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

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May 2, 2000

In this week's report. . .

  • What bussiness owners and baseball owners have in common
  • Barter site for software professionals
  • Active International handles barter for web site
  • Barter veteran expands Stagebill
  • Here and there. . .

Regardless of Your Business, Barter Makes Sense

You And Multi-Millionaire Baseball Owner Have The Same Challenges!

The multi-millionaire owner of a major league baseball team mirrors the problems and challenges of the average business owner. One such major concern, regardless of their wealth and success, is having an excess of unsold product.

Even though baseball is America's No. 1 spectator sport (car racing is on their tail), and even though the league commissioners are continually patting themselves on the back...telling everyone how great they're doing...the fact remains, they still have almost half of the seats unsold. This amounts to 50 million seats over the course of the season!

Why can't they sell-out their product if it's so hot?! For the same reason every company across the country doesn't fare better. Brutal competition, plain and simple.

Just like the typical business owner, they don't have the only game in town. On any given day fans can buy tickets to a hundred different events. Or choose to go shopping, out to eat, sailing, or bicycling.

So even though major league baseball owners are more promotion-minded than the average business owner (typically close to half of a team's 82 home games have special promo nights), they could and should do more. And that certainly includes trading surplus tickets...because the benefits of barter will accrue for them, the same as for any business owner.

Barter's Benefits Are Many

Yes, every additional spectator, regardless of how they acquire the tickets, is a potential "fan" (a regular, cash-paying customer). And they will tell co-workers, friends, and neighbors about their wonderful time at the ball park spreading FREE word-of-mouth advertising.

Furthermore, they will spend cash to park their car, purchase souvenirs, and buy peanuts, hot dogs, pizza, beer, or waffle-cone sundaes...all new cash business!

Finally, the electrifying atmosphere at the ball park, when it's a full house, is an enhancement which further sells their product...a fun-filled night of entertainment. The benefits of barter are many.

When you stop to think about it, as business owners we're all in the same boat. Really, it doesn't matter what your business is, the customer's out to get the maximum "bang for the buck."

15,000 Software Professionals & 800 High Tech Employers Embrace Barter Site

A community site for software professionals and high tech employers,, is integrating's technology under a private label arrangement which will enable all members to begin trading.

Hitechclub community members will be able to trade items of interest, such as programming books, hardware, and various high-tech tools among one another. Altaf Shaikh, CEO and founder of hitechclub headquartered in Waltham (MA), says that providing barter services to his membership, without having to leave the web site, is a perfect value-added service.

Active International Handles's Barter Transactions

International Expansion Announced

Eden Prairie (MN)-based is a 1998 founded b2b wholesale exchange which offers anonymous transactions for the buying and selling of consumer goods. CEO and founder, Thomas J. Petters, says they have more than 700 companies registered on the site... representing 15,000 retail stores.

The secured site has credit available for pre-qualified buyers and sellers. And unlike most internet exchanges, redtagbiz takes ownership of every transaction, facilitating and verifying inventories by handling inspections. They also will handle shipping (logistics and delivery) when needed.

B2B auctions are handled through redtagbiz's alliance with FairMarket, and the barter transactions through an alliance with one of the world's largest corporate barter companies, Pearl River (NY)-based Active International.

The company has just opened its first European office in Rockanje, Netherlands. RedtagbizEuropeBV will serve all 15 countries comprising the European Union. And last month an office in Hong Kong was launched to serve the Asian-Pacific area.

Barter Veteran Fred Tarter Moves To Expand Stagebill. . .
The 75-Year-Old National Performing Arts Magazine

Fred B. Tarter has spent 35 years (1965-2000) in the corporate barter business. He's also maintained a strong interest in the communications industry, having purchased Screenvision from Capital Cities Broadcasting in 1979. As the largest cinema advertising company in the U.S., it now serves 14,000 screens in more than 200 markets.

Tarter also owns Stagebill, which he acquired from Primedia in 1998. Stagebill publishes program guides for Broadway and regional theaters, symphonies, ballet companies, and performing arts centers nationwide. It has a guaranteed circulation each month of 1.2 million, and publishes 50,000 programs daily for 28,000 performances per year.

As Chairman of Playbill, Tarter recently announced the appointment of Gerry Byrne, former publisher of Variety, as its new partner, president and CEO. Byrne will lead an aggressive growth plan at Stagebill that includes acquiring entertainment-related properties, expanding into new markets, and creating a performing arts web portal to serve the diversified world of entertainment.

Here and There. . .

  • The La Meridien Moscow Country Club will be site for the upcoming IRTA-Europe Moscow Conference May 12-17. For more information log-on to, then scroll down the title page for the IRTA Europe Conference link.

  • The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) has scheduled a regional conference for trade brokers in Atlanta, September 21-22. For details e-mail: (Alan Zimmelman, Executive Director).

  • Peter Benassi, chairman and CEO of New York and London-headquartered MRI International (a corporate barter company) has signed a strategic alliance with online advertising firm L90...a pre-eminent provider of sophisticated online advertising solutions for both advertisers and web publishers.

    "L90 provides strategic ad sales, design and marketing expertise, and flexible ad-serving technology," Benassi declared, "all of which will be extremely beneficial to our clients."

    MRI International currently works with several companies including,,,,,,,, and

  •, which acquired recently, has reported record first quarter earnings, which ended March 31. Revenues grew 39% from the fourth quarter of 1999 to $18.7 million. And gross margins increased to 44% from 42% in the prior quarter.

    Visits to ShopNow's networks increased 158% to over 55.4 million from 21.5 million visits in the fourth quarter of 1999. (This includes over 950,000 visits to, the primary component of the Business Commerce Network.) Their balance sheet shows over $120 million in cash and/or short-term investments.


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