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March 26, 2002

Reciprocal Arrangements Cause Unease Among Investors

The annual report of VeriSign, a Mountain View (CA) seller of Internet-security software and addresses, showed $37.5 million in barter deals...accounting for 3.8% of VeriSign's total revenue ($983.6 million).

The company barter arrangements were with IBM, Oracle, Phoenix Technologies, and InfoSpace. VeriSign investors were concerned about the announcement and sent shares tumbling 9.3% down to $26.42 on the news.

What does this mean? The commercial barter industry has much more work to do in educating the marketplace and changing the image held by many, far too many, that barter deals are a sign that a company isn't functioning up to standard.

It should be the other way around...when VeriSign acquires goods or services in exchange for VeriSign products, they are making opportunistic buys at their marginal cost of doing business. That's a positive, not a negative!

Turk Barter Moving Forward Optimistically

Attendees at the annual IRTA Barter Congress have seen representatives from Ihlas Barter at every conference since 1995. The company has worked extremely hard in educating the business community in Turkey to the benefits of barter.

They have taken a radical step, changing their name to Turk Barter, and have hired a completely new group of college educated, English speaking employees. Their corporate offices have been relocated to Maslak, Istanbul's finance center.

Turk Barter is moving forward with a national advertising campaign in the country's biggest media outlets--TV, newspapers and magazines. For more information: see their web site at

U.N. Conference On Financing For Development A Breakthrough?

With 50 heads of state, along with business leaders from around the world attending the United Nations meeting in Monterrey, Mexico, an attitudinal change, which could have far-reaching implications, took place. Namely,
that it is necessary to do more for the half of the world's population that
ekes by on less than $2 a day.

Two driving forces are at work: 1) The realization that peace and security cannot prevail worldwide unless poverty, exclusion, and marginalization are eliminated. 2) Economic reality, recognizing the poor aren't a market and that until poverty is ended there is no market to speak of.

Leaders closed the meeting by adopting the "Monterrey Consensus," a pre-approved agreement that urges rich nations to give billions more dollars in aid, and calls for poor countries in return to battle corruption, adopt solid economic practices, and spend the funds efficiently.

Here And There. . .

  • A year ago one visionary in the commercial barter industry exclaimed that trading via internet-enabled mobile telephones would soon become a reality. A recent survey shows that consumers enthusiasm for buying things online, using mobile phones, has fallen steadily since 2000.

  • Fred Detwiler's Trade Exchange of America is holding its 20th Annual Spring Barter Expo at the Southfield Civic Center. Scheduled April 10 in Southfield, Michigan, over 100 exhibitors are expected.

  • Zurich Financial Services has quietly dropped its plans for an online global insurance exchange, after spending $515 million! (Insurers would have provided policy quotes, purchases and underwriting on the web.)

    The plan was that Zurich, as its gatekeeper, would eventually collect fees that would grow as usage increased. But once the exchange technology was working, Zurich found it a hard sell among its business units...they simply didn't understand it. And a more basic and embarrassing flaw surfaced: nobody bothered to invite other insurers to do business on the exchange!

    (Moral of the story, corporations are run by people, their assumptions and projections are not always correct, so "sure things" and even huge investments of $515 million, are no guarantees of success!)

  • Former high-flying tech companies will get some "windfalls" due to legislation recently signed by President Bush which allows businesses to "carry back" their net operating losses to five years, instead of the previous two years. Cash refunds can be gained against some of the taxes they paid on profits earned, going back five years into the late 1990s boom.

  • Attention trade exchange owners! Knowledge and education about a subject are always a pre-requisite to taking action...especially sustained action.

    If you expect your members to be active traders, and are perplexed when they aren't, there's a good reason. You have neglected to provide the necessary "education" about the many benefits of barter.

    Admittedly, most exchanges are deficient in this important area because it takes a substantial amount of time, effort, and ability to provide such information on a regular basis.

    However, there is an easy and inexpensive answer to the problem... purchase The Competitive Edge newsletter. It's a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print.

    Written especially for trade exchange owners, it will be the best investment you ever make.

    For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you, contact Bob Meyer at or call 949.831.0607 (PST).

  • Some 84 million square feet of new office space will be available in 2002 and 2003, a 2.8% increase in the nation's inventory at a time of anemic demand. Merrill Lynch forecasts a 16.5% vacancy rate by year end, just 2.6% lower than the peak of the last recession. Now's a good time to strike a barter deal for space, as office leasing isn't expected to make substantial gains until 2004.

  • Air travel is still depressed, as total revenue for February was down 23% from one year ago. Traffic was down 11%, and travelers flying full-fare or first-class was down 20%. The airlines are lamenting the situation, suggesting that while demand is out there no one can make any money at today's low prices.

  • Learn grant writing and fund raising from Foundation Marketing Institute. Three-day seminar to be held near Orlando (FL) May 16-18. Registration available on trade, phone 407.339.7964.
We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
? Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.