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April 11, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...              04/11/06

Wallach Says Commercial Barter Industry Hasn’t Embraced Enormous Opportunity Available

Talked with Dave Wallach last week, and I’m happy to report he is feeling chipper and upbeat. Although he reminded me, “You know I’m supposed to be dead now!” (When diagnosed with lung cancer back in August the doctors were looking at 3 to 6 months.)

Wallach, the epitome of dedication and determination during his ValueCard ownership days is showing the same mettle today with his chemotherapy treatments.

He had just returned from the IRTA meeting in Amsterdam, as a director on the IRTA Global Board, and was as enthusiastic about the potential of the commercial barter industry today as he was back in the spring of 1998, when we spent two days together at his San Francisco office. At the time I was there to interview him for BarterNews magazine.

My nostalgic recollection of that visit in March, was the delightfully balmy weather that greeted me in one of the most spectacular and scenic cities in the world. As always, it was a pleasure talking with one of the industry’s passionate pioneers. (Wallach had opened his doors in 1979, after four years of working for another bay area barter company.)

While Wallach admittedly started-out financially under-capitalized, he was always rich with vision and ambition. And when our interview turned to the barter business he became more animated as he energetically talked about a barter company’s services being that of a business ecologist.

“Think about it,” he pointed out, “we bring our members new customers to buy what’s wasting away. And then, in turn, provide them with needed products and services—all a result of our efforts. And it’s done through the use of our private currencies.”

Wallach contends the same situation applies today. “As business ecologists we offer the small business community a noble service, after all it’s no secret that nearly every business has extra time, space, or materials.”

“But,” he quickly added, “we haven’t taken advantage of the enormous opportunity available. I believe our industry has really missed the boat in educating the business marketplace about our ecological might and private currency abilities.”

Wallach believes before the industry can ever hope to reach the next level it must come to grips with this reality of needing to educate the business world. (P.S. He was preaching to the choir, as I agreed fully.)

Countertrade World Changing

I recently heard from an accomplished former Executive Vice President at United Technologies, he was the point man for the company’s countertrade efforts back in the mid-to-late 1990s. A first-class guy, who, upon retirement, began a countertrade consultation service. For years he was on the go continually. Now, he reports, things are changing in the marketplace.

As a result, he hasn’t done any offset/barter consulting for Corporate America in the past three years. When questioned about this, he responded that it was “due to lawyers who drive me crazy  with their holier than thou attitude.”

He said he walked away from several potential contracts where he could have made considerable fees, plus been able to save the company many millions of dollars. Who loses? Not the lawyers who killed the deal...but rather the company stockholders, who never know such things occur.

U.S. Legislation Aims At Curbing Counterfeit Imports

A new bill, “Stop Counterfeiting In Manufactured Goods,” was signed by President Bush on March 16. It will extend investigators current powers by giving them search and seizure rights over not just the products but the equipment used to manufacture and ship them. This closes the “import hole” that allowed counterfeiters to evade prosecution by separating the manufacture of products from the labeling process.

The law also makes it illegal to barter counterfeit goods, meaning that traffickers can no longer move counterfeit merchandise in return for any future service or goods.

The traffic of counterfeit goods is thought to be worth around $500 billion globally, affecting sectors as diverse as aerospace, automotive, electrical, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods.

New Listings In Our Barter Contacts Section

1100 Olive Way, #1720
Seattle, WA 98101
Ph: (206) 447-9933

7677 Oakport Street, #220
Oakland, CA 94621
Ph: (510) 632-0299

BizXchange produces one of the barter industry’s more exceptional newsletters. The company’s founders—Bob Bagga, Chris Haddawy and Raj Kapoor—all experienced, are some of the youngest owners in the industry.

Largest Independent Trade Exchange In America Introduces Trademart—An Online Barter Shopping Mall

Jack Schacht, one of the barter industry’s most innovative thinkers as well as a man of action, has announced the implementation of ITA’s recent ambitious effort...launching Trademart, an online barter shopping mall.

Illinois Trade Association (www.itatrade.com) was founded by Schacht and is the largest independent trade exchange in the U.S. with a membership of over 5,000 active traders. The firm’s corporate division is National Trade Association (www.ntatrade.com).

Pushing transparency, the online barter mall is open to the entire world! Schacht invites members and non-members alike, to browse Trademart at www.ntatrade.com/trademart_frame.asp.

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.)

Online Loan Help Available For Business Entrepreneurs In L.A.

An innovative, online matchmaking service is now accessible for small Los Angeles companies. Called the Los Angeles Small Business Loan Portal, the service gives entrepreneurs a new way to attract lenders which traditionally might have turned them down.

Small business owners seeking to post their needs on the web site must first go to a participating business assistance organization which would be listed on the site. (These nonprofit organizations make sure the clients have all their business and financial documents in order, and then post a profile on the portal for lenders to consider.)

Banks aren’t privy to clients’ names until they click a button at the bottom of the profile that indicates they’re interested in making a loan. Institutions that make loans through the site earn Community Reinvestment Act credits, which allow them to open branches elsewhere.

The service is free to clients and the nonprofit agencies. Banks pay a $5,000 membership fee. For more information go to www.loanportal.org.

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.

The Latest Currency—Dodger Points!

The Los Angeles Dodgers have instituted a “Think Blue Rewards Program” where their fans can earn points for shopping both in and out of Dodger Stadium. A membership package starts at $19.95, with three levels of membership available—All Star, MVP, and Hall-of-Fame. Once signed on, fans will then be able to trade in the points they earn in exchange for memorabilia, VIP tickets, and fantasy baseball experiences with players.

In addition to fans being able to earn the Dodger Points while shopping or going to area restaurants, they can also earn points online at the Think Blue mall, which features more than 250 e-retailers like Lands’ End, Overstock.com and Teleflora.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Dodgers are the first major league baseball teams launching loyalty programs; another two baseball franchises are expected to sign on this summer. Boston-based Sports Loyalty Systems, the customer loyalty company that created this program, expects to have 12 baseball teams signed on by the end of 2007.

Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

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

ITEX Reports Transactions, Income, Repurchase Of Shares

The ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX) announced that New York franchisee John Castoro exceeded $20 million in transaction volume during the past 12 months, earning close to $900,000 in cash fees. CEO Steven White stressed, “Part of our expansion goal is to attract solid performers to become ITEX franchises, while we cultivate our existing independently-owned offices to grow organically.”

February/March Performance Totals:

·         Transaction volume of $37,004,000 compared to $23,299,000 in the same period of 2004, a 59% increase.

·         Cash deposits of $2,337,000 compared to $1,557,000 in the same period of 2004, a 50% increase.

·         Completed transactions comprising 49,112 compared to 28,017 in the same period of 2004, a 75% increase.

·         Member businesses totaling 22,000 compared to 13,400 in the same period of 2004, a 64% increase.

On March 23, 2006, the firm repurchased 300,000 shares of common stock from Collins Christensen (former CEO from 1999 to 2001) for 55¢ per share, or $165,000. The shares were immediately canceled reducing the overall common stock share count to 18,406,132. (Mr. Christensen’s holdings have been reduced to 1,259,130, or 7.3% of the outstanding shares, from a high of 14.3% in May 1999.)

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

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Here & There. . . 

  • The National Association of Realtors is forecasting that U.S. home prices will rise about 5% in 2006, far below the double-digit rates of the last five years. Buyers are backing away because of rising interest rates, and a clamp down by federal regulators on high risk home loans.
  • 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!
  • Here are two changes that might surprise you! Toyota should overtake General Motors as the world’s largest carmaker this year. And Pepsi seized the crown (from Coke) of largest cola stock market cap for the first time ever.

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