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The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!

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January 11, 2000

In this week's report. . .

  • FCC says barter deal has unfair advantage
  • SwapIt.com's site scheduled for April launch
  • Friendship marketing the style of the future
  • Newcomer B-2-B site surpasses eBay Germany
  • Bartering "here and there"

 

Barter Unfair Competition FCC Concludes

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a decision denying the State of Minnesota's petition for a declaratory ruling regarding the barter agreement relating to the Connecting Minnesota project.

The barter agreement would have provided the developer with exclusive physical access, for at least 10 years, to rights-of-way to the interstate freeway system in Minnesota. In exchange for this exclusive access, the developer agreed to construct 1,900 miles of fiber optic capacity and to provide the state with the benefits of a portion of that capacity without charge.

However, the FCC concluded that the agreement had the potential to adversely affect other providers of telecommunications services. The ruling said, "In particular, we are concerned that the agreement has the potential to deprive competitors of the ability to compete on a facilities basis."


Net Value Holdings Invests $500,000 in SwapIt.com

SwapIt.com, headquartered in Boston, plans to launch its web site in April. Aiding the launch will be Net Value Holdings $500,000 investment in exchange for shares of preferred stock, convertible into 12% of SwapIt.com's common stock.

Founded in 1998, Net Value Holdings currently holds interests in seven internet businesses in various stages of development. Offices are in San Francisco and Philadelphia.

The president of SwapIt.com is Howard Schneider, one of the founders of ZDNet, Ziff-Davis's online corporation. He also led the development and launch of Computer Shopper's e-commerce site, NetBuyer.com (now computershopper.com)...one of the largest computing e-commerce sites which presently generates over $3 billion in annual revenues for over 400 participating vendors.


Trade Exchange Perfect Environment For "Friendly Marketing"

Friendship marketing is the marketing style of the future, because the marketing paradigm has irreversibly changed. No longer is it a case of saying, "Give me your money and I will give you my product." Now the shoe is on the other foot, with the customer saying, "Give me a reason to buy from you, and perhaps then I'll give you my business."

One very powerful reason to buy from you is when you offer your product or service on barter.

And socializing with clients, today, is almost more important than pitching to them. Anyone with whom you've managed to build a broader and deeper relationship, with whom you can meet socially and talk about things other than business, is the one easiest to sell. They feel they know you and trust you. (This situation is more typical among members of a trade exchange than almost any other business environment.)

Then the selling dialogue, when it happens, is simple and direct. If they want or need your product, they'll buy it. And if they don't want or need it, they know they can be candid and tell you why.

The honesty of their response becomes a valuable and constructive feedback channel for your product development cycle. This is friendship marketing: the kind of dialogue which enriches your relationship and shows you can give without expecting to receive. This is essential if your customers are to believe in your product or service.


RicardoBiz, International B-2-B Site To Include Barter Transactions

Ricardo.de, the only online auction house in the world with a live auctioneer and 400,000 subscribers (surpassing eBay Germany), is now launching a completely new business-to-business site (www.ricardoBiz.com).

The dynamic commerce site, to be introduced this quarter, will combine commerce, content, and community. It will include an extensive product range from energy through real estate, plus remainders and storage capacities.

Buyers and sellers will determine payment and delivery specifications between themselvesafter the auction. Price-determining mechanisms will include invitations to tender, Dutch auctions, English auctions, reverse auctions, barter transactions, scouting functions, and buyer pooling (teaming together for a more favorable price).


Here And There...

  • Blagman Media International, headquartered in Los Angeles, is expanding its global direct response marketing and advertising agency. Robert Blagman, CEO, is in formal negotiations with several potential take over candidates in the New York area. Blagman says it's time to make an impact on the East Coast, and the expansion will include a general advertising division as well as a barter marketing subsidiary.
  • Follow-up: In our December 28 issue, we reported on ShopNow.com's acquisition of Ubarter.com. ShopNow.com was the 17th most-visited internet site during the recent holiday season, which ran from November 14 to December 26. According to Media Metrix, ShopNow.com had 619,000 unique visitors...putting them ahead of Ticketmaster, jcpenney.com, and Dell.com.

Coming soon. . .

  • Heavy equipment web site has new twist
  • Excess merchandise offered to worldwide community of buyers
  • New direct barter system introduced
  • Bartering "here and there


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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