Contra deal product descriptions

How to Describe Goods for a Contra Deal

Making an effective contra deal isn’t anywhere near as difficult as it used to be, thanks to the advance of technology. Potential trading partners can find and match with each other in a split second, and have access to hundreds of different options. However, successful contra dealing requires that each party properly understands the need to communicate clearly exactly what they intend to provide. Failing to describe the exact nature and details of their half of the deal can easily cause a deal to fall through, or can lead to their trading partner experiencing difficulties further down the line.


The Key Information

Writing up a description for your half of a contra deal is a lot like writing an advert; think what someone would want to know if they were going to buy it, and provide answers to their questions. This is important for two reasons: firstly, whoever you trade with will expect a detailed description of what they’ll receive to ensure that it meets their needs – they’ll want to know the precise specifications and (if applicable) any service history. In addition to this, your partner will also need to account for the trade in their balance ledger, which requires detailed information on the item so that its price can be proved. For instance, a 2012 iMac and a 2016 iMac are worth considerably different amounts, which will need to be accounted for in the contra deal.


Sample Contra Description

To help you get a handle on what sort of information should be included in a contra deal description, we’ve produced this sample. Though the format will differ from platform to platform, the general outline of the information you provide will be similar.


Product: OKI C711cdtn Printer

Description: Fully-functional wireless and network printer, 30+ pages per minute in full colour

Serial Number: KK022938812

Value: £1,000

Year of Manufacture: 2016

Condition: As new, fewer than six months of use. New ink and toner cartridges fitted.


This information serves to describe and identify the particular product in question – by defining the product as a particular model of printer and supplying the serial number, any inspection from HMRC will be able to identify this printer as the one which was obtained in a contra deal. This makes it easy to provide accountability when entering a contra deal into a company’s tax return, which is vital for a successful trade.