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Bob Meyer

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

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August 29, 2000

In this week's report. . .

  • Reciprocal travel opportunities available
  • IRTA and NATE announce upcoming conventions
  • Here and there. . .

Alumni and Business Clubs Offer Valuable Reciprocal Travel Opportunities

Reciprocal memberships among many of America's top colleges and universities is a well-kept secret. But it's an inexpensive and unique way to see the world--as the clubs have a sense of the ambiance and history of a city that international hotel chains can't match.

Many of these top colleges maintain private, members-only clubs for their graduates in or near the locations of those schools...offering rooms, dining, networking, golf, and other amenities.

These clubs often have reciprocal-membership agreements with other private clubs around the world. For instance, the Tokyo-American club of Tokyo offers reciprocal privileges with 140 clubs around the world.

Note: Membership in university clubs is not always restricted to graduates and others affiliated with the sponsoring university. Frequently business associates of current members are welcome to join. And members who live beyond a radius of 50 or 100 miles often pay half the dues of members who live in the city where the club is located.

Coming Events: IRTA & NATE

The International Reciprocal Trade Association's (IRTA) 21st International Barter Congress, "Mining for Gold," will be held in another month September 14-17 in Phoenix, Arizona. For more details e-mail:, or call (312) 461-0236.

And scheduled a week later, down in Atlanta is the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) regional conference, September 22-23. For details on this training session contact The Barter Company in Atlanta, by e-mailing, or faxing (770) 591-3602.

Here And There. . .

  • Yahoo's use of Google, replacing Inktomi as the search engine to complement Yahoo's directories, has a very important barter component attached to it. As part of the deal, Yahoo was issued warrants to purchase Google's stock. Yahoo's warrants will likely position it to make millions when Google goes public.

  • A new currency for future politicians?, a new group of Democratic-leaning young internet executives, is touting the idea of giving politicians stock options as donations in lieu of cash.

  • Pop singer Alanis Morissette has filed to sell 129,328 common shares of acquired the stock two years ago when she agreed to name her concert tour after the company in exchange for the shares.

  • CMGI is doing a "cash blend" purchase for the naming rights to the New England Patriots' new stadium. In addition to a payment of $105 million in cash ($7.6 million annually for 15 years) CMGI is bartering internet services such as web hosting and streaming media broadcasting for the football team.

  • Dennis Haas, a 29-year-old resident of Hamburg, Germany, is the founder of World of Internet, a stock-promotion firm that touts microcap U.S. stocks on the tiny Hamburg Stock Exchange. The company offers publicity and analysts' reports about the small U.S. firms in return for stock options.

    (U.S. securities laws allow companies such as World of Internet to provide paid analysts' reports so long as they disclose the payments, which Haas does...behind a link on its web site.)

  • Corporate barter site iSolve has hired Grant Automotive Group to obtain broader exposure in Canadian markets. Duncan McLean, global accounts manager at iSolve explains, "This alliance gives us a valued foothold in the Canadian market and heightens exposure for our surplus disposition capabilities and alternative settlement solutions, including corporate barter and web-based currencies.

  •, a healthy living marketplace for women and their families, is launching a barter system to enable e-tailers to reach each other's customers in a direct, reciprocal way. After customers purchase on participating sites, they will receive special offers from merchants' sites on their order confirmations.

  • Oracle is using a hard to resist "barter offer" in its heads-on battle for software sales with rival Siebel Systems. In short, Oracle is providing its sales-force-automation service in exchange for the new company to just look at Oracle's other programs.

  • Do you have a unique talent, the ability to work hard and a sterling reputation within your industry? If so, consider this recent joint venture between BMG Entertainment and legendary music executive Clive Davis. BMG is investing $150 million for 50% ownership of the new venture called J Records. Davis, on the other hand, is bartering "all of his talent and hard work" for the remaining 50%!

  • A loyalty program that's sure to have more appeal than frequent flier miles is being offered to consumers. It enables them to earn up to 20% "cash back" when they make purchases at any of Stockback's eighty-five merchant partners including, Dell Computer, Land's End, and others.

    The "cash back" will then be invested in the Stockback Fund, which will be managed by Merrill Lynch. And, no doubt, stock of the merchant partners will be a significant part of the Stockback portfolio. Interesting concept...

  • Jupiter Communications expects traditional retail firms to start using their off-line assets as a "barter payment," rather than cash, in upcoming joint marketing and promotion deals with internet media and service firms.

  • Rebound, a San Francisco and Hong Kong-based global liquidation company, is bringing buyers and sellers together over the Internet and collecting a 6% commission from whichever party originates the deal.

    Rebound employs 82 people in 14 offices across Asia and North America. Two competitors are, which deals in consumer and industrial excess inventory, and, which traffics only in consumer goods mostly in the United States.

  • Arbinet-the exchange Inc., is a bandwidth exchange firm in the business of minute-swapping. On any given day, blocks of minutes for sale on Arbinet's exchange cover thousands of long-distance routes worldwide. Curt Hockemeier, CEO of Arbinet says that some long-distance calling routes may have as much as 80% unused capacity. (He was a senior executive at AT&T in charge of the company's phone-over-cable TV effort prior to joining Arbinet in April.)

  • Heidi Klum, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl and a barterer for equity in, promises to bring a lot more eyeballs to the site's travel section...due to launch this fall. She will be providing video footage of her adventures in the exotic locales she visits as a model.

    And actor Robin Williams bartered for shares with, an internet aggregator of audio broadcasts. Williams is experimenting with different material on the site, i.e. weekly half hour conversations between Williams and persons as disparate as Mario Cuomo, Susan Sarandon, and John Irving.

  • The commercial barter industry has often been concerned about the banking industry coming into the business. Maybe they should be a little more concerned abut the asset-rich insurance industry... especially in light of what's now happening. MetLife, an insurance and financial-services concern, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Grand Bank, a closely-held commercial bank. According to the insurance giant it's part of a plan to expand into other areas of financial services.

  • American Lawyer Media is bartering $1 million in advertising and promotional opportunities in exchange for a 4.5% equity stake (184,422 shares) in

  • Reinforcing the notion that "in the 21st Century, economics will drive politics" was the recent barter agreement among two foes, India and China. Long at loggerheads politically, the two countries are rapidly building ties, and bartering in the high-technology trade.


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