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The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!

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April 30, 2002

Bartercard Strengthens Australian Position
With Trade Limited Acquisition

Bartercard, a worldwide trade organization that has its roots in Australia (BarterNews cover story #39), has expanded once again by making a very important acquisition in Australia. On April 19 they acquired one of Australia's finest independent trade exchanges, Trade Limited (BarterNews cover story #45).

Many within the commercial barter industry know of Trade Limited, whose co-owner's David Johnstone (current President of IRTA-Global) and John Attridge have been big supporters of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA). Previous attempts to acquire Trade Limited were made by both BarterTrust and BarterNet, but fell short prior to closing.

All of Trade Limited's Gold Coast staff have accepted positions within Bartercard, and a physical relocation to the Bartercard national office is taking place.

Mrs. Fields Cookies Cuts Barter Deal With NBC

Twenty five years ago 20-year-old Debbie Fields, armed with a plate of cookies and a business plan, found a banker who would give her a small business loan for her first store.

In 1996 she sold the business; today the world's most famous cookie has 70% of the specialty cookie market.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary Mrs. Fields Famous Brands is involved in a major barter promotion with NBC's "Days of Our Lives" and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Together they're busily promoting a national baking contest with the winner having a walk-on role on the daytime drama in October.

The barter effort includes Fields' promoting the "Days of Our Lives" program with point-of-purchase materials. NBC reciprocates for Fields Cookies on TV and printed materials.

A cookie-baking contest has been written into the shows scrip--where the show's social-climbing Nancy will have her character's teen-age daughter discovering she has leukemia, and in turn the audience will be educated about the disease. A percentage of cookie sales will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society from October 2002 through February 2003.

Every Industry Must Continually Strive To Build Trust

The attendees at the recent Electronic Retailing Association's spring meeting in Miami were happy but concerned. Happy because the national media--broadcast and cable--were very friendly to the direct response industry (informercials), due to the business slump. But concerned too, because as the economy picks up the time-spots won't be as available.

The direct response industry is striving hard to overcome a less than sterling perception in the marketplace. In short, some companies still are working on the fringe and making outrageous claims, which erodes consumer confidence and makes it harder for those companies playing by the rules to keep customers' trust. (The commercial barter industry has faced the same consternation and challenges.)

Financing Remains Tight For Small And Midsize Companies

In today's business environment leveraged-buyout firms are finding a tailor-made opportunity because of the Enron scandal, as major companies are selling assets to clean up their balance sheets and provide more clarity about finances.

However, for smaller companies financing remains tight as banks find it hard to syndicate their debt. And junk-bond investors aren't that excited about midsize companies. So moving one's company is tougher when size is a factor. What to do? One option is to incorporate the use of barter--using trade dollars as part of any agreement.

In a coming issue of BarterNews, scheduled for fall publication this September, we report on how to gain leverage through barter when buying and selling your business. This valuable information was written by Donald Hunsberger, former chairman and professor of business law and instructor at Wharton School of Business. He's also been an active Southern California trader for nineteen years.

20 Articles are found under "Trade Exchanges" in our What's New Section including, "Ten ways barter can play an important role in the building of your assets."

Here And There. . .

  • A note to Victor Castano Jr., CEO of Alamo Barter...last week's story on your barter efforts on behalf of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau drew several e-mails saying they found your success motivating! Hopefully others can repeat your success Victor, in their local markets.

  • If you've missed any of our weekly Tuesday Reports the past two years we have an archive of past issues for you at the bottom of this week's letter...check it out!

  • For the third year in a row, will be exhibiting at the National Restaurant Association Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. According to Chris Sweis, CEO of ibart, his barter company is a strategic partner with the IHLA (Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association) and finds the cost of exhibiting well worth the price.

  • In our April 16 edition we suggested that technology advances were only one factor in the enormous problems the fiber-optic communication companies are facing. The other, as noted, was the use of debt rather than stock to finance the business. In the April 24 Wall Street Journal, it was noted that the accumulated debt taken on by the telecommunications industry was a staggering $2 trillion.

  • Internet advertising sales hit $2.5 billion during 2001, a 24.7% drop from 2000, according to a report from CRMi. The top buyer was eBay Inc. which spent $45.1 million, followed by General Motors ($43.3 million), Providian Corp. ($29.3 million), ($27.5 million), and Barnes & Noble ($26.2 million).

  • Latest wrinkle coming into the real estate market is the "interest-only" mortgages. These lower monthly payment loans on bigger homes will see borrowers paying only interest, no principal, for the first five years. The average interest-only loan is $560,000...more than three times the size of the average home loan.

    We like the idea that some within the barter industry are pursuing, i.e. using trade dollars as part of the down payment, lessening the mortgage itself. It's an untapped potential that could grow dramatically as the industry's fulfillment capabilities expand.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics latest data says 25% of the country's 130 million workers toil on Saturdays, Sundays, or all week-end for their main's indicative of our global economy and a consumer society that demands non-stop service.

  • There are 19 barter currencies. Trade dollars being one of the 19. How many can you name? If you can't name them, you can't use them! On page 64 of the FastStart Barter Program I, all are listed, as well as their "hard" and "soft" values.

This Issue's Glossary of Terms:
To apply a single cost or expense to several uses, or to disperse the costs
of an expense by paying for it (or parts of it) several times over.

Arbitron rating service. This service measures television and radio audiences.

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
? Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.