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

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July 2, 2002

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

International Monetary Systems Now Publicly Traded

Don Mardak, the founder in 1989 of International Monetary Systems (OTCBB: INLM) with offices in six U.S. cities and two in Canada, reports the firm began trading shares of its common stock on Tuesday, June 25, 2002.

Mardak, well-known in the barter industry, has built an organization with over 4,000 clients nationwide. His accomplishments within the industry include having served as president of the National Association of Trade Exchanges.

In a 1990 article in BarterNews, regarding where the barter industry is headed, Mardak stated an unusual vision that expansion would occur through the owning and operating of other businesses--ones that would provide needed and necessary products to an exchange. (He subsequently acquired several firms tangent to the printing industry.)

The company intends to use its newly tradable common stock, along with other more traditional forms of capital, to continue its strategy of acquiring complementary businesses as well as other barter companies.

Eight acquisitions have been successfully completed by IMS, and further consolidation within the barter industry can be expected.

For information on purchasing stock in International Monetary Systems, Ltd., contact the company's market maker Jeff Richardson of Sierra Brokerage at 800.535.1625 or www.sierrabrokerage.com. (To obtain a prospectus and other related documents pertaining to IMS, contact Don Mardak at 262.780.3640.)


Lombardi's BBU Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Barter Business Unlimited (BBU) is presently one of the largest independent trade exchanges on the east coast. But a decade ago Debbie Lombardi began business on her kitchen table in Bristol (CT) after having gained some experience with a national barter franchise organization.

Today BBU has upwards of 2,000 clients (6,000 cardholders) bartering a reported $34 million in goods and services annually. Lombardi, respected by her industry peers, in retrospect says, "I still experience a sense of awe when I think about our national expansion and success." (For more information visit: www.bbu.com.)


Here's a comment on last week's lead story regarding why more bartering isn't occurring in the marketplace...

Herbert W. Teichmann, owner of COMTEX Trade Exchange, Montreal, Canada, responded to Alan Zimmelman's statement, i.e. "For example, when a car wash owner (who already knows and trusts me) will not do an upfront $500 trade for something he is going to spend cash on..."

Teichmann pointed out, "When an exchange folds with a rumored deficit of $14 million, of which the owner/operator is on the hook for $2 million, then trust will not get you very far, because the reputation of our barter industry is being attacked again."

"And when an exchange/operator cashes out a 'batterie inventory' for his own account, he is just stealing from his clients.

"When all of the above gets swept under the carpet and nobody (did I say IRTA?) dares to do something about it, then you have (will have) a problem.

"Trust me, sooner than later, if we cannot regulate ourselves somebody will do it for us."


Online Retailing Growing...

Even though internet catalog companies continue to be the most profitable merchants online, most online retailers still lost money last year, according to Shop.org, an online trade association and part of the National Retail Federation in Washington.

2001 online sales growth was up 21% to $51.3 billion, and is expected to jump 41% to $72.1 billion this year. (Total retail sales in the U.S.--excluding fast food--rose 2.8% to $2.16 trillion last year, and is expected to rise 4.2% to $2.25 trillion this year.)

Internet retailers have slashed their marketing costs which improved their bottomlines. But it's the catalog and store merchants who are dominating the internet sales, now accounting for 67% of total online sales. Even with the impressive growth online retailing is still only 3% of total retail sales.

Bottomline: The building of the internet and the "Information Highway" during the 1990s saw some of this country's smartest people diving headlong at the economy's leading edge. Admittedly, it's now a time of adjustment, but those quintessential entrepreneurs did succeed. They made an immeasurable investment in a base of knowledge that's changed the world, forever.


LOOKING BACK...Tuesday Report, June 13, 2000

Learn how a business owner turned $24,000 trade dollars into a $120,000 cash savings!


Trading Medical Supplies With Latin America

The executive team of Caducian (www.caducian.com), a healthcare software firm, is spinning off three companies created to exchange medical equipment, supplies, services and medicines with Latin American countries.

The new companies, known as NGNS, have begun operations. Plans include establishing barter relationships wherein NGNS will exchange medical goods from the U.S. for non-medical goods and services from Latin America.

(The three company structure is necessary to comply with U.S. and international law, as well as to provide a variety of vehicle for import and export.)


INDUSTRY-WIDE OPEN INVITATION

In the current issue of BarterNews we had comments from 25 industry practitioners...giving us their views on where the commercial barter industry is headed. Many exceptional people weren't included in this first effort, so a Part 2 of that article is planned for our September issue.

Consequently, I invite all within the industry, worldwide, to organize your thoughts and e-mail me a paragraph or two about where you see the industry heading. Do it today--at the latest by July 7th! Send to: bmeyer@barternews.com. We look forward to your e-mails...please be aware that your comments may be selected for our next publication.


Please Note: In the current issue of BarterNews, our 7 page story beginning with Editor's Notes titled "Where Are We Headed...The Future of Commercial Barter" has evoked numerous e-mails. Some have suggested that BarterNews should be censoring those thoughts and comments.

Our intent, however, was to provide a forum and elicit candid comments from those in the industry. BarterNews does not necessarily endorse or agree with statements submitted by the various individuals, but believes a conduit for such is important.


Here And There. . .

  • Robert J. Barro, senior fellow of the Hoover Institution and professor of economics at Harvard University, says a new study shows that terrorists are quite well-educated and less impoverished than the population at large in a particular region of the world.

    His main message is that it is naive to think that increases in income and education will, by themselves, lower international terrorism. The goal of reducing poverty remains laudable, but on grounds other than fighting terrorism.

  • U.S. manufacturers who export their products are enjoying the surging euro currency, which is pushing toward parity with the U.S. dollar. A weaker dollar means lower prices for U.S. goods overseas, which is bullish for U.S. manufacturers.

    Long-term factors could push the euro even higher, because in the coming months higher (short term) interest rates in Europe will attract cash out of various U.S. investments. (The U.S. Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to 40-year lows.)

  • Los Angeles Laker super-star Kobe Bryant acquired a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for appearing at a regional dealership's grand opening!

  • Russia continues its march toward capitalism by permitting the sale of agricultural land for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. (Foreigners cannot purchase land, but are allowed to lease it for up to 49 years.)

  • Trade Exchange owners, check out the hottest marketing tool in the industry...click here.

  • "Power sellers" on eBay (defined as any merchant that sells $2,000 or more in goods a month on the site) will be given a chance to buy low cost health benefits, including vision, dental and hospitalization coverage.

    Additionally, eBay is introducing a new class of "titanium" power sellers--people who sell more than $150,000 a month on the site. These heavy hitters will be invited to a retreat with eBay executives every year.

  • Corporate mergers & acquisitions have suffered their sharpest decline since the data was first compiled during the 1970s. Deal activity topped $1.7 trillion in the U.S. in 2000, but it fell below $400 billion during this year's first six months.

    The driving force of acquisitions today are debt covenants. In other words, instead of buying rivals for their strategic fit, the real motivation in today's deals is providing added revenue. Thus, buyers avoid breaking key terms of existing borrowing arrangements. (Acquisitions = maintaining access to capital.)

  • If you've missed any of our weekly Tuesday Reports the past three years we have an archive of issues for you at the bottom of this week's letter...check it out!

This Issue's Glossary of Terms:

Buy back:
An agreement, common in international trade, where the seller supplies production technology and then agrees to purchase the output over a period of time.

Buying plans:
The client's written guidelines for media: 1) the dayparts desired by percentage, 2) rating point goals, 3) budget, 4) the demographics--primary and/or secondary.

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.