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March 7, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...              3/07/06

These are exciting times, consider that...

Historically, it used to take 1,000 years for civilization’s standard-of-living to double. Yet in the last 80 years we’ve seen an unbelievable quadrupling in our standard-of-living! What’s the reason for this stunning occurrence?

I believe it’s shared ideas, innnovations and technology. Almost every region of the planet is simultaneously expanding, in addition there’s a growing receptiveness to democratic capitalism.

Millions now cooperate and gladly provide goods and services to one another in an incredibly complex web of commercial transactions. Given today’s technology explosion and growing global cooperativeness, the best is yet to come. A bridge is rapidly being built to take us from an industrial-based society to an informational-based one.

This means that future trade success (both in the cash and barter arenas) will depend on having both access to information and the ability to utilization that information.

As the commercial barter industry continues growing and working cooperatively together, we will see better and faster fulfillment capability...enabling advancement toward achieving the enormous potential for trading possibilities.

Hyping Global Barter Figures

However, we’re not there yet. Which is why it’s disconcerting to see the absurd numbers one barter company used recently when sending out a press release. It claimed that the combined global barter and community-currency systems are a $14 trillion market. Such a statement is simply ludicrous, as that figure is one-third (33%) of the world’s gross domestic product!

Changes Coming For Bartercard USA

Bartercard International has sent a letter to all the Bartercard USA members, informing them of current changes within the company. The firm has taken certain legal steps necessary for reorganizing, and are actively seeking a new licensee to operate the Bartercard license for the United States.

 

Active International Names Advertising & Technology Veteran Eric Larsen As COO

Active International, the world’s seventh largest media-buying company, has announced that Eric Larsen will replace Fredrick Fuest as Chief Operating Officer. Fuest has been appointed to expand the firm’s global business in a new role as president of its International Division.

Larsen will be charged with implementing an expanded business solutions portfolio by developing a broader array of innovative solutions for Active’s blue chip client roster.

He joins Active with more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in sales, product marketing, marketing/brand building, and general management. His credentials include work with Apple Computer, Gateway, and the WPP Group as president of Wunderman, the world’s largest global direct marketing agency and a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam.

Active International was founded in 1984 and has operations in 16 countries. For more information see www.activeinternational.com.


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 75 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.” Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.

Bartercard’s Global Expansion Continues With Frankfurt Stock Exchange Listing

Bartercard International has entered into agreements with European Entertainment Investments for the issuance and sale of £4,140,000 in Bartercard’s convertible notes. The company has also obtained listing of its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

According to Wayne Sharpe, Chairman of Bartercard, “This funding will enable Bartercard to expand its operations as we continue to seek additional partnering opportunities in Europe, Asia, and North America in our pursuit of  global expansion. We believe our listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange will attract German investors and help establish a continental European shareholder base.”

Bartercard UK Launches Real Estate

Bartercard Real Estate (BCRE), a new, wholly owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom (UK) has been recently established, and Tim Ashley-Sparks has been appointed Managing Director. Under the BCRE system, a 25% to 50% deposit on a property can be paid in trade. Thus enabling the buyer to purchase a large portion of the property with goods and services rather than cash.

The BCRE concept has been operating in Australia for almost a decade, with a $2.5 million of property deals signed last month alone.

For more information go to www.bartercard.com.

Trade Exchange Owners...
Would You Like To Make 2006 Your Greatest Year Ever? 

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 here.)

BNI Acquires Credible Competitor—American Barter Network

Ron Whitney, CEO of Barter Network Inc. in Chadds Ford (PA), has informed BarterNews that his company recently acquired the barter accounts of one-year old start-up American Barter Network (ABN). BNI, with a membership of 1,300, ranks as the largest trade exchange in the Philadelphia market.

The procurement of ABN in Bryn Mawr marks the second time in two years that BNI has gained a credible competitor in its region. ABN’s founder John McKenzie will stay on with BNI as a sales/marketing representative in the Philadelphia region.

CEO Whitney remarked, “The acquisition of ABN’s accounts was a natural. We can provide a vast array of purchasing options to the newly gained members, and BNI members will benefit from the quality of those that have joined the fold.”

Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

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


Your Questions...And Answers

Every week we receive e-mails from visitors to our web site. As space allows, without redundancy, we will air your pertinent questions. All answers will be from Bob Meyer unless otherwise noted, and as space allows we’ll print letters responding to questions appearing earlier in the Tuesday Barter Report. (Minor editing of the letters will sometimes be made for the sake of brevity.)

Question: I am thinking about starting a very small-scale barter club for local people. I would maybe take a commission or charge an entry fee. Where can I find some information and software about barter on this tiny scale?

Christopher
England, U.K.

Answer: There is an excellent book by Thomas H. Greco, Jr., titled Money, that covers community currency systems and includes an excellent “Sources and Resources section.” It was published by Chelsea Green Publishing Company in 2001. For software, one of our sponsors, www.evalues.net, offers online technology processing services.

Reply: To the previous question from Steve Singer of National Commerce Exchange, regarding industry people or barter organizations who do not fulfill on their agreements.

The following letter was received from IRTA Executive Director Krista Vardabash:

Dear Bob,

I wanted to comment on Steve Singer’s letter to you regarding publishing a list of people or organizations who renege on debt repayment. IRTA views this as one of the most insidious threats to the industry, not just a threat to individual exchanges. It’s a growing problem too. Cheap technology, lack of education regarding the proper administration of a trade credit system, and, yes—you were correct—greed, are among the reasons. So, what to do about it...

You were also correct in suggesting to Mr. Singer that he become involved in an association that represents the industry. Members build trust with each other through association involvement and attendance at conferences. Additionally, each IRTA member is required to adhere to the Code of Ethics. Should a complaint be made against them, they also agree to address that complaint to a group of their peers.

In the past, IRTA has discussed publishing a Hall of Shame list of people or organizations of the kind that Mr. Singer refers to, but there are always many versions of the same story and, you were correct again, the litigious nature of our world today prohibits our inclination to put in writing that which cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. However there are other resources to consider.

IRTA’s Universal Currency (UC) system was developed in part to give trade exchanges an option to the risk of doing business reciprocally with an unknown exchange. However UC is not immune to the problem of unscrupulous operators.  Over the past few years, the UC has legally pursued trade exchanges that have not honored their commitment to the UC membership. We are obliged to tell the UC members who is being pursued, who has received judgments against them, who has settled, etc.

These situations are a matter of public record, so there is no reason not to share the information. Especially if it can help a trade exchange owner make a prudent decision. So, in addition to association involvement and support, Mr. Singer should consider joining a currency network like UC to hedge his bet and have access to information regarding who in that system isn’t playing nice.

Every barter company in the world is listed on our web site, click through to our Global List of Barter Companies.


Don’t Cancel Vacation...Barter For It!

If there’s an economic slowdown in your life (you’re just meeting the bills every month) don’t consider taking action that you might regret later on—like canceling your vacation. That practice should carry a Surgeon General’s warning: Canceling your vacation is dangerous to your health.

If you are considering canceling a vacation, and if you have a choice in the matter, don’t do it. A growing body of research links long-term vacation habits and health.

A 14-year study of 13,000 men, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, found annual vacations sharply reduced the risks of death among middle-aged men.

Similarly, a 20-year study of middle-aged women found a link between a lack of vacations and higher risk of hearth attack and death. Both studies conclude vacationing may be good for your health.

So if you’re questioning your own vacation plans because of the economic downturn, or money is a problem, it’s time to place a call to your trade broker.

See what’s available locally and nationally through your barter company, then make those plans that suit your desires. Whatever you do, don’t cancel that vacation...it could be dangerous to your health!

Editor’s note: One place to look for accommodations from various barter companies, is the Caribbean...because of excess inventory. The pace of tourist growth last year was half that of the previous two years, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Give 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.)


Real Estate Brokers Edgy About Online Competition

As if discount brokers aren’t causing enough angst among real estate brokers these days...now the former head of Expedia travel web site has offered a “beta” test version of internet tools designed to help people get home valuation estimates, which ultimately will assist consumers in the search for homes. The company (Zillow.com) has raised $32 million from two venture-capital firms, Benchmark Capital and Technology Crossover ventures.

Zillow chairman and CEO Richard N. Barton says the new service will involve information tools that will enable people to “take control of the process” of buying and selling real estate. There’s concern in the real estate industry because of Expedia’s role in slashing the costs to consumers when booking online reservations for hotels, cars and airplanes.

So far, real estate brokers have avoided the kind of price war many people predicted in the early days of the Internet. Even with the higher prices of homes, commissions still average more than 5%.

Barton believes major change in home selling is inevitable over the next five years or so, because “there’s an unsustainable disconnect” between the commissions charged by most agents and the value of their services. He expects that agents will become more productive and less numerous.

Editor’s note: Further change is evidenced by Homestore Inc., operator of property listing service Realtor.com (owned by the National Assn. of Realtors and now the top real estate Internet site), which has announced it’ll change its name to Move.com and revamp its primary web site to include more consumer-friendly features.

Tougher online competition ahead for real estate brokers will also come from companies like Google and Craigslist as they add more information about homes for sale, which will give consumers more “ammo” in negotiating with or even bypassing agents.

Here & There. . . 

  • The 2006 Carlson Wagonlit Travel Trends survey shows Las Vegas remains the king of U.S. vacation destinations. For international travelers, the most popular option continues to be Caribbean cruising.
     

  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of this issue (right hand corner) and sign up!
     

  • Harry S. Dent Jr., a well-respected economic forecaster, says the market is long overdue for a strong rally in 2006. Dent believes major commodities like gold, oil, and short-term interest rates have peaked. In addition, other investment opportunities like real estate are showing signs of weakness, all of which clear the way for a bull equity market in his opinion.

    (Dent is known for developing the Dent Forecasting Method, an economic forecasting approach that incorporates demographic trends into traditional forecasting models.)
     

  • If you've missed any of our weekly Tuesday Reports the past seven years we have an archive of issues for you at the bottom of this letter...check it out!

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