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January 01, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/01/08

Offbeat Company Looks For More Barter �Partners�

Young and ambitious, 36-year-old Damon Carson, the owner of an Americon icon�the kiddie ride  (�is looking for win-win trades on a direct basis as well as through trade exchanges.

Carson sells his kiddie rides to a diverse group of customers...from doctor�s offices to corporations for branding purposes, from car dealerships and collectors to homeowners, grandparents and others. Customization is available.

Contact Carson at (800) 448-6888 ext. 1, or email him at

Bill Gross Sees Challenging Days Ahead In 2008

Californian Bill Gross, a billionaire and manager of the world�s biggest bond fund at Newport Beach-based Pimco, sees a mild recession in 2008 amid the worst housing slump in 16 years...and maybe even longer as the numbers come in. He contends the U.S. economy will grow as little as 1% on average next year. (Note: Such a prediction is extremely bullish for the barter business.)

In his December newsletter, Gross also pointed out that we are witnessing the breakdown of our modern banking system.

For more information see

Two Popular Travel-Search Sites Merge

With and merging, it promises to give consumers access to more comprehensive rates and availability data. The merger means the new company, Kayak, will be the fifth-largest travel site in search volume.

New Network For Massage Professionals

A worldwide community for certified bodyworkers, bodywork students, and bodywork enthusiasts is found at (This is not a dating site or a site for people seeking erotic activities.)

Venture Capitalists Zero-In On Clean Technology

The next big bet for venture capitalists is with clean technology, according to a survey by the National Association of Venture Capital. Some 81% of those surveyed think clean technology will be the investors� top pick in 2008. It�s estimated that from $20 billion to $29 billion will be invested in 2008, compared to $27 billion in 2007.

World Bank Looks At World�s New GDP

The World Bank is reworking global economic statistics for 146 countries with more-accurate rankings of economic might...comparing the cost of commodities in different nations. Under this new way of measurement, the global gross domestic product is $55 trillion. (The U.S. has 23% share of GDP, China has 10%, India 4%, and Russia 3%.)

Housing Slump�s End Tied To New Construction

Home builders hold the key to the U.S. housing slump, according to a group of economists. There are now 2.1 million vacant homes for sale, up from 500,000 at the beginning of 2006. Until the overhang is worked off, it�s hard to see the decline in home prices abating.

What would it take to work off the inventory of vacant homes on the market? Less homebuilding...about a million less homes being built annually for the coming year. With likely starts for the next year estimated at 1 million to 1.5 million, that means the answer to the housing slump would be home starts of 500,000. Not likely.

Here & There. . .

� Advertise your vacation rentals for up to 12 months at

� Hotels and restaurants can buy direct from manufacturers through an online catalog at

� Looking for a house to rent anywhere in the U.S.? Check out

All back issues of "From the Desk...� can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a �box� at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)

ITEX Sets 25-Year Sales Record On 28-Day Operating Cycle

ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX) has announced the results of its most recent operating cycle, ending December 20, 2007. With thirteen 28-day operating cycles each fiscal year, December is traditionally the company�s best cycle of the fiscal year.

A number of company records were set during this recent operating cycle (all numbers are unaudited) including:

         $26,578,884 in business to business combined transaction volume (CTV).

         Six licensees surpassed the $1 million dollar CTV level.

         The number-one office was a Southern California franchise, which topped $1.7 million...triple their CTV for the same period in 2006.

         22 offices set personal records; exceeding their CTV for any previous period.

         ITEX cash billings topped $1.6 million for the period.

�Our three company-owned stores (San Francisco, Chicago and Cleveland) doubled their CTV compared to the first billing cycle after their acquisition just 5 months ago,� noted Steven White, Chairman and CEO. �This is a positive sign that our initiatives and integration have taken a strong foothold.

�We are very pleased with the depth and breadth of the growth achieved. Growth occurred on many levels at a large number of our offices,� he continued. �Our high level of transaction volume translates into increased cash transaction fees, another shared reward of our efforts.

�Although the operating cycle just preceding the Christmas holiday is generally our highest, we hope to continually set additional records throughout the remaining portion of our fiscal year. These numbers are not necessary indicative of our performance for the quarter or the year, but we do believe they indicate that we are gaining traction with our strategic initiatives.�

For more information on ITEX go to

Trade Exchange Barter Difficult In China

We e-mailed IRTA member Xi Sun of Beijing Barter (BBI), asking how the barter business was progressing in Beijing and if he would give us a brief report. The following was his answer:

Bartering through a trade exchange is really difficult in China. The largest exchange in this country has several hundred members, and the business is on small scale transactions. This is mainly a reflection of a poor credit environment, usage of alternative currencies not allowed by the authorities, and  people lacking both experience and confidence in new credit means.

Direct barter does occur, mainly in the media sector, and there are some web sites dealing with consumer to consumer barter,  but no trade dollars are involved.

BBI signed a licensing agreement with XO of New Zealand last May to introduce a platform so we could provide trade exchange services in Beijing.

For more information on Beijing Barter go to

There are currently over 630 posts and 70 comments contained within 19 categories on our blog. We trust you�ll find them worthwhile, and value your feedback.

Click here

Breakthrough In Restaurant Marketing, Lead Generation

A new report highlights the switch from print coupons to online marketing, showing that American restaurants are turning away from newspapers and direct mail to the Internet to win new business and reach younger and more prosperous customers.

A review of online restaurant promotions shows that one-third of restaurant-goers now use the web to check out menus. The arrival of �virtual discount� coupons for meals is predicted to drive the number rapidly higher.

The humble, money-saving, discount coupon has apparently arrived in the online era. And many believe it promises to revolutionize the way customers choose where to eat in every sector of the restaurant market...just like it�s changed the way we find the news and do much of our shopping.

Coupons are used not only to bring in more diners but also as a key source of leads for future business, enabling restaurants to collect contact details and stay in touch with maintain higher volumes and increase profits.

The majority of coupons, offering customers annual savings of $331 billion, are currently printed and distributed with newspapers, but with redemption rates tumbling, the Internet is seen as a much more flexible and attractive discount route. This year, an estimated 2.6 billion coupons are available on the web, with online redemptions running up to 11 times the level of those from print.

In place of lengthy lead times, complex print management and costly logistics, the report says, the Internet allows restaurants to offer coupons instantaneously and at low cost. Customers simply find the restaurant discounts they want online, and print out the coupons at home.

Alex Makarski, outspoken editor-in-chief of Restaurant Commando, welcomed the new study. �This unique and rare special report provides the crucial data restaurateurs need to maximize their coupon campaigns,� he asserted.

One company in the vanguard of online restaurant couponing is rolling out a nationwide, city-by-city service allowing restaurateurs to manage their discount promotions in real time...effectively turning them on and off to control the flow of customers.

Restaurants simply log on to CouponCuisine, key in the details of their special offers, instantly generating up to five different coupons�for example to test new dishes or fill seats on a quiet night. They can show their full menu, link to the restaurant web site, control how many coupons are printed, change them as frequently as they want, and track details of who is looking at them and using them.

�It�s a massive marketing advance for the restaurant industry,� says CouponCuisine founder Nathan Gilder. �Instead of the shotgun approach of newspapers, restaurants using online coupons can target customers with precision and at low risk. If one offer doesn't work it can be instantly changed.�

Long-time restaurateur and consultant Troy Authement of Texas-based Strategic Profits is excited to see restaurant coupons on the Internet: �Having spent 24 years owning and running restaurants and three as a restaurant consultant, I believe services like CouponCuisine are the answer to attracting new customers and keeping current ones active,� he affirms.

Two interesting findings highlighted in the study are that middle and high income groups are among the biggest users of coupons, and that more than half of 20- to 30-year-olds use them. These groups are also among the most avid web users and a key target for restaurants.

The following is a letter (dated December 6, 2007) from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven White to shareholders, reporting on 2007 achievements and looking ahead to the future of ITEX Corporation.

The Year In Review And A Look Forward

Dear Valued Shareholders:

I am pleased to report that ITEX has continued to maintain its solid record of performance. Today, I will summarize our fiscal 2007 achievements, our strengths and challenges, and the steps we are taking to move the company forward.

What we do: For 25 years we have helped our members attract new business through our trading community. Our identity is encapsulated in our slogan: �ITEX, The Membership Trading CommunitySM, is a leading marketplace for cashless business transactions across North America.� We generate revenue by charging members percentage-based transaction fees and subscription fees. These two revenue streams generated 99% of our $14 million in revenue last year.

Initiatives: Every day, we work to grow our business and maintain a profitable marketplace that assists businesses in becoming more successful. As our members succeed, they are motivated to transact more business and refer new members to our trading community. This past year we endeavored to more clearly refine what we do, improve our processing methods, and attract more business.

Surveys and focus groups provided valuable insight into the needs, wants, and expectations of the small business owner: our core customer. We sharpened our message to existing and potential members. We analyzed our value proposition and determined we could offer more. New revenue streams were explored and the groundwork laid to start testing our ideas.

As a result of our efforts this year, our messaging to existing and potential members is more concise, our marketing material and website has been redesigned, and we introduced the Executive Privileges Program. We seek to expand our presence in the business services sector and accelerate the velocity of transactions in our trading community. In a challenging national economy, we are convinced small businesses can benefit even more from the valuable services we provide.

Strengths: ITEX has three primary strengths � our 24,000 member business base, our proprietary payment processing and trading platform (�Trading Platform�), and our ability to manage our capital and the operations of our business efficiently and profitably. Our Trading Community has grown more than 50% in the last 30 months. We believe the relationship with our member base is underused and undervalued, but is a significant asset with tremendous potential. To enhance this asset, additional partnerships and services are being explored.

Our Trading Platform provides excellent tools for our members, our franchise network and our corporate staff, and benefits from a steady stream of enhancements and support. This platform can be expanded to attract many payment processing or private currency systems. In the future we may license our Trading Platform to other businesses to manage their private, closed-loop business models. We do not anticipate licensing the Platform to competitive barter exchanges, rather to the growing business opportunity of cashless, private enterprise transactions.

We manage our capital efficiently and continue to generate strong cash flow. Our cash flow in 2007 exceeded $2.5 million. We retired the acquisition debt that originated late in fiscal 2005, funded a new acquisition we completed August 1, 2007, and repurchased and retired shares of common stock. Both acquisitions increased our member base and our revenues, and are expected to contribute to net income. In the near term, we plan to use our capital to either pay off the recent acquisition, buy back more shares at an opportunistic price or fund new acquisitions.

In addition to our cash revenue streams, we generated more than $4 million ITEX dollars in fiscal 2007 and expect to generate more than $5 million in fiscal 2008. The ITEX dollars were primarily used as revenue share and sales incentives with franchisees, and for incentives for existing members. This year we will utilize some of ITEX dollars to offset cash expenses and provide opportunities to enhance our trading community.

Challenges: Our primary objective is to increase member count and generate broader acceptance by the small business sector. Although our revenue has grown 34% and member count by 50% since 2003, this growth has occurred primarily through acquisitions. We are focusing on organic growth, which will help continue our overall successful track record. I am pleased to report we are seeing signs of this growth in the first fiscal quarter of 2008.

Achievements in the past fiscal year include:

� Strong profits, allowing us to realize a sizable tax benefit.

� Introduction of the Executive Privilege Program.

� Launch of free online member registration.

� Placement of educational videos on our web site, which is useful for members and prospects.

A look towards our future: In the almost five years since I began serving as Chairman and CEO, we have overcome several hurdles and mended legacies inherited from the past. I am proud and grateful for the support that has been afforded me by shareholders, our staff and our broker offices.

We continue to build a stronger company and find ways to grow and prosper. Many have forecasted onerous economic conditions for the coming year. During times such as these, our Trading Community can flourish as businesses utilize services to not only survive, but prosper as we assist them in selling their goods and services.

There is a dynamic energy in our Trading Community that keeps commerce rolling, their ITEX dollars working, and their calendars full. It is our mission to put ITEX on the financial map and to see its greatness achieved. Whether by organic growth or further acquisitions, or both, we will strive to become an expanding force that will benefit our members, assist our franchisees and increase value for our shareholders.

Being successful in business requires a lot of endurance, tenacity and resolve. We are resolute in continuing our efforts to maintain your trust and confidence.

On behalf of ITEX, I would like to thank our diligent employees; the franchise network (and their staff), whose dedication and drive is a vital component in our success; our members, to whom we strive to deliver value and service; and our valued stockholders, for your continuing support and interest.

Sincerely yours,
Steven White
Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive

Hotel General Managers

Work With Audio/Visual Vendor On Barter

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor�s cash agreement for AV services, here�s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of trade dollars.)

Your hotel�s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail:

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.


How To Get More Sales In Hyper-Competitive
Restaurant Industry

Our street-smart restaurant marketing report shows proven ways to rapidly boost your restaurant�s sales & profits. More-->


Our Web Site Has A Search Tool For You

Ever wondered if a certain topic, person, or organization has been written about on the web site? Now you can easily find out, as we�ve added a search tool. It will quickly give you the answer to your questions, in 3 easy steps that take about 12 seconds!

At the top right of the page, just under where you sign up for the Tuesday Report you will see a little Google box. It is where you can (1) type in the name of a subject, company, or person. Then (2) click the button to search the site, followed by (3) hitting the search button.

The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today�s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital�which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our �Secondary Capital Section.� Check it out...

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