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April 29, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/29/2008

ITEX San Diego Goes Green

To help celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the ITEX in San Diego office decided to go green. Rather than printing 700 130-page directories for their members, they will now be e-mailing them instead. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it also allows ITEX to provide a more current listing of its local members. A new e-mail directory will be sent every billing cycle to their ITEX members.

San Diego ITEX web site is http://111030.itex.com/

Newspaper Ads + Internet = Sales

According to the Newspaper Association of America, new consumer research, conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo and commissioned by Google, found that among people who research products and services after seeing them advertised in newspapers 67% use the Internet to find more information, and nearly 70% of them actually make a purchase following their additional research.

BBX Trade Exchange Offers Real Estate Investments

Following a successful listing on the National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX) in 2006, BBX Property Fund has issued a third prospectus to raise additional funds for property investment to add to their growing portfolio.

Investment in the Property Fund is open to the general public as well as members of the BBX exchange. The prospectus invites investors to apply for up to 2,000,000 Ordinary Shares and up to 8,000,000 B-Class Shares at an issue price of $1.00 each.

To apply for B-Class Shares, an investor must be, or apply to become, a member of the exchange thus being able to secure an investment that is tax effective, when used in conjunction with a self-managed superannuation fund. The company recommends that investors seek independent professional advice in this regard.

The BBX Property Fund is a licensed investment company established to invest in residential and commercial properties in the capital cities and growth centres of Australia and New Zealand.

Pies, Pork & Services Bartered For Homegrown Music

Bryan Moyer Suderman has launched something he calls community supported music. People who buy annual memberships in his company, SmallTall Music, receive regular deliveries of “fresh, homegrown, organic music.” Some members barter pork, pies, photography services, web site assistance and house painting as payment for their memberships.

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.


Sino Fibre Completes Strategic Private Placement To Establish Chinese Barter Exchange

Sino Fibre Communications (OTCBB:SFBE), an internet services provider in China, announced that it has completed a private placement of 1,671,416 units at a price of $0.31 per unit for gross proceeds of approximately $518,140, each unit consisting of one share of common stock of Sino Fibre and one share purchase warrant.

The proceeds of the unit offering will be used to complete Sino Fibre’s joint venture with CASME as previously announced.

The joint venture with CASME is to establish an official Chinese government-sanctioned barter exchange platform to process business to business (B-to-B) transactions among the 4.5 million medium and small private business enterprises currently under the membership of CASME and with the international barter exchange floor.

Sino Fibre is to invest $6 million (subject to financing) to own 85% and will manage the joint venture company business, CASME is to bring in Chinese central government sanction, assistance and support, as well as its business members and will own the remaining 15% of the joint venture.

According to Mr. Gao Guang Yu, the president of China Business Online Co. (Sino Fibre’s joint venture company with CASME), “By leveraging the strong government support and having the 4.5 million business members in our initial customer pool, Sino Fibre aims to build out the barter exchange platform and become one of the top B-to-B and barter business provider in China and in the world.”

Daniel Mckinney, CEO of Sino Fibre, said, “This is an amazing historical opportunity for us to partner directly with the Chinese government in developing and maximizing the potential of their internal trading and commerce, as well as to the rest of the world. To give our shareholders a point of reference of the value we are creating, Alibaba (internet services provider) raised $1.5 billion in their November 2007 IPO, and has 27 million (C-to-C and B-to-C) registered members worldwide.”

For more information about Sino Fibre Communications go to www.sinofibre.com.


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews

ITEX Applauds Midwest Business Exchange Contributions

ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX) has recognized Midwest Business Exchange (MBE), based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for its impressive contributions to the ITEX membership trading community during the last fifteen years.

“Midwest Business Exchange and owner, Jerry Howell, deserve special recognition for being a stellar reciprocal trading partner with ITEX for the last 15 years,” said Steven White, chairman/CEO of ITEX. “With more than $3 million in total transaction volume, MBE is our most active reciprocal partner. MBE’s top spot may get tougher to maintain after our announcement last week that Green Apple Barter has set a goal to provide $2 million in products and services into the trading community.”

Jerry Howell, founder/president of MBE stated: “In a little over two years, Midwest Business Exchange and ITEX have completed over one million dollars of transactions, coming and going. There’s one thing we value more than the ITEX dollar, however. That is our relationship with the many, fine ITEX brokers.”

Howell noted, “The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. Big box stores, national chains, and the internet have damaged local retailers and their margins have diminished. That’s why exchanges must strive to discover niches, specialties and forge partnerships that were not necessary a decade ago. Working with charities is one way we do this.

“Another such effort is the subsidiary, National Voice Exchange. NVE is remarkably similar to a trade exchange, but the members are radio stations and the currency is a voice credit. This allows stations with a limited number of voice talents to access over a hundred.

“Can we match the goal set by Green Apple? We certainly will make every effort not to MATCH the goal by our colleagues in Pittsburgh but to TOP it! We might even start a challenge; us folks in the Midwest are sensitive to bragging rights. Bring it on Mr. Krane!” he concluded.

“I have known Jerry for close to 20 years,” White reflected, “and appreciate his strong business ethics, loyalty to his client, and great sense of humor. We have a high level of trust and mutual respect for each other based upon years of sound, straight forward business transactions. As we refine our reciprocal partners to just a very select group, I am pleased to count MBE as a cornerstone.”

For more information visit www.itex.com.


Barter Companies Help Maintain 100% Occupancy On Your Billboards

By Frank Rolfe

Editor’s note: Frank Rolfe started his billboard empire from his coffee table, as a fresh graduate from Stanford University. It began as a resume builder for graduate school applications, and ended with a sale to a public company 14 years later.

Using unique strategies he developed from desperate competition with much larger adversaries, Rolfe eventually owned more billboard units than any private individual in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He has authored the book Big Bucks from Big Signs, available at www.outdoorbillboard.com.

Is 100% occupancy on billboards a realistic expectation, or an impossible fantasy? Using the methods I am going to describe, you will find that 100% occupancy is a fully attainable goal, and a minimum performance benchmark for the future.

I developed these techniques from trial and error on hundreds of billboards I rented over more than a decade. Once you have learned the technique, you can rapidly put the systems in place on every billboard in your inventory.

The key to maintaining 100% occupancy on a billboard is to have multiple layers of advertisers in place for the billboard space.

The first layer is the regular, retail advertiser. This is your bread and butter, and there is no substitute for this advertiser. This is the one that pays the bills and makes the budgets work. However, try as hard as you will, this layer will always have some degree of vacancy.

Every time the advertiser does not renew, there will normally be some lag time before you can find a replacement. That being said, you should normally start re-leasing a billboard sixty days before it becomes vacant, if the existing advertiser will give you that much lead time in the form of notice of non-renewal. Start pushing the advertiser to renew at least 60 days before lease expiration.

The second layer is an advertiser who would like that advertising space, but does not want to pay the retail rate. He is happy to get some time on the sign at a reduced rate, even if it is only for a few months in between the retail advertiser. You will find this advertiser as a byproduct of looking for the retail advertiser. This person will tell you that they really like to sign, but cannot afford the price. So we ask them if they would like to be on the sign now and then for a cheap price.

Often the price is only 50% of the retail rate. You print this ad on a sheet of vinyl, and have it at the ready to put up the minute the retail advertiser has expired. You send them a letter the day their ad goes up, and a letter the day it comes down, and bill them for the period at an already agreed to daily rate. Even at 50% of retail price, this advertiser offers needed cash-flow to pay the ground rent when otherwise the sign would sit vacant.

The third layer is an advertiser that wants generic coverage throughout your inventory. Its role is to make up for a missing second layer advertiser. It might be a radio station, or someone selling something like Mary Kay. They just want to reach raw traffic, regardless of where it is. This layer should also pay about 50% of the retail price, or slightly lower than that. Just like the second layer, you should document the start and end date in writing, and bill them a per day rate.

In some cases, you might have to take trade or barter credits instead of cash for this tier advertiser, often through a barter exchange firm. A barter exchange works like an intermediary for the advertiser and billboard company, with the advertiser paying in goods or services that he produces, and receiving trade “credits” for those items. You should call some barter exchanges (AKA trade exchanges) to learn which advertisers are already members in the exchange.

Sometimes you will want to add a fourth layer, which would be public service messages and the like. Normally, this tier of advertiser will not pay cash, but will give you the possibility of a tax write-off (talk to your CPA). Potential advertisers from this group include non-profit agencies, such as the American Heart Association.

Using this layering method, you should never again have a vacancy in your inventory. In addition, you should never have a sign that is not at least cash flowing. Banish vacancy and loss of income from your budgets using this system, and you will be miles ahead of the competition, especially when the recession hits.

One footnote to this article: I received a call from my banker during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. The bank examiners were questioning my financial statements and occupancy reports, since I was showing 100% occupancy, which they believed was impossible.

Convinced that I was cheating, to audit me, they asked me to drive them by all my signs right then. We drove for about eight hours straight, by hundreds of billboard faces, and not one was blank. They were extremely disappointed that they had wasted a day looking at billboards, and were unable to catch me in any type of fraud. If only they had managed their bank as well as I was managing my signs—they failed a few months later and were taken over by the FDIC.


Gas Prices & Love Of Automobiles Affecting Our Lives

Rising gas prices are already taking a toll on Americans’ discretionary spending—all the way up to influencing purchasing a new house—according to new marketing research from Kelley Blue Book.

Gas prices are already affecting vehicle sales in every segment, and traditional sport utility vehicles have been especially hard hit according to Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. He says other industries will feel the pinch as consumers cut out life’s little luxuries like clothes, eating out and entertainment, just so they can pay the fuel bills.

According to the Kelley survey, 65% of consumers in 2008 were spending less on non-essential retail items because of higher gas prices, compared with 42% six months before in October 2007. Some 53% said they were eating out less often, compared with 38% in October. Also 48% said they were purchasing fewer entertainment media items, compared with 33% six months prior.

The decline isn’t limited to small purchases, either. Ten percent said they would delay the purchase of a new home, compared with 5% in October 2007. Just 15% said they would carpool or find alternative transportation, compared with 10% in October 2007.

The percentage of consumers who said they would not change any spending habits declined over the six months to 22% in April 2008 from 43% in October. This really indicates how deeply the auto industry is ingrained in our lives...instead of cutting back on driving, Americans are cutting back on other things instead.


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!

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