Businesswoman talking on a cell phone
Sometimes referred to as a double match, a wants match is a situation where two parties agree to exchange services or goods other than money to satisfy a want that each party currently has. This medium of exchange is generally limited in scope and will likely require certain factors, such as time and location, to coincide for each party to derive satisfaction from the exchange. Despite the limitations, this approach is often used in various environments for the mutual benefit of both parties involved.
An easy way to understand how a coincidence of wants can occur is to consider a tenant who has lost his job and cannot pay rent. The owner currently has a few vacant apartments that need to be painted before announcing the units to new tenants. Assuming the unemployed tenant has the skills to paint these apartments, the two parties can come to an agreement where the landlord provides the paint and other supplies, and the tenant provides the labor. In exchange for the tenant’s efforts, the landlord agrees to accept this labor as payment for the month’s rent. As a result, the landlord saves money on the paint job and the unemployed tenant is allowed to stay another month, hopefully getting a job before the rent is due again.
This same general concept of wish-fulfillment can be applied in many scenarios. A courier service may offer a certain amount of free deliveries to a supplier in exchange for providing goods or services that are necessary for the continued operation of that service. A baker may offer cakes to the owner of a vegetable stand in exchange for a fair amount of tomatoes. A plumber in need of a car repair may agree to trade services with a mechanic who has a clogged drain. In all these scenarios, each party has a wish that must be fulfilled, and each party has the resources to fulfill the other party’s wishes.
The circumstances that come together to create a coincidence of desires place this type of exchange outside of typical business transactions, where money can be used to complete those transactions. In theory, money can be used as a medium of exchange at any time. In contrast, specific circumstances of time, place, and event must come together for a coincidence of desires to occur. There is usually only a limited period of time in which the exchange or exchange can take place before one or both parties determine that the desire can be fulfilled by some other means and the interest in working together to satisfy those desires has passed.