April 26, 2005
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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IRTA Concludes Successful Meetings In Istanbul
The International Reciprocal Trade Association’s Board of Directors met April 8 in Istanbul, Turkey, at the headquarters of host Turk Barter. The meeting was attended by all nine board members and IRTA’s executive director, Krista Vardabash.
Mr. M. Sirri Simsek, Turk Barter’s president, was interviewed on several Istanbul economic television programs along with Ms. Vardabash. There was also considerable front page coverage by Istanbul’s leading daily newspaper.
Prior to the board meeting, influential European trade exchanges from the UK, Poland, Belgium and Turkey, as well as international members from North America, met for a round-table discussion on what standards are key for the commercial barter industry.
Vardabash explained that the round-table was a furtherance of the mandate by IRTA’s membership in Cancun, Mexico, last fall at the 25th anniversary celebration Barter Congress.
“Our membership told us in a loud and clear manner that they not only wanted, but expected, standards and unity from IRTA,” she revealed. “We are compelled to act on those demands and feel that this meeting in Istanbul, as the first of many that will follow this year, was very apropos to be held where the continents meet.”
“What we have here is a failure to communicate!”
Years ago, one of the most visible people in the barter industry said the #1 reason why the industry wasn’t farther along in its development was due to a “failure to communicate” by those in the business.
This realization was the genesis of The Competitive Edge newsletter, now into its 18th year of publication. Trade exchange owners who use this powerful marketing and promotional tool are never guilty of “failing to communicate.”
As the owner of a trade exchange you must stay in front of your clients. Informing, educating, and inspiring them, because your clients’ bartering is a relatively small percentage of their overall business. So if you don’t keep their interest and enthusiasm for trade at a high level, you lose.
Your primary aim, like all other businesses, is to get your clients coming back for more. Every extraordinary business (and every trade exchange owner who wants to be extraordinary) knows that the customer you have, is a lot less expensive to sell than the customer you don’t yet have!
Want to take your exchange to a higher level? Use The Competitive Edge newsletter in your operation—it “sells” the many benefits of working through your trade exchange like nothing else!
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IRTA Designates Bartercard First Official Certified Trade Exchange
The world’s largest trade exchange has been accredited with the designation of “certified trade exchange” under the precepts and sponsorship of the International Reciprocal Trade Association.
(To become an IRTA Certified Trade Exchange requires providing supporting evidence, via letter from a qualified CPA or local tax professional, that the exchange has filed 1099-B’s on time for the prior tax year.
Additionally, the exchange must provide a copy of its membership agreement along with a brief explanation of how the agreement handles deficits in the exchange system, i.e., what assurances/protection have been met for ensuring the value of the trade dollar issued.)
The announcement was made April 9 by Executive Director Krista Vardabash and Global President Lois Dale at the IRTA Conference, “Uniting People & Standards In A Cashless Trading World,” held in Istanbul.
Bartercard is located in 16 countries and has 120 offices. Over 70,000 businesses are members of the exchange and last year global trade volume totaled A$1.3 billion.
Bartercard is now a public company, trading on the Aim Market of the London Stock Exchange.
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Tourism Rises In U.S.
The Commerce Department announced that over 46 million international visitors came to the U.S. last year, up 12% over 2003. The all-time peak for foreign travel to this country was 51.2 million arrivals in 2000, with New York, Florida, and California being the most popular markets.
The Travel Industry Association of America reports that U.S. market share of overall global travel has declined 38% since 1992. Meanwhile international arrivals overall have risen 52%, as many up-and-coming destinations (like Dubai) have poured resources into marketing themselves.
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Money Manager Says America Under-Indebted
Kenneth L. Fisher, a Woodside (CA)-based money manager, says it’s time to be bullish because America is not overindebted. He believes the country could profitably take on more loans from abroad and invest the money in productive assets...because in his estimation we’re underindebted.
Debt worriers are always wrong, he argues, in that they focus on a moral philosophy espousing that debt is bad and more debt is worse. Consequently they don’t like to see the U.S. importing capital from abroad, but what they fail to consider is the uses to which that capital is put.
“If you can borrow at 6% to build a factory that will yield a return of 12%, you should borrow,” Fisher contends. What is the right debt level for society to carry? The answer, according to him, is that level where our marginal borrowing costs approach our marginal return on assets. (The same formula that a corporation would use.)
The U.S. balance sheet now shows a net worth of $52 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, i.e. $97 trillion of assets in the economy offset by $45 trillion of debt.
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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- What’s the value of a brief appearance on the Today show? According to Multivision Inc., a company that tracks TV broadcasts, the publicity value of the appearance is about $250,000. Today is watched by an average 6.1 million people each weekday.
The National Association of Trade Exchanges annual convention is slated for May 5 - 7 in Atlanta. One of the anticipated announcements at the Awards Banquet is the NATE “Broker of the Year” award. This year’s finalists include: Donna Burlingham of Eagle Barter Exchange, Lisa Boudreau of Barter Business Unlimited, Dianne Gasper of Greenapple Barter, Patti Kurtz of Trade Exchange of America, and Tina Powers of VIP Barter.
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Last week we reported on an exclusive, oceanfront Hampton summer-rental property. Now we hear of a grandiose New York project that’s underway by developer Frank J. Sciame. Located at Eighty South Street in lower Manhattan, it will be among the most ambitious buildings in the world...with condos starting at $35 million.
In the April 2005 issue of Briefing, a publication that goes out to 180,000 American Express Merchants, there was an upbeat pro-barter article titled “The Phenomenon of Bartering.” Quoted in the article were Joan Varner, Executive VP of Illinois Trade Association, the largest independent trade exchange in the U.S., and Bob Meyer, Publisher of BarterNews.
Russians throughout history have lived large, from the gilded palaces and Faberge eggs of the czars to the epic miseries of the Second World War. Today’s prosperity is no exception.
Fourteen years after the arrival of capitalism, Forbes magazine’s annual survey of the wealthy last year found Moscow had more billionaires than any other city on the planet. The net worth of Russia’s 36 richest men and women, according to Forbes’ calculations, is more than $110 billion...equal to 24% of the nation’s gross domestic product!
Rewards points are expanding into banking as the retail banking environment is becoming increasingly competitive. Case in point is Citibank, whose customers can now earn points for using its banking services similar to those earned with their credit cards.
Extra reward points will be earned if they have the following Citi products: mortgages, home-equity loans or lines of credit, certificates of deposit, online bill payment, direct deposit, and savings or money-market accounts.