The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!
May 28, 2002
Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
What Are Your Thoughts
Fifteen years ago Michael Gershman spent 14 months criss-crossing the country, conducting scores of interviews for his book, Smarter Barter. Below are his thoughts on why there wasn't more bartering occurring...
1. First, in his only contradiction as to why there isn't more bartering taking place, Gershman suggested that much more barter does actually occur in the marketplace than we think. However, because of the negative connotation in some quarters, it's labeled differently by the participants. Example: We don't barter, we exchange real estate.
2. Then he proceeded to note why there isn't more bartering: We've been conditioned to think cash. Best illustrated by the actions of a company that is willing to sell distressed/over-run merchandise for pennies on the dollar (10-15 cents) because it's "cash," versus trading for a $1.00 worth of a product or service.
3. Gershman heard from a prominent airline executive that there is a psychological problem regarding "barter." As kids we all traded, the executive explained, now as adults we tend to still think of barter as we did when we were 10 years old--and seeing ourselves thinking in this context presents a psychological problem. It's something "kids do."
4. Another well-known psychologist suggested the reason for barter's negative connotation is the tenuous ties to reality in our society, one of which is money. "When you circumvent money you're threatening to cut someone's ties to reality. We all want security, not threats."
5. On the positive side, Gershman said that the perception will change through education and the passage of time. "It's a great way to do business and it has a tremendous future, but good public relations are a must too," Gershman emphasized.
Note: What are your thoughts on the subject? Your comments are welcomed, e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Idea Can Change The World, With A Barter Assist
Roy Megarry, 65, is the former publisher of Canada's prestigious Globe & Mail newspaper. Some 15 years ago he started a nonprofit company called Tools for Development. The premise was simple but powerful: Make secondhand equipment available to poor entrepreneurs at an affordable price. (Initially he gave tools away, but found that many sat idle. He soon realized that people attach more value to something they've paid for.)
Megarry was inspired to take action after a 1983 visit to a slum outside Lima, Peru, where he was attending a publishers' meeting. Although Megarry was born in a slum in Belfast, he recalls never having seen Third World poverty on such a scale. A few years later while visiting a technical school for boys in Lima, the Canadian priest who ran the school told him they needed saw blades and drill bits.
Megarry wrote to the president of Sears Canada, and in exchange for the donation of new drill bits and other parts, Megarry traded Sears ad space in the Globe & Mail.
In 1992 he quit his career as a publisher to devote more time to Tools. Last year Megarry got a Rotary International arm to pick up 75% of the cost of shipping tools from Canada.
So far 2,500 entrepreneurs have used Tools to buy 6,000 pieces of equipment for $1.2 million. Megarry says they've created or helped sustain 10,000 jobs. Now his fostering entrepreneurship efforts are looking to tap into the U.S. corporate marketplace for tools.
LOOKING BACK...Tuesday Report, September 7, 1999...
We looked at the value of one's "Intangible Assets" and the famous 33-year-old motivational guru Anthony Robbins. He traded on his name, reputation, and charisma (but no money) for a $276 million stake in a new self-improvement web site.
(Currently, the AnthonyRobbins.com site is offering a new program, "The Anthony Robbins Platinum Partnership." It's the highest level offered of personalized coaching, available for $65,000 annually.)
Also noted in our
very first newsletter was a new site, TradeandSwap.com. And the incredible
trade of Barry Halper's--where he tradedsix bottles of J&B scotch
to Lou Gehrig's widow for Gehrig's New York Yankee uniform. Halper later
auctioned off the uniform for $450,000!
you know the four steps to follow toward developing a successful
reciprocal purchase when vendors call on your company? Click on "What's
New," then click "Trade exchanges" to find and read the
Here And There. . .
Issue's Glossary of Terms:
We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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