure it went down the chute.

Perhaps that's why...

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