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

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June 20, 2000

In this week's report. . .

  • Bartercard puts hold on IPO
  • Barter in Australia growing on all levels
  • Network Commerce poised to grow
  • Use your trade exchange to facilitate promoting your business
  • Here and there. . .

Business As Usual For Bartercard Despite Withdrawal

Bartercard Ltd. (www.bartercard.com), one of the world's largest trade exchanges, has withdrawn its $20 million public float because of market conditions.

Announcing the decision, Executive Chairman, Wayne Sharpe, said that while the company had received enthusiastic support from its members (the trade exchange members priority allocation was over-subscribed) and public investors, who knew and understood Bartercard well, uncertain market conditions had caused large investors and institutions to refrain from investing in new floats.

Sharpe believes this under-subscription was a consequence of the recent NASDAQ crash, and resulting nervousness and uncertainty. "Unfortunately, our timing was slightly off. When NASDAQ plummeted, we were in the final stages of preparing to launch our float, and we were really too far down the track to delay things."

He indicated that this general share market uncertainty had already seen a number of other Australasian share floats being canceled or postponed in recent months, while others had either been under-subscribed, or attracted low listing prices.

"While the financial markets are volatile, Bartercard's trading economy is actually very strong, and we are continuing to expand both in terms of membership growth and trading volume," Sharpe reported.

Sharpe concluded his announcement by stating, "We will not rush into any decisions, but rather re-focus on our business and the business plans that have already made us one of the largest and most successful barter companies in our industry...worldwide."


Barter's Use, On All Levels, Is Growing In Australia

According to Sydney University Associate Professor of Accountancy, Cynthia Coleman, it is impossible to assess how much barter is being transacted in Australia.

"Barter is happening at an increased level in all areas of society, even the very highest," she declared.

When professional exchange occurs, two parties having something they can mutually trade, Coleman contends that no one else needs to know about it. "The tax man never hears about the transaction (if it's one-on-one)that's going on, and that will continue," she indicated.

Coleman's comments were made in response to the Workplace Relations Minister, Peter Reith, as well as the Treasurer and Prime Minister, who had predicted billions could be raised in GST (taxes) from those not currently declaring their barter activity (income).


Research Analyst Says Reinvented Company Will Thrive In B2B Bartering Arena

The June 16 segment of the weekly RadioWallStreet had as its guest, Senior Research Analyst Tim Klein of US Bancorp Piper Jaffray. His commentary centered around a new economy on the Internet...B2B (business-to-business) barter.

According to Klein, online barter has a great future since "sometimes currency (money) is in short supply" and the need for an alternative currency exists, especially in and among the small business sector.

Klein stated that Network Commerce (NASDAQ:NWKC) is now in a position to cash in on their new acquisition, the Ubarter network, because of Network Commerce's broad commerce platform. At the time of the acquisition Ubarter had some 3,800 clients. Today, after an ambitious marketing campaign, that number has grown to 9,200.

The senior research analyst concluded his commentary by stating that Network Commerce has $110 million in cash after a successful secondary offering, which was completed before the recent downturn. "They're sitting pretty, and expect to be profitable by the fourth quarter of 2001," Klein noted. He sees an upside target price for Network Commerce to be $28 per share. The stock is now selling at around $6.


"Make An Impact" Inexpensively, Plus Build Your Company's Name

Looking for more business? Want an inexpensive (but very productive) way to get your name in front of your present as well as prospective new clients? Then Begin by calling your trade exchange broker to see what's available in the way of promotional items.

Things to get your logo on...like coffee mugs, paper weights, luggage tags, bottle openers, baseball caps, fishing lures...you name it!

Promotional giveaways are the fastest growing sector in the advertising business. Companies currently spend more than $8 billion a year on these items, because they work. (As a medium it's bigger than outdoor billboards, and is catching up to magazines as an advertising medium.)

In the late 19th century promotional freebies first began appearing, as small-town newspapers and print shops looked for new business to keep their presses rolling. Horse blankets, fly swatters, buggy whips, playing cards, yo-yos--anything that would take ink--got squeezed into the flatbed presses. Then later in the 1940s and 1950s calendar giveaway promotions burst upon the scene.

Today's Most Popular Promotional Products

  • Business card files. Still used despite technological advances, these organizing accessories will display your name prominently on a prospect's desk.

  • Calculators. Useful and amazingly inexpensive. A new entry is a small, thin calculator that attaches to a computer keyboard.

  • Rulers. The vinyl variety is ideal for targeting all types of business prospects. Light and compact, they are easy to mail.

  • Area code indicator. A vinyl card displaying major cities and area codes is useful for anyone who does business by phone.

  • Luggage tags. Excellent for targeting people on the go, plus colorful tags make spotting one's luggage easier.

    Editor's Note: The power of a promotional item is very real, as a Southern Methodist University study showed. That study found that when a food delivery service's customers were given a $2 coupon, a promotional item worth $2, or nothing at all, those who received the promotional item ordered more frequently, reordered faster, and spent more money per order, than did the customers who either received coupons or nothing at all.

Here And There. . .

  • NetMediaVC, a media venture capital firm that helps fund internet companies (by assisting them in branding and sales objective), has appointed six advertising/marketing industry veterans to its advisory board. (The NetMediaVC story was reported on in the recent issue, #52, of BarterNews.)

  • Nike has been a tireless barterer...expanding their name and reach in the marketplace. One of their main marketing efforts includes "all-sports" contracts with some of the nation's largest universities. Ohio State, for example, signed a $9.25 million barter deal and received Nike apparel and shoes over five years. Some 800 athletes as well as Ohio State coaches are outfitted by Nike, for tens-of-millions of spectators to see, in person and on TV.

  • ExchangeAnything.com is partnering with INDOlink.com, the leading portal for Indians (Asian-Indians and India-enthusiasts) worldwide. INDOlink has 500,000 members and felt the ExchangeAnything facility would be another service the global Indian community would appreciate, in that it's difficult to acquire ethnic goods through popular online auction sites and newspaper classifieds.

  • Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council is considering legalizing barter among Taiwanese and Chinese fishermen in the Taiwan Strait, believing it will help promote Taiwan's outlying islands' economy.

 

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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