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June 1, 2010

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/01/2010

Gift-Tax Exclusion Good Estate-Planning Option

One of the best estate-planning options remains the $13,000 annual gift-tax exclusion. Anyone may give another person up to that amount per year in cash or property, free of gift taxes.

One partner of a married couple can double the gift and the exemption. So a couple with three married children and six grandchildren could give away over $300,000 a year, tax-free.

Legendary Investor�s Advice

Seth Klarman, president of the Baupost Group, an investment firm in Boston that manages $22 billion in assets, says one of the best ways to protect against a decline in purchasing power is to buy whatever is �out of favor, loathed and despised.�

He says forget about gold or other trendy hedges. His three private partnerships have returned an average annual yield of about 19% since inception in 1983 � and nearly 17% annually over the past decade when stocks were going nowhere.

Creditcard Issuers Charging More Than Consumer Credit Cards

Over the past six months, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and Wells Fargo, have raised interest rates for new small-business creditcards offered on the Internet roughly six times faster than rate increases on consumer cards, according to, a consumer help site that tracks creditcard offers.

On average, interest rates for small-business cards were 13.7% higher in April than last October, while rates for consumer cards, on average, were just 2.4% higher.

IMS Annual Shareholder Meeting Scheduled

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:ITNM) has scheduled its annual meeting for Thursday, June 17, at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel. Shareholders as of May 7 will be eligible to vote on the business presented as well as the election of three directors.

For more information click here.

More People Thinking Of Owning A Business

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by the software-maker Intuit, about one in five people (17% actually) interviewed have actively worked on starting their own business in the past year. Intuit says the web has made it cheaper and easier than ever to turn your favorite hobby into a business.

College Grads Facing Tough Job Market

College graduates in 2010 are facing a tough job market. The vast majority of states in the U.S. had higher unemployment rates this past April than a year earlier, according to the Labor Department.

An Expanded New Business Deduction

The tax laws are constantly changing. For example the HIRE Act, passed in March 2010, raised the first year expensing limit for equipment purchases made in 2010 to $250,000. (The limit that had been set for 2010 prior to the new law change was $134,000.)

Profitable small businesses that need machinery, equipment, furniture and computers, can write off the cost in the year of purchase, rather than having to depreciate the cost over a number of years. Entrepreneurs should work with a CPA or other tax advisor to stay abreast of new deductions that will enable them to save on small business taxes.

All back issues of "From the Desk...� can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a �box� at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)

NATE Holding 26th Annual Convention This Week

The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) has scheduled its 26th annual convention at the Astor Crowne Hotel in New Orleans where nearly 30 trade exchanges are expected to attend, on June 3-5.

The convention, hosted by Crescent City Trade Exchange, consists of seminars for trade exchange owners and brokers as well as sales representatives. Topics of discussion will include, but are not limited to the following: brokering in today�s economy, how to expand your business through marketing and PR, referrals, and facilitating successful trade fairs.

Along with the seminars and discussion panels, convention attendees have plenty of action to look forward to this year. Many social events are planned as a way for the various exchanges to interact and learn what the others have to offer in hard goods and in travel. NATE has also planned a dinner cruise on New Orleans� Creole Queen paddle-wheeler, and the annual awards ceremony will take place at Michaul�s restaurant.

For more information contact Lauren Pound at (678) 302-6772.

Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company�s listing on isn�t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site receives heavy traffic � with over 150,000 page-views every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the thousands of articles, the weekly �Tuesday Report,� and the �Contacts Section� of our site. They use the latter to find barter companies with which to do business.

Is your barter company�s listing up-to-date?

To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company�s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here�s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.

Minutes Of The Joint Business Meeting Of The Assembly Of Barter Companies Of Europe & Asia, With IRTA-Europe

(Held At The Hotel Napoleon, Paris, France, May 2, 2010)

1. It was moved by Giuseppe Littera, seconded by Dorottiya Szabo, that the Assembly and IRTA-Europe draw up guidelines for international trading among barter companies. Approved unanimously.

2. It was moved by Sanjay Thakrar, seconded by Atul Sharma, that an insurance reserve be established to cover losses from credit extension, based on a percentage of the value of each trade. Approved unanimously.

3. It was moved by Dorottiya Szabo, seconded by Max Giannopoulos, that IRTA-Europe explore the possibility of obtaining funds from the EEC. Approved unanimously.

4. The draft letter from IRTA and the Assembly to the European Commission, proposed to be signed by IRTA President David Wallach and Assembly Chairman Sirri Simsek, expressing the barter industry�s concern that regulations dealing with financial clearinghouses may be construed to apply to trade clearinghouses, and requesting that trade clearinghouses be exempt from regulation of financial clearinghouses, was approved by the Assembly (the decision was unanimous by Assembly members in Paris; members not present in Paris were given an advance copy of the letter and none have objected). The joint letter now awaits action by the IRTA Global Board of Directors.

5. It was moved by Dr. Lee Oi Kum, seconded by Maximilien Urso, that we work to constitute IRTA-Europe as a legal entity. Approved unanimously.

6. It was moved by Dr. Lee Oi Kum, seconded by Nuno Ladeiras, that members present may volunteer to constitute the founder board to draw up the legal foundation for IRTA Europe. Approved unanimously.

7. Whereupon the following persons agreed to constitute the founder board of IRTA Europe: Nuno Ladeiras, Dorottiya Szabo, Guiseppe Littera, Sanjay Thakrar, Dariusz Brzozowiec, and Alina Piddubna. Alina Piddubna agreed to serve as leader of the founder board. These actions were decided collectively, without objection, by the 16 IRTA-Europe members at the Conference, and are deemed approved.

8. It was moved by Sanjay Thakrar, seconded by Dorottiya Szabo, that IRTA-Europe shall have a Treasurer. Approved with one dissenting vote.

9. Sanjay Thakrar nominated Atul Sharma to be elected Treasurer of IRTA Europe; the nomination was seconded by Dorottiya Szabo. No further nominations were received, it was moved and seconded that nominations be closed, nominations were closed without objection, and Atul Sharma was deemed elected unanimously to be Treasurer of IRTA-Europe.

The foregoing minutes are submitted for approval. If revised in a material way, the minutes will be submitted again for approval. If no material revisions are made, on June 8 the minutes will be considered approved by the Conference.

Respectfully submitted,
Member, Global Board of Directors (for Europe)
International Reciprocal Trade Association
Secretary to the Assembly


25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at

         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

         Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click here.) 

Click here

Buy.Com Founder Sells Company Twice For Multi-Millions!

Scott Blum, who�s 46 and the founder of Buy.Com, has scored big-time once again. He�s now sold his company twice, first time he pocketed $195 million and did so again recently for $250 million, in an all-cash transaction. In both cases the sales were made to Japanese companies. BarterNews has followed Blum�s story because Buy.Com company headquarters are located seven miles from us.

Blum has an interesting story that�s worth noting �

As an only child, Scott was born in San Jose in 1964. As a hyperactive child Scott was placed in a swim class at age 5 to channel his boundless energy. By age 8 he had become a national champion and showed so much promise that his family moved from San Jose to Orange County so he could join one of the best swim clubs in the country, the Mission Viejo Nadadores. By age 14 he had met with huge success, earning 4 gold medals, 2 silver and a bronze.

A prankster at heart, he got kicked out of Mission Viejo High School in his junior year when he �Krazy glued� the locks at the school, shutting it down for two days. On another occasion he drove the principal�s golf cart into the school�s swimming pool.

He was sent to live with a family friend in Englewood (CO) and graduated from Cherry Creek High School. But the lure of waves brought him back to Southern California.

He took a job parking cars at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dana Point and bragged to his buddies that one day he�d own a home in the elite development across from the hotel, which turned out to be true.

In 1995 Blum took a job selling shoes at a Nordstrom department store and within three months was the top shoe salesman. While at Nordstrom�s he started his first company, Microbanks, one of the initial sellers of add-on memory modules for Macintosh computers.

He had the astute business sense to lock in a contract to buy memory chips from Texas Instruments and Micron just before prices skyrocketed. In the first year they made a net profit if $1.2 million on revenues of $1.8 million. A year later, just days before his 21 birthday, he sold Microbanks to San Diego-based Sentron Technology for $2.5 million.

He then cofounded Pinnacle Micro with his father. The company burgeoned into an $81 million-a-year business. He left the company after 10 years, ready to move on. As a community college dropout with no technology training, Blum, the master salesman, convinced the big-time Softbank Venture Capital to invest $225 million in Buy.Com.

His business model was simply to attract customers by selling everything below cost, drive revenues with premiere advertisers by guaranteeing them a buying market, and keep costs down by outsourcing fulfillment.

One year later, in 1999 he took out $195 million and retired from Buy.Com prior to the company�s first filing to go public. In 2001, after the bust, Blum bought back all shares of the company at 17-cents a share, for approximately $15 million and subsequently took the company private.

He just sold his privately held company again in mid-May, to Japan�s Rakuten for $250 million in an all cash deal. The new owner plans to merge Buy.Com�s 14 million customers with Rakuten�s core �Rakuten Ichiba,� Japan�s largest internet shopping mall.

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