by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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International Reciprocal Trade Association Introduces New Membership
Category And Brand Verification Program
Now into its 27th year of existence, IRTA’s board of
directors has addressed the issue and acknowledged that there should
be a way for exchange systems that are not commercial barter
exchanges to become members...and thus created a non-commercial
category for IRTA membership.
At the same time a new effort to protect the IRTA
brand is in the works. Each member will receive a certificate for
office display and also a digital “IRTA 2006 Member” logo to place
on their web site. The logo will be uniquely verifiable when a
computer mouse is placed over it, so it cannot be duplicated.
Krista Vardabash explained, “An IRTA membership is something to be
proud of, as it means you belong to a network of professional
exchanges that keep each other accountable to doing the right thing.
It should be a vital part of each barter company’s marketing
New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!
You can obtain
useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue
Reports Another $6 Million Trade Volume Month
Don Mardak, President and CEO, reported that December
was another “fabulous month” for International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM).
“Our revenue growth continues as our trade brokers generate higher
trade velocity and new, incremental sales for their clients.”
The company announced revenue for December was
$619,000, an increase of 41% over December 2004, as they processed
$6 million worth of trades for the second consecutive month. IMS
reports its trade volume on barter purchases only (one side of the
transaction), instead of the usual dual reporting of purchases plus
Exchange, under parent company IMS, serves more than 9,300 customers
with 14,000 cardholders in 32 U.S. markets. Headquartered in New
Berlin (WI), the firm generates revenue through monthly account
maintenance fees of $12 cash and $12 trade, plus cash transaction
fees of 12%, usually paid 6% by buyer and 6% by seller. For more
Trade Exchange Owners...
Then it’s time to
grab-a-hold of the most powerful marketing tool in the barter
industry! The Competitive Edge newsletter is a monthly, ready
to use, professional 4-page publication...no work is needed! (Click
Would You Like To Make 2006 Your Greatest Year Ever?
Bartercard Processes More Transactions Than American Express &
Diners Club Combined
The world’s largest barter company, Bartercard Plc.,
with 25,000 Australian businesses which are members of the barter
organization, has affirmed that they process more transactions (in
Australia) than American Express and Diners Club combined!
In addition, Bartercard Australia has formed a
strategic alliance with four major Australian banks—Commonwealth
Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, St. George, and Westpac
Bank. The group agreed to Bartercard’s system of linking its barter
platform with point-of-sales electronic funds transfer (EFTPOS or
According to CEO Wayne Sharpe, greater bottomline
profits will result. He explained, “The (previous) Bartercard New
Zealand experience is such that approximately 70% of transactions
are processed electronically, at a cost of up to 50% less than a
(hand-processed) voucher transaction.”
Sharpe said that Bartercard Australia accounts for
over 65% of Bartercard’s revenue; its largest cash expense is head
office administration printing, distribution, phone authorisations
and processing of vouchers. Since members will now be able to buy
products by making an EFTPOS transaction rather than filling out a
voucher, Sharpe concluded, “The net effect of this strategic
alliance on our bottomline should be substantial.”
Bartercard Deploys Online Log-in
The world’s largest trade exchange (www.bartercard.com)
is working with internationally renowned SentryBay to deploy the
first global online log-in protector across Bartercard’s 17-country
Customers who deploy the optional software (which
takes one click from any international Bartercard web site) prevent
any keylogging spyware from monitoring member log-in details.
New Zealand-based SentryBay Corporation (www.sentrybay.com)
has sales offices in North America and the United Kingdom. It has
five current products, and licenses its patented anti-keylogging
technology for use in protecting log-ins within third party software
Originating in Australia in 1991, Bartercard has
expanded through franchising to 17 countries internationally. The
firm is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
barter company in the world is listed on our web site,
click through to our Global List
of Barter Companies.
Matchbin Barter Platform Proving Easy Entry Into $17 Billion Print
Classified Market, Plus eBay & Yahoo
Located in Salt Lake City,
was launched in 2002 as an online automated barter marketplace. The
company has taken on a paradigm shift with the introduction of its
“Community Marketplace” that enables entrepreneurs, businesses, and
organizations to own a web site that is locally focused, yet
globally connected. The platform provides entry into the huge
classified ad market.
Matchbin sees their proprietary program providing
significant opportunities for Community Marketplace partners to be
on the cutting edge of e-commerce, and create significant growth for
their organizations. Matchbin says it currently has 275 communities
The firm also offers other services, such as the
Matchbin Storefront which is a retail site. A business of any size,
can use it to barter or sell products and services to Internet
users. There is a minimal flat fee of $39.95 per month.
Other Barter Company Happenings
TeleTrade International (TTi) has updated its
summary totals as reported in the January 17 Tuesday Report.
CEO Gary Lasater explained, “Processing totals since taking our
technologies online in 1999 has exceeded $346,877,831, previous
totals only reflected activity through 2004.”
The primary web site accounting for this activity is
launched to help independent trade exchanges (barter companies)
compete with larger national or international entities while
maintaining their independence and control.
ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX) has reduced it debt
by more than $1.3 million during the last six months, in
addition it has repurchased 250,000 shares of its common stock.
CEO Steven White elaborated, “We continue to execute an
efficient, profitable model, growing both our business and
revenues, as well as profits and cash flow. From our
perspective, the best use of our cash at this time is the
repayment of outstanding debt. We also took advantage of an
opportunity to repurchase our common shares at an undervalued
Reiner Husemann, President of IRTA-Europe, and
Bernard Lietaer, keynote speaker at last year’s IRTA Congress at
Disney World, are on the advisory board for EBBS International
Business School. EBBS is a business school for entrepreneurs
that will use the advantages of barter and complementary
currencies, such as time-dollars and trade dollars/euros. For
more information go to
Buddy Hooper, President of OrangeBee Private
Monetary System in Florida (www.orangebee.com), asks the
question, “Is no one capable of signing up a new member in the
barter industry?” Hooper’s query projects a prevalent reaction
that occurs among exchange owners when a desirable member is
chased by other barter companies.
Fortunately for Hooper, in this case a loyal Florida magazine
and client insisted (to the competing barter company) that all
trades must go through OrangeBee. Obvious message: Clients
appreciate great service and will reciprocate—in most
situations—with a much appreciated loyalty.
BarterNews office received a call last week from an enterprising
ITEX member located in San Diego. In one of the hottest real
estate markets in the country, this client managed to acquire
commercial space on full trade. And he is quickly subletting it
out for cash.
Putnam Investments Publishes Fascinating Look At “Working Retired”
The working retired represent 10% of the U.S.
workforce age 40 or over; they are an educated and high-income
group. The average household income of the 1,726 survey respondents
was $87,000...60% higher than that of traditional non-working
retirees. Plus the working retired are about twice as likely to have
a college degree.
Surprisingly, 60% still carry a mortgage...a large
percentage for people in their sixties and seventies. Further, their
home equity is relatively low, as on average these working retired
own only 47% of their homes.
They have investable assets of around $400,000, 70%
wish they’d started saving more and sooner, and today they’re saving
11% of their total household income. There was no indication when
the working retired plan to slow down their working, saving or
A closer look at the working retired population
reveals a dichotomy: two-thirds of the survey’s respondents returned
to the workforce because they “wanted to,” but the remaining
one-third went back out of economic necessity...they “had to.”
(Average household investable assets for these “wanted to” workers
are almost $550,000, compared to average investable assets of
$140,000 for the “had to” worker.
For more information on the “Working Retired” study
visit the web site of the research-based consultancy focusing on
Barter Happenings Around The Globe
China Sets Up World’s First Oil
According to the Oriental Morning Post out of
Beijing, China has set up the Yangpu Oil Barter Exchange, reportedly
the world’s first barter exchange for oil and gas.
Located in the Yangpu Peninsula on Hainan Island in
Southern China, it was set up in October after receiving approval
from the goverment. Cheng Lianchang is the chairman of the exchange.
Since its establishment in October the exchange has
helped Chinese traders barter with traders from Russia and Thailand.
To date, the contract value of the trades totals US$1.2 billion.
The exchange enables traders to exchange crude oil
for oil and gas products, as well as to invest in oil exploration
Russian Gas Company Barters With
A memorandum for the construction of homes for the
needy in exchange for land for gas stations has been signed in
Moscow between the mayor of Sofia and the director of one of the
world’s largest oil companies, Lukoil.
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Creative Real Estate Investment Twist Takes Off!
There’s a new way large commercial buildings are
being bought and sold. The birthplace of the idea was Orange County,
California...and it’s quickly become a multi-billion-dollar
The novelty is viewing real estate as securities,
like stocks and bonds. Succinctly, multiple investors join together
taking title to purchased buildings directly, through the
age-old tenancy-in-common (TIC) form of ownership (rather than
through a corporation or partnership].
Tenancy-in-common dates back to English common law
under which an unmarried couple, for example, could buy a home and
be able to share rights in the property. These days, many TIC
investors are seeking to delay paying capital gains taxes when they
sell. They can do so under the 1031 tax code, as long as they buy a
similar property within in a certain period.
The TIC industry took off after the IRS weighed in on
the trend in 2002. The agency outlined 15 distinctions between a
tenants-in-common relationship and a limited partnership, which
doesn’t shield investors from capital-gains taxes. It further
determined a TIC can include up to 35 investors. (In such an
instance the property is typically managed and investors collect
These endeavors are for the long-term, inasmuch as
there is no secondary market for tenant-in-common securities. Plus
unanimous consent of all investors in a property may be required to
sell it. Yet its growth is evidenced by the fact that in 2001
investors placed $165 million of their money into TIC transactions.
Last year, 2005, it was $3 billion.
(Two Orange County
companies have played a critical role in developing the
tenant-in-common industry—Triple Net Properties in Santa Ana and
Passco Companies in Irvine.)
Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), the
Dallas-based computer and data-services giant, plans to double
within two years the number of workers it employs in countries
that provide low-cost labor. CEO Michael Jordan says there is no
way to reverse the outsourcing trend, as this is a much more
competitive world than it was 10 years ago.
Want to take a trip to outer space? Billionaire
Richard Branson is offering frequent-flyer members of Virgin
Atlantic the opportunity to do so on his Virgin Galactic
Spaceport. Its first flight expected to take place in 2008.
What’s needed for the trip? Two million frequent
flyer miles earned from Virgin Atlantic flights. At 2˘ an air
mile that’s a value of $40,000. But buying a ticket outright
will cost you $200,000 on the initial flights, so trading in
frequent flyer miles is a much better deal.
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Overseas interest in China’s vast domestic
markets shows few signs of cooling. In 2005 foreign direct
investment hit $60.33 billion, close to the previous year’s
record figure of $60.63 billion. Figures are from China’s
Ministry of Commerce.