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April 1, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/01/2008

Global Carbon Market Undergoing Tremendous Growth

Global trade in carbon dioxide emissions could reach 4.2 billion tons this year, a 56% increase from 2007, according to a report from Point Carbon, an Oslo-based research firm.

The report includes a survey of the carbon market in which more than 70% of respondents predict a global climate agreement by 2012. The global carbon market was worth $60 billion in 2007, an 80% increase over 2006. (The 2008 market is expected to be worth $92 billion.)

U.S. Very Cost-Efficient Place To Operate

The auditing and consulting firm KPMG reveals that the U.S. has moved up on the list of most cost-efficient places around the world to operate a business. The survey which takes place every two years reports that only Mexico and Canada were cheaper. Interestingly, all three countries are members of NAFTA.

Out-Of-Home Digital Forum Scheduled

The Forum, scheduled for April 23 at the Yale Club of New York (50 Vanderbilt Avenue), focuses on the advertising market, media buying, and planning for the burgeoning digital out-of-home video marketplace.

Digital out-of-home media is the fastest growing medium since the Internet. Now a $2 billion industry, it is expected to grow dramatically in the years ahead. Some industry pundits envision a $10 billion market within a decade.

General Electric Believes It�s Time To Take Advantage Of Price Adjustments

General Electric Co., among the country's biggest real estate investors using its own money, will soon be using other people's cash to invest.

In what some experts say is an adventurous move, GE plans to raise cash � $1 billion to $3 billion � from outside investors to begin investing in commercial real estate and other properties through newly established real estate investment funds.

GE will not be bottom-feeding for deeply depressed or foreclosed properties. The company�s strategy is to buy still viable properties at discounts of 10% to 15%.

Chapter 11 Business Filings Spreading In USA

Last year Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings for businesses hit a two-year high of 6,236, according to Jupiter eSources, an Oklahoma company that tracks the data. They report that the pace of filings has accelerated this year. As the credit crisis deepens law firms across the country are betting that bankruptcy work will be their most-promising avenue of growth.

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. . .)


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

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.


Humphreys Proudly Announces New Tradia Web Site

On March 19, 2008, Tradia Commerce Network launched its new web site to members, franchise owners and brokers nationwide. Tradia Online, is the culmination of a two year effort made by the IT department, and is the foundation of the Tradia Commerce Network. It replaced the web site that had been used for over six years.

Matthew Humphreys, Tradia founder and president with over 28 years experience in the retail barter industry, said, �I have never seen software capable of performing at this level. I really thought I had seen it all but our IT team working in tandem with current Microsoft technology is writing break-through automation that will change the way barter is viewed, marketed, and managed.�

The new site was designed as a �software plus services� platform, as it offers members the opportunity to manage their entire trade account online. They can list classifieds, auctions, update their business directory listings, post want ads, make travel requests, see their entire transaction history, and update all their account information. They can read all the Tradia news, browse articles on barter, and connect with other members online.

The Tradia IT team is made up of Alan Paget and Jennifer Lucas. Jennifer, the IT Manager, whose previous employment includes Nature�s Sunshine and Best Buy, is Tradia�s internet programmer, network administrator and graphic designer. Alan, a former Microsoft employee, manages the SQL database and Visual Basic programming. They have both been with Tradia for over three years.

Tradia Commerce Network was founded in 1995. It is the largest privately held barter exchange in the United States with franchises and local trade directors serving over 5000 cardholders nationwide.

For more in formation go to www.tradia.net.


ITEX�s White Responds to Western Sizzlin�s Unsolicited Tender Offer Changes

ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX), a leading marketplace for cashless business transactions in North America, has issued the following statement regarding Western Sizzlin�s (NASDAQ:WEST) decision to remove conditions to its unsolicited exchange offer to acquire shares of ITEX for consideration consisting solely of shares of Western Sizzlin common stock:

�The situation has not changed -- our Board of Directors continues to believe that Western Sizzlin�s bid is wholly inadequate and recommends that shareholders NOT tender their shares. Not only is the offer worth less now than originally announced, it does not reflect the true value of ITEX or its growth prospects. Furthermore, the value of the consideration being offered is uncertain, illiquid, and fully dependent on the future value of Western Sizzlin common stock. For the few ITEX shareholders that have tendered, we urge them to withdraw their shares by notifying the Western Sizzlin exchange agent immediately, as they will lose the right to withdraw tomorrow (3/26/08) afternoon.�

Steven White, ITEX Chairman/CEO explained, �Demonstrating the volatility and illiquidity of Western Sizzlin common stock, since the exchange offer commenced on December 27, 2007, the stock price has declined by approximately 12%; there have been nine days with no trading activity, and at one point their stock hit a low of $12.80.

�Western Sizzlin believed that obtaining its recent NASDAQ listing would result in enhanced liquidity. But lack of liquidity continues to weigh on its stock. ITEX�s stock continues to have almost twenty times the average daily trading volume of Western Sizzlin.

�Western Sizzlin has extended its exchange offer twice with the latest extension and shareholder withdrawal rights set to expire on March 26, 2008. The firm has continued to pursue its offer with minimal success. The vast majority of ITEX shareholders have demonstrated that they recognize the offer is not beneficial to them.

�On March 13, 2008, Western Sizzlin dropped many of the conditions related to its offer, including a previous requirement that it acquire 60% of ITEX�s shares before the exchange could take place,� White continued. �Essentially admitting failure, Western Sizzlin can now accept whatever shares are tendered with no minimum. More concerning to me is that the offer is scheduled to close, terminating ITEX shareholder withdrawal rights, three business days before Western Sizzlin must file its Form 10-K disclosing its operating results for the 2007 fiscal year. Thus, our shareholders are placed in the position of having to make an irrevocable decision shortly before the release of information that might be material.�

(Schedule 14D-9 and other public filings made by ITEX with the SEC are available without charge from http://www.sec.gov, or from http://www.itex.com.)

Wall Street Journal Publishes Article On Barter

The Wall Street Journal did a piece for the small-business owner titled, �Barter A Bit and Give Your Cash A Rest�, by Kelly Spors.

(To read the article click here.)


Alternative Media Sees Explosive Growth

Spending on so-called alternative media, including social networks, digital out-of-home networks and mobile content, will increase 20.2% to $88 billion in 2008, according to a new study by PQ Media Research. Its first report focusing on alternative media further forecasts that the fast-growing sector will hit nearly $161 billion by 2012, accounting for 26.6% of total U.S. advertising and marketing spending.

PQ Media defines alternative media as: �Media buying strategies that attempt to bypass the clutter of traditional advertising and marketing in an effort to reach target audiences, primarily through new media such as the Internet, but also by using alternative means through traditional media such as product placement in broadcast television.�

The research firm breaks the category into 18 sub-groups. Among those, consumer-generated media, mobile ads, video game ads, word-of-mouth marketing, and webisodes are expected to see the biggest gains in the next five years.

The biggest alternative sub-categories as of last year were event sponsorships and marketing, search and lead generation, e-direct marketing, online classifieds and displays, and local pay TV.

From 2002 to 2007, alternative media grew at an annual rate of 21% to $73 billion, making up 16% of overall ad and marketing dollars. But despite the optimistic outlook, some caveats await marketers rushing to embrace alternative media to boost return on investment. One is to avoid creating more clutter by trying to cut through traditional media congestion.

�A key challenge is riding that line between effective advertising and marketing without annoying consumers to the point where they�re completely turned off,� said Patrick Quinn, president and CEO of PQ Media. Word-of-mouth marketing, mobile media and out-of-home digital advertising are especially susceptible to alienating consumers with overly intrusive advertising.

A looming recession will also contribute to slowing growth for alternative media in the next couple of years, along with a natural slowdown caused by measuring against a larger base of ad revenue.

But Quinn emphasized that long-term factors, such as the desire to reach elusive 18- to 34-year-old males by alternative means, will continue to drive growth in the coming years. Such trends will also make alternative media less subject to cyclical spending patterns than traditional media like TV, radio and print.

But when alternative outlets account for one-in-four ad dollars by 2012, will it still be alternative? �It won't be so alternative then, but others will come along to take their place,� assured Quinn.

Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews


Economics Taking Over�Changing Shoppers Habits

When it comes to stocking up at the local grocery store, overall food quality matters less than you might think. A new study from Vertis Communications finds that just 1% of adults say overall food quality is the reason they choose a supermarket, while the perception of low prices and convenience - especially how close the store is to either work or home - is far more important.

�Economic factors, such as gas prices and the housing market, are changing shoppers� habits drastically,� says Scott Marden, director of marketing research at the Baltimore-based Vertis. �More than 90% are affected, and many are shopping closer to home, stocking up more and combining shopping trips.�

The company says there are other big changes afoot. In the last four years, the chief grocery shoppers in families are showing great receptivity to grocery stores� prepared meals, increasing from 28% in 2004 to 40% in 2008.

And in just two years, there has been a considerable shift in adults who judge a store by its parts: �There's been a 5% increase in the number of adults that listed a department other than meat and produce as the determining factor in where they shop for groceries,� he says. �Organic and seafood are showing signs of increased importance.�

The survey also found significant changes in the media that shoppers use before they go shopping. �While grocery insert readership has held steady more than four years, the percentage of adults using them to decide where to shop has increased significantly, from 52% in 2004 to 59% in 2008.� And the number of shoppers who get help from the Internet has doubled in four years.

It also found gender differences, noting that women are paying closest attention to rising food prices. Almost half of all chief female shoppers say that price-related offerings, including the lowest everyday prices, best advertised specials and store coupons, are the most important factor in choosing where to shop. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to make a choice based on convenience.


Hotel General Managers

Work With Audio/Visual Vendor On Barter

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor�s cash agreement for AV services, here�s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of trade dollars.)

Your hotel�s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: bmeyer@barternews.com.

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.


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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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