by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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From the desk of Bob Meyer...
Last week I talked with one of the top exchange owners
in the country. He told me he spent almost four hours
going over the various sections of the BarterNews.com
web site, reading articles and so on.
And conversely, another well-respected person in the
industry candidly admitted to me that she had never
visited the web site. Two examples, obviously, at
extreme ends of the spectrum, but indicative of the
world we live in today where so much is happening.
hope everyone, everywhere will check in on a regular
basis as we report on the news and happenings in the
world of barter. As you can see by the story on the
bartering of automobile fuel, below, exciting events are
occurring in the world of barter!
Also, received this note via e-mail...
“I’ve been running into situations over my 25 years in
the barter business that could have been easily avoided
by having been forewarned about the people or
organizations reneging on debt repayment, not fulfilling
“I’m not sure there is an organized element in either
NATE or IRTA to share information regarding deadbeat
accounts, vendors or even other exchanges (barter
companies). And I do not expect your publication to be
the clearinghouse for such information.
“To your knowledge, has anyone else expressed a similar
interest in establishing some kind of roundtable (on
line?) forum to discuss these types of problems?
“Would appreciate your comments.”
Steve Singer, Sr. VP
National Commerce Exchange
Jericho, NY 11753
I’ve had people within the industry suggest that
BarterNews maintain such “a master list.” Others
have suggested that IRTA and NATE do so. I don’t see any
of these entities moving forward with such a service.
Nor do I envision any online roundtable exchange taking
place, because of our highly litigious society. What
will continue, however, will be the sharing of
information among peers...one of the many benefits of
belonging to a national association.
Most exchanges and big traders will have their “Don’t
work with these traders!” list, so it really involves
taking the time and making the effort to create your own
Whether you’re a trade exchange operator or an
independent trader, if you haven’t done business with
someone it’s prudent to check them out and ask for
several referrals...then call the referrals! If the
referrals are not entities you either know or trust,
then seriously consider walking away.
Other options might include dealing with them by
demanding upfront performance, or opening up an escrow
account wherein the exchange takes place upon completion
by both entities.
From my perspective, there are two reasons why
unscrupulous business-people (whether using cash or
a common human characteristic, and slothfulness—being
too lazy to pick up the phone and make some calls to
check them out.
Trade Exchange Owners...
Then it’s time to
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industry! The Competitive Edge newsletter is a monthly, ready
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Would You Like To Make 2006 Your Greatest Year Ever?
BizXchange Lauded By Bay Area Barterers
Chris Haddawy, one of BizXchange’s owners and manager
of the company’s Bay Area office, and Account Manager De De Wentz
have received acknowledgment in the local press about several
outstanding businesswomen who are members of their trade exchange.
The following excerpts are from Bay Area
Shari Woolridge joined BizXchange shortly after she
opened her stylish East Bay shoe shop, Steppin’ Out. One of her
first expenditures on trade was a large ad in the glossy Oakland
Magazine, which Woolridge said “paid off immediately.”
RSVP Postcards owner Melinda Manley exclaimed the
BizXchange service is the best she’s experienced. “I’ll send them a
list of items or services I’m looking for (on trade), and within 24
hours they’re back to me telling me which ones they can provide. I
always know where I stand with these guys!”
Irene Ralston, owner of SelectFreshCusine.com,
relishes the exchange’s services because it provides her with
another network...one that promotes her business outside of the
BizXchange, headquartered in Seattle, recently was
No. 16 on the Puget Sound Business Journal’s list of
Washington State’s 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies. For more
2006 International Conference Slated For Florida
Krista Vardabash, executive director of the
International Reciprocal Trade Association, has announced that the
organization’s 2006 International Conference will be held at the
Island Grand Resort in St. Petersburg Beach (FL) from September 14
through 17. Vardabash noted that the Island Grand is a spectacular
property and easily accessible globally.
Additionally, she reported that IRTA will be
maintaining a focus on core values through standard setting and
unity...using the same theme from last year, “Uniting People and
Standards In a Cashless Trading World.”
the program IRTA built around this theme in 2005 received high
marks, and created tremendous excitement for the future of
credit-clearing through various means. For more information:
New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!
You can obtain
useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue
Whitney’s Unstinting Efforts On Behalf Of U.S. Commercial Barter
Kudos to IRTA board member and lawyer Ron Whitney,
president and founder of Barter Network (www.bniusa.com)
in Chadds Ford (PA), who has taken considerable personal time to
write a position paper on Form B Notices for tax withholding.
His position asserts that trade exchanges (barter
companies) should be excluded from having to send Publication 1281
B-Notice back-up withholding letters to barter clients as a matter
of fact and law.
Recently he traveled to Washington, DC, on behalf of
IRTA. There he attended a special IRS reception for the agency’s
partnerships, which included IRTA. While at the reception Whitney
was able to meet and talk with IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, Small
Business Commissioner Kevin Brown, Chief “E” Officer Phyllis Grimes,
and key members of IRSAC (IRS Advisory Council).
Whitney’s unstinting efforts, as well as his
attendance at this special reception, established good relationships
for IRTA’s continual work on behalf of the commercial barter
industry. Below is a copy of Ron Whitney’s actual “position memo.”
January 25, 2006
Applicability of Back-Up Withholding Requirements of Publication
1281 To the Organized Barter Exchange Industry
1281 – “Back-Up Withholding for Missing & Incorrect Name/TINS”,
requires organized barter exchanges to back-up withhold on accounts
with non-matching TINS/SSNs. Such requirement is impossible to
comply with since barter exchanges do not maintain or control ANY
cash accounts of their clients from which back-up withholding could
take place. As third party record keepers, barter exchanges maintain
trade accounts, (not cash), for their members.
aforementioned internal IRS systemic problem causes undue hardship
to the barter industry in the form of unjustified fines, penalties,
the TEFRA of 1982, barter exchanges file annual information returns
with the IRS verifying the total amount of barter sales for each of
their member clients. The members also receive a 1099B form to be
included with their tax returns. Incorrect SSNs/ TINs on file with
the barter companies may arise from clients’
misrepresentations or disappearances. Publication 1586 – “Reasonable
Cause Regulations & Requirements for Missing & Incorrect Name/TINS”
was the controlling standard for decades on the issue of
non-matching SSNs & TINs. It required barter exchanges to show “the
failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.” The
12-2004 Revision of Pub. 1586 now requires barter exchanges to send
“B-Notices” to non-matching clients threatening to back-up withhold
pursuant to the dictates of Pub. 1281, and abatements are granted
or denied based on an exchange’s compliance with “B Notice”
solicitation rules. Theresa Spillett, IRS Tax Specialist,
Holtsville, NY office recognized the impossibility of barter
companies complying with Publication 1281 in her 3/15/05 penalty
abatement letter, (attached), to Barter Network Inc.: “You also
established the fact you are unable to by law comply with back-up
withholding as these payees’ accounts are not cash accounts. They
are paper accounts, as they barter their individual services for
back-up withholding requirements placed on barter exchanges as
codified in Publication 1281 must be removed, since compliance
exchanges is impossible as a matter of fact and law.
Trade Exchange Industry First...Automobile Fuel On Barter!
has learned that members of the EBanc Trade Network (www.ebanctrade.com)
can use their trade dollars to buy automobile fuel in Australia on a
EBanc is working
with FUELbanc (www.fuelbanc.com)
to provide this service to their members. The FUELbanc gas card
works at all fuel outlets across Australia, including major chains
and independent retailers.
eValues Expands Online Technology Services
Gary Lasater, CEO of TeleTrade International and
eValues, has provided online technology processing services to the
barter industry for decades. Lasater’s eValues is now expanding its
services, offering local community based service centers the
opportunity to set up a private branded Community Finance Service
According to Lasater, this private branded CFSC
allows local service centers to use their own logo and business
names within each web site, thus enhancing the financial health of
their local community. For complete details on establishing a
Community Finance Service Center go to
or call Gary Lasater (303) 840-7172, ext. 1.
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...
Unusual Barter Agreement Struck Between Russia & Bulgaria
Under a 1998 barter arrangement, Bulgaria receives
gas from Russia’s state-owned Gazprom in return for allowing transit
through its territory to a number of other countries including
Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia.
The barter agreement
has been extended 10 years. Bulgaria will be provided gas at a fixed
price, which after the latest hikes in fuel is among the lowest in
barter company in the world is listed on our web site,
click through to our Global List
of Barter Companies.
Suburbanism Growing In Southern California
The suburbs, long derided as cultural wastelands, are
experiencing a renaissance. No longer just sprawling residential
tracts fanning out from nominal downtowns, the reinvented suburbs
are pedestrian-friendly villages featuring vintage architecture
mixed with new designs, mom-and-pop stores next to national chains,
plus jobs a lot closer to home. They also have museums, theaters,
art galleries, concert halls and restaurants.
Unlike the idealized suburb of your parents’
generation, the lots are small and close together, and some feature
so-called rear-loading garages behind the homes, entered via
attractive, landscaped lanes rather than alleys lined with garbage
Many of the homes lack traditional yards, so families
enjoy the 20 acres of parks scattered through the development, most
of which serve as central green zones and are surrounded by
residences that face them.
The parks are open to the public, but are maintained
by homeowners’ fees. The large residential streets have landscaped
round-abouts to slow auto traffic. Narrow side streets accommodate
wider sidewalks for pedestrian safety.
One of the most striking features of “new suburbanism”
is the dramatic shift from cars to walking. Especially in the
refurbished downtown areas, residents are parking their automobiles
in city lots off main streets so they can stroll along gussied-up
avenues chock-full of restaurants, shops and clubs. They can
people-watch in central plazas and run errands on their lunch hours.
As suburbs have shifted from
industry-based hubs to more
eclectic businesses—new media, biomedical and technological, for
example—they are attracting a new mix of people who desire a variety
of amenities. The mix of ages, ethnicities, and immigrants has
brought new culture and restaurants, as well as capital, in some
cases from the old country. They bring multiple generations, too,
which is what any healthy community wants to have.
A Gift To A Friend Or Associate. If you know someone
who might benefit from this newsletter, feel free to forward it
to them! (See the “box” at the end of the newsletter
for the forwarding service.)
The accounting firm of Grant Thornton revealed
that 65% of bankers surveyed nationwide are pessimistic or
neutral about the nation’s economy for 2006. (Last year 31% were
dour or neutral.) Concerns are threefold: The impact of last
year’s hurricanes which bid up building materials, Fed Chairman
Greenspan’s January 31 retirement, and an end to the housing
Have you signed up to
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China’s economy, having grown 9.9% in 2005 (GDP
now $2.26 trillion) is the world’s fourth largest economy,
following the U.S., Japan, and Germany in Gross Domestic
The government disclosed it costs them 83-cents
to produce, mail, and process a paper check. That’s about
75-cents more than it costs to deposit the funds
electronically, according to the Treasury Department.
Intel has more than $4 billion invested in nearly
1,000 companies in some 27 countries, making the computer-chip
giant’s venture capital program one of the most expansive in the
corporate world. (Last year Intel invested $265 million in
start-ups; 67% of those were based outside the U.S., up from 37%
the year before.)