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April 21,  2009

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/21/2009

Business Owners Are Bartering More

According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey of business owners, business owners are bartering more. Nearly half of business owners (45%) are open to bartering for new products or services with customers or suppliers. And nearly one-quarter (23%) report their barter activities have increased due to the economic environment.

Baby Bagga Has Arrived

Bob Bagga, co-founder of BizXchange, and his wife Anita have announced that their baby boy arrived on April 10, birthed at Toronto�s Mount Sinai Hospital. The baby and mom are doing great.

Commercial Radio Stations Asking For Donations

With radio advertising down 9%, commercial radio stations are taking a page from public radio � asking listeners for donations. A barter twist of sorts can be included, wherein top donors get access to the station�s special events.

Consumers Focus On Reducing Debt

A U.S. spending Monitor survey by Discover credit card company shows that 35% of consumers expect to reduce their debt level over the next six months. (Households reduced their total debt last year for the first time since World War II.)

Countries Bartering For Farmland

Countries fearing food shortages are making bilateral barter deals with poorer countries to acquire (via leases) farmland to provide crops for their own citizens. For example, Libya is leasing 250,000 acres from Ukraine in a barter deal for oil. While Saudi Arabia is presently seeking deals with Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

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. . .)

Tradia�s Franchise Efforts Expanding Rapidly

The Tradia Commerce Network is growing dramatically in today�s challenging economic environment. With a current 13 operating franchises (the company �closed� five franchise-sales in January and one in March) an additional four new areas will be added in April, and six are expected to come on board in May.

Matthew Humphreys, President & CEO, expects to open another twenty franchises before the end of the year. Tradia provides in-house financing for the franchisees and currently has 4,000 members in their expanding network. The company was founded in July 1995.

Additional franchise information is available at or by calling (503) 656-7900, extension 103.

Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It�s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry�s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it�s because we�re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there�s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let�s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this �cash only� focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don�t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It�s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.

International Monetary Systems Outlines 2008 Highlights

2008 was a year filled with achievements and challenges for International Monetary Systems. After record-setting growth in 2007 triggered by IMS� acquisitions of two of America�s largest trade exchanges, the company spent much of 2008 integrating those operations and continuing to build infrastructure.

IMS highlights of 2008:

         They completed its investment in new computers, monitors, printers, servers, and other equipment, which has enhanced the efficiency of our broker and sales staffs.

         Substantial progress was made in upgrading their web site, with new written content and graphics, new testimonials, an educational video, a client/broker blog, and audio clips which tell their story to prospective members. New traffic to their web site has increased 76% from 2007. The member portal has been expanded with a new online barter marketplace, travel-on-trade booking area, and account maintenance tools. As a result, more and more members use the exchange�s web site to sell, buy, or simply input a transaction or check their account. IMS is transforming member behavior to positively impact our efficiency.

         Last year they acquired the source code for TradeWorks� proprietary clearing system, then migrated the entire program from its original RPG format into a more current dot-net technology. This process is ongoing as they near the official rollout of the most updated version of the new Trade Network Tracking System (TNT). The cost of this project is approaching $500,000.

         The IT department now has five full-time employees, including a talented graphics designer, who are servicing the network, converting the software and enhancing the IMS web site.

         The firm has worked diligently to increase the productivity and cost-effectiveness of its outside sales force. Some of their losses in the first two quarters of 2008 were a direct result of non-productive efforts. The leaner, more efficient group has enrolled more than 3,000 new members during 2008. Yet as impressive as that number seems, it barely matched the attrition of existing members who had stopped functioning in the barter system, or had ceased business operations.

         Their annual (holiday) Barter Expo series in November and December surpassed the attendance and trading volume experienced in 2007. Overall volume at these events increased by 16%, with aggregate sales of over $3 million.

         During 2008 IMS acquired two small exchanges in Boston (MA) and Long Island (NY), and completed the acquisition of New York Commerce Group.

         The media coverage of IMS in 2008 was fortuitous, ending the year with exposure from national and local television, and many different print outlets, large and small. During the year CEO Don Mardak, was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network, and by the producer of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Many of the TV shows broadcast last year also featured IMS clients who gave glowing reports of barter�s positive impact on their cash flow. The IMS web site home-page features much of this coverage.

         IMS last year repurchased more than one million of its shares under contractual obligations with former owners of companies acquired in previous years. This increased their treasury stock to more than two million shares.

The company believes that all of these achievements portend a great future for International Monetary Systems. Confidence, however, is tempered with caution. While 2008 brought great achievements, they sustained some set-backs as a result of the nation�s economic downturn. While cash receipts increased very slightly from 2007, that gain was offset by a sizable trade-dollar loss from within the corporate barter department.

IMS does not rely on any one department to drive its success. Their system is one that spreads the risk and reward among a large network: when one area is down, another area is up. The same is true for the various markets they serve.

For more information visit


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

         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

         Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click here.) 

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Future Entrepreneurs � Do You Have What It Takes?

Here are 10 questions to ask to see whether you�re up for the challenge of entrepreneurship.

1) Are you willing and able to bear great financial risk?

2) Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle for potentially many years?

3) Is you significant other on board?

4) Do you like all aspects of running a business?

5) Are you comfortable making decisions on the fly with no playbook?

6) What�s your track record of executing your ideas?

7) How persuasive and well-spoken are you?

8) Do you have a concept you�re passionate about?

9) Are you a self-starter?

10) Do you have a business partner?

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 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our �Secondary Capital Section.�

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