The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!
January 30, 2001
And Mail Boxes Etc. Enjoy Benefits Of Barter
Mail Boxes Etc., with 3,400 retail outlets across the U.S., is helping online businesses establish a real-world presence.
The highest-profile partner for which Mail Boxes acts as a storefront is online auctioneer eBay, whose patrons are a huge source of shipping, packaging, and imaging business. EBay processed 150 million sales last year, and every sale resulted in a package shipment.
The first phase of a collaboration between the two companies began with a barter agreement wherein Mail Boxes granted eBay customers a 10% to 15% discount on packaging services and materials in exchange for exclusive promotional placement on eBay's site. Two additional phases are planned which will bring the companies even closer together.
Gears Up To Compete. . .
Once China joins the World Trade Organization (WTO), probably this year, Chinese firms will not only be expected to abide by global trade rules, but they'll also get new opportunities abroad.
Plus other countries will be forced to remove discriminatory barriers against Chinese goods. China now sends 28% of its world exports to one country--the United States.
As China's market opens, the prices of imported components and raw materials should drop, further lowering the production costs for many companies. We'll also see China's efforts to transform its firms from today's subcontractor status to that of establishing their own brand names.
Last year they ran up a $77 billion trade surplus. As more products flood into the U.S., once China joins the WTO, we can expect a percentage of these products will be--directly or indirectly--moved into the barter marketplace, furthering the burgeoning growth of the commercial barter industry.
Increasing Protectionism Ahead, Not Globalization
Peter Drucker, 90-year-old sage and author of over 30 business books, pontificated on a variety of subjects in the recent issue of Red Herring magazine.
Of particular interest to our readers were his comments regarding where the world's business community is headed. He says it's NOT in the direction of globalization.
Rather, he sees various geographical areas becoming highly protected, subsidized regions. North America, for example, would become more protected, mirroring the European Economic Community in agriculture and (increasingly) in manufacturing. And, according to Drucker, if an East Asian economic area develops and emerges, China will dominate it...not Japan.
Hotels & Resorts Embraces "Points"
A new trading system is being introduced by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as the company plans to let owners of its time-share units trade them for stays in Starwood's hotels, as well as for plane tickets and other merchandise.
When customers buy a week in a Sheraton, Westin, or other Starwood operated time-share, they will receive a substantial number of "points," which can be traded for hotel stays or anything else available through the new program. (Customers will also be able to trade future weeks in their time-share for additional points.)
The move shows that hoteliers see the value of developing customer relationships, and controlling the travel habits of these customers, through a vast network of tradable assets.
Here And There. . .
We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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