The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!
June 26, 2001
ITEX Revenues Grow, As Do Losses
ITEX Corporation, a national trade exchange founded in 1982 and trading on the over-the-counter bulletin board (ITEX), reported a $870,000 loss in the quarter ending April 30, 2001. (Last year for the same period the reported loss was $261,000.)
Company revenues increased 9% to $2,772,000 during that (third) quarter compared to $2,544,000 during the same period last year.
Online Exchange Services Find It Difficult Going
One of the first business-to-business online trading systems was Chemdexset up to serve the chemical industry. Their plan was tantalizingly simple: chemical sellers would pay modest transaction fees of 1% to 2% to find new markets.
The idea was that competition would drive down prices, and Chemdex would profit by hosting the online exchange as the service grew. In theory, purchasing would be streamlined with an easy online menuan advantage over having to flip through catalogs, make calls, or fax queries to suppliers.
But setting up the Chemdex marketplace (now known as Ventro) cost the company millions1.4 million product listings at $3 to $4 each to create, and an equal sum to change or update.
Then, due to low transaction fees, it would need to process billions of dollars in transactions to break even. Bottomline: The company was never able to attract the mass of clients to make the necessary trades which would create a profitable venture.
Even the companies that joined online exchanges out of fear of being left behind, then found their own well established internal purchasing systems to be more efficient.
Today, most of the roughly 1,500 b2b exchanges operated by third parties have sputtered and are struggling. Some online exchanges will undoubtedly succeed, yet it seems clear that one touted benefit of the Internet has been monumentally oversold...suppliers don't really want anyone between them and their customers.
ICON's New Hire Reinforces Service Commitment
Corporate barter company, ICON International located in Stamford (CT), has hired Carol A. Taber, former executive vice president and group publisher of Success, Working Woman, and Working Mother. She will serve as vice president of account management.
During her tenure as executive vice president of the three publications she achieved a 64-fold revenue increase on Working Woman magazine, and was a major contributor to the growth of the company with corporate revenues increasing to more than $100 million from $500,000 over a five-year period.
ICON says hiring Taber is a sign of their dedication to delivering the highest level of customer service in the corporate barter industry, as well as demonstrating the company's ongoing commitment to print media fulfillment. Icon's media services department executes buys for print, out-of-home, and broadcast media.
Here And There. . .
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