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The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!

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March 21, 2000

In this week's report. . .

  • News on BarterTrust and BigVine
  • Weekends.com working with corporate barter company
  • Using your company's trade dollars effectively (Part I of II)
  • Here & there. . .

BarterTrust Raises Another $55 Million To Build On "Clicks & Bricks" Strategy

In the current issue (#51) of BarterNews, on page 19, we reported on BarterTrust.com, a nationwide barter network in the U.S. with nearly 8,000 members.

BarterTrust contends that a strategy of "clicks & bricks" is the best one, and they moved forward in the implementation of their beliefs by acquiring three highly successful trade exchanges.

With an additional $55 million coming collectively from General Motors Investment Management (representing the GM pension plan), Deutsche Banc, and investment banking firm Alex. Brown, BarterTrust CEO Mike Edelhart can move forward confidently...knowing the fund to implement their ambitious expansion plans are on hand!


BigVine Moving Forward, Too

BigVine.com, another well-funded internet barter network, has announced the selection of Quintus eContact to enhance their barter exchange.

The Fremont (CA)-based company will provide a variety of ways for BigVine members to obtain information about their barter efforts, which could include the telephone, e-mail, and live internet online assistance from an agent.

In addition, eContact records and stores details of each customer's interaction in a data repository, enabling agents to provide personalized service based on each customer's history.


MRI Interactive Enables Weekends.com To Build Market Share With $10 Million Bartered Ad Campaign

Weekends.com is a NYC-based internet company that focuses on weekend travel and entertainment. The company recently knocked on a corporate barter company's door, and subsequently signed a $10 million media-for-equity deal with MRI Interactive.

A division of MRI International, MRI Interactive was established in 1978 and also headquartered in New York City, with additional operations in Los Angeles, the Baltics, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, and Spain.

Ludovic Hood, CEO of Weekends.com, is looking forward to the relationship with MRI. "These media credits," he explained, "give us a unique opportunity to establish our brand identity on a national scale following our full launch this spring...all without having to outlay huge amounts of cash to do so."

Peter Benassi, CEO of MRI, and one of the leaders in the corporate barter community revealed that MRI Interactive "has experienced significant growth because of our ability to help dot.com companies find a way to get the advertising media exposure they need, without paying for it exclusively with cash." Benassi says he looks forward to participating in Weekends' future success.


Part 1

Proven Successful Ways To Use Your Company's Trade Dollars

Use Your Trade Exchange's Many Products And Services To Develop And Reward Your Valued Employees

Personnel costs are usually at the top of a company's monthly expenses, every single month. And rightly so, because the key to building a solid organization, whether a small fleet-of-foot entrepreneurial operation or that of an established giant, is having reliable, talented and intelligent people.

In today's highly-competitive world, where the unemployment rate hovers at all-time lows, the question is: How can your company keep a hold on personnel costs for good talented people, and at the same time reward and recognize them for their extra efforts and accomplishments?

One proven, powerful way is to incorporate the potency of barter, wherein you use your trade dollars at every opportunity, to compensate and acknowledge your valued personnel. Don't just read this information...print it out, underline it and, more importantly, begin using it in your company's operation today!

Wages

There are two times during an employee's tenure that trade can be considered as a salary supplement:

A) At the initial time of hiring
B) At the time of a raise

Obviously, one would not ask a worker to replace a portion of his/her current salary with trade dollars, but adding to it in trade is an intriguing possibility.

Consider including trade as a regular part of your compensation for any new hire. One exchange member has given an hourly worker a two dollar-per-hour raise: one dollar cash and one dollar trade. In another example a client paid workers' overtime in trade dollars. (The employer should remember to include trade dollar wages on IRS form W-2.)

Bonuses

A good portion of businesses pay some sort of bonus to employees during the course of the year. Whether a year's end or special occasion bonus, trade dollars have been successfully paid to employees by many clients.

One restaurant reports being able to pay for greater Christmas bonuses to employees because of barter, than would have been possible with cash alone.

An alternative to the trade dollar bonus is to buy merchandise with trade dollars to give directly to an employee. Gift certificates for products or services have been used in this way, too.

Commissions Or Fee-For-Service Split

If your company employs commissioned sales people, you may be overlooking an important way to use trade. When a salesperson puts together a sale where the buyer pays in trade dollars, the employer would be wise to pay the salesperson's commission in trade dollars.

Some companies split fees for service between the house and the employee who performs the service. For example, a hair salon will typically split the fee a customer pays for a haircut 50/50, with half going to the house and half going to the one doing the haircut. Limousine companies, delivery services and other industries engage in a similar fee split.

To maximize your barter profitability pay your employee his/her cut in trade dollars every time the customer pays in trade dollars.

Next issue we will look at six additional ways to use your company's trade dollars to reward your valued employees. Note: This information was taken from Bob Meyer's best-selling, 500-page FastStart Program. For additional information on the program, go to the Home Page and click on the FastStart Program.


Here And There...

  • The cruise industry is being forced to slash prices to lure enough customers to fill all the ships being launched in a binge of expansion undertaken years ago when prospects looked rosier. There's a 12% capacity increase this year alone. Check with your trade exchange or corporate barter company for cruise availabilities.
  • Airbomb.com offers a secure, password-operated b2b website for sporting goods retailers. The new on-line store offers high performance bicycles, components, and frames sourced directly from Airbomb's overseas suppliers and other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

    This website enhances the company's ability to participate in large transactions of product at the wholesale level, and to barter product between manufacturers and retailers. The retail market in the U.S. for bicycles and related parts and accessories is approximately $5.4 billion, and globally $25 billion.
  • Oxygen Media used the world's new currency, options, to lure sponsorship and marketing deals recently. Cynics said the newly-launched woman's cable-TV channel would find it impossible to sell enough 30-second spots to launch successfully.

    Not so. By using an innovative approach, offering advertisers options in addition to the advertising buys, Oxygen stunned their critics, as they brought in some $70 million in revenue. And guess what...they created an edge for themselves with these same advertisers, as the placement of future advertising will lean toward Oxygen, due to the ownership position these advertisers now have!

 

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.