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January 27, 2009

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/27/2009

Corporate Barter Firm Hires 35-Year TIME Inc. Veteran

ICON International, a corporate barter company, has appointed Ed McCarrick, former President and Worldwide Publisher of Time Group, to Executive VP of Account Management and Media Partnerships.

Five Ways To “Get Free”

On their web site, www.YesMagazine.com had an article titled, “Stand Up To Corporate Power: Five Ways To Get Free.” One of the five ways concerned money...

GOOD: Make sure your investments are socially responsible. Put your cash in a local bank or credit union.

BETTER: Use a local currency system, or start one. Barter for goods and services to get away from money altogether.

The Barter Network Reports 58% Growth Year-Over-Year

The Barter Network, founded in 2006 and located in Winter Park (FL), reported their trade volume for 2008 was $1.8 million, an increase of 58% over $1.06 million in 2007.

Colorado Town Sets Up Barter System

The town of Hartsel (CO) has set up a barter-type system to help the locals. One of the ways they work together is through the impromptu food bank. When residents have extra canned goods they make a donation, then when they need a little help they get back some food.

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. . .)


What is Art4Barter?

(Antonio Puri and Henry Bermudez are inviting you to the first exhibition of their Art4Barter project. The following article was submitted by them.)

It hit us that bartering may be the answer to bail us out of our current crisis. Although artists have historically been bartering as much as possible we feel it is more relevant now than ever before. It can provide a solution to survival for so many of us and create a new vision for society.

We propose, as a start, an exhibition of eleven exceptional artists from diverse backgrounds, and will present their works for barter. No works shall be sold for money but rather for services and goods. The exact service or product that the artist requires will be on the label next to their art.

For example, if an artist were to ask for dental work or other medical procedures in exchange for their art, or for a studio to work in, etc., it will give the community an opportunity to barter for those items that are missing from the artists’ lives.

The irony is that art is missing from the lives of many people too, because it is treated as a luxury item and not as an essential part of our lives. This system will not only inspire people to trade with artists, musicians, writers, dancers, and other creative minds, it will also make society less judgmental about valuing different services. When this becomes the norm, bartering will be a respectable activity and will create relationships between people from different trades.

Society will be able to provide opportunities to artists that were inconceivable before this. In addition to being one of the greatest human events in the beginning of the new millennium, we are also expressing a change that the rest of humanity can participate in.

By creating a vision of a new cultural standard, whereby people can get through hard financial times by participating in a win-win situation. This idea can spread to people from all societies of the world, but we envision it will begin in our community of Philadelphia.


Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


Gift Cards For Purchasing Electricity

(Submitted to BarterNews by Robert Hahl of Kilowatt Cards.)

Kilowatt Cards are gift cards that can be redeemed to pay for 10 kilowatt-hours of electricity in any residential utility account, almost anywhere in the world. Electricity companies don’t accept them, but they do at www.kilowattcards.com and then send payments directly to the power companies at the rate they normally charge home customers for the same amount of electricity, including taxes and fees. These gift cards are supported by the non-profit Kilowatt-Hour Card Corporation (KHCC).

Kilowatt Cards are backed by goods, not promises. They are issued in exchange for assets (e.g. firewood, food stores) then held by a non-profit corporation, and later sold to pay for electricity as the cards are redeemed. They can be redeemed for electricity worldwide, resulting in a store-of-value (goods) and medium-of-exchange (electricity).

Because energy is needed to produce or to use all goods and services today “the ability to consume electricity” is a meaningful definition of wealth. While some people want gold and silver, everybody wants light, heat or transportation. Kilowatt Cards show that paper notes can be redeemed for something useful. But KHCC does not produce or deliver the electricity; they only pay for it with national currencies, supported by investments.

One purpose of Kilowatt Cards is to promote stable commerce and reduce the boom-bust financial cycle, by letting people save and lend their wealth in a form which cannot be diminished by currency inflation. If electricity cards stay redeemable at face value they cannot loose barter value as energy.

Traditional currencies have the attributes of being: (i) portable, (ii) difficult to counterfeit, (iii) limited in supply, (iv) non-perishable, and (v) easy to recognize. While electricity itself meets none of these criteria, electrical capacity meets criteria (ii) to (v), while paper cards representing payments for electricity supply attribute (i).

Kilowatt Cards are gift cards not currency, but since they will pay for anyone’s electricity, they are useful to barter for other things — and as a store of value, worth a fixed amount of energy, regardless of electricity prices.

They have fixed value because 10 kilowatt-hours is a physical constant — a standard amount of work (in the scientific sense) that one can evaluate intuitively: 10 kwh = 10,000 watt-hours, enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for 100 hours (exactly), and roughly enough to drive a Toyota Prius 25 miles. The typical price for 10 kilowatt-hours is about US$1 to $3.

For more information see www.kilowattcards.com.


How Trade Exchange Owners Can Earn Money On Their Members’ Cash Purchases (Click here.)


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

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Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at http://www.barternews-ezine.com.


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Why Each Complaint Can Impact 67 Potential Customers

A survey sponsored by the Department of Consumer Affairs and General Motors reveals that 70% of all customers never complain about inferior goods or services. The 30% who do complain will hit the streets sharing their tale with whomever they encounter. Whether they evangelize for you or against you is determined by how you handle their complaint.

According to Paul Timm, author of 50 Powerful Ways to Keep Your Customers, if that customer remains unhappy, he or she will tell eleven others about the bad experience. If especially horrific, those eleven will then each tell five others, resulting in 67 people buzzing about your incompetence.

On the other hand, since studies also reveal that customers tell half as many people of good experiences, if you satisfy this customer, he or she will share your heroics with five others who will then each sing your praises to two others impressing a total of 15 shoppers.

Are you getting the picture?


When Your Company Offers To Barter You’re A “Two-Percenter!”

A company’s unique selling proposition (USP) is that distinct and appealing option that sets it apart from competitors, i.e. price, quality, exclusivity, broad choice, etc. Now’s the time to concentrate on your company’s uniqueness, that central theme upon which you will build a distinct recognition in the marketplace.

Can you articulate it in a single paragraph of 50 words or less? Can your staff and employees define it? What about your prospects and customers? If you haven’t given it much thought up to now, chances are good that your company is not realizing its full potential

Zero in on your USP — pinpoint what makes your organization unique, different, and distinct from the others.

One powerful way to expand your UPS is by incorporating barter into your operation. It’s a benefit which sets you apart from your “me-too” competitors. As a member of a trade exchange you’re not an ordinary business owner, because less than 2% of the businesses in your city belong to a trade exchange. (It’s generally estimated that 400,000 companies out of 21 million nationwide are members of commercial trade exchanges.)

It’s a big plus for making you unique and bringing in new customers — incremental “extra” business that will enable you to expand your customer base. It’s a USP worth embracing in these ever-growing competitive times.


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews


From BarterNews’ Archives 1997

Make Those Needed Improvements Now

This time of the year business historically slows down for contractors, and given today’s economic malaise it’s a great time to barter for needed services to fix up your property.

Because repairs don’t materially add to the value of your property or prolong its life, repairs are immediately deductible. And they would include the following:

      painting, both interior and exterior

      fixing leaks and repairing the damage they caused

      cleaning the exterior of a building (when the work doesn’t prolong the building’s life)

      patching a roof

      shoring up a foundation to prevent its collapse

      fixing the deteriorated surface of a sidewalk, driveway, or parking lot

There’s going to be a flurry of activity in this area, so don’t delay in contacting your trade exchange to see what you can get in the way of painting, plumbing, electrical and roof repairs. Then decide how you’ll handle the repairs for tax purposes.

If business is slow now, or you’re starting up and have no income, you may want to spread out the deductions to future years when you expect to be in a higher tax bracket as deductions would be worth more to you then. Most of the time, however, you’ll want to take the write-offs as fast as possible.


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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... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


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