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August 29, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...       08/29/06

Travelocity and Points.com To Offer Program For Purchasing Travel Services Using Frequent Flyer Miles

Thanks to Peter Tucker, CEO of CTEX.com, for sending us the disclosure from Travelocity. We did not publish his missive herein, because it was a much longer story than our parameters for the Tuesday Report. (We will be sending out a separate mailing, so you can read his entire comments, to our e-mail list shortly.)

Most noteworthy about this announcement is the fact that millions of people (from a myriad loyalty programs worldwide) will now have a way to directly spend their frequent flyer miles on travel services.

The new program “Book with Points,” will allow loyalty program members access to Travelocity’s online booking engine. They will use points or miles to book and purchase the travel reward, exactly as if they were purchasing their travel with cash, rather than loyalty points and miles.

Book with Points will be available both on the Points.com consumer portal and as a stand-alone, branded product for individual loyalty program operators. It’s expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Rob MacLean, Points International’s CEO, summed it up nicely: “While millions of flights, hotel nights and other rewards are provided every year, there continues to be demand for even more access and availability. Our agreement with Travelocity is uniquely positioned to help loyalty programs finally follow through on the ‘any award, any time’ travel promise, and to do so using our two companies’ world-leading technologies.”

This effort creates a huge multi-billion-dollar open trade exchange system, further reinforcing the promise and staggering possibilities when melding many diverse partners into one giant network.

Incredible Success Story

The first company in India to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, back in 1999, was Infosys. The company, with 58,000 employees today, was launched with $250 in 1981 by six young guys from India.

Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy, 60, stepped down last week after 25 years at the helm of the company he co-founded and helped grow. Annual revenues today are more than $2 billion, and the market capitalization is $21 billion.

Infosys’ biggest challenge came in 1995 when Murthy and his team decided they couldn’t accept the tough conditions demanded by General Electric. They walked away from the U.S. firm’s business at a time when it made up 25% of Infosys’s revenue and 8% of its profit.

BBX Reports Barter Company “First”

Business Barter Exchange (BBX) of Hornsby, NSW, Australia, has listed its second company on a stock exchange...the BBX Property Investment Fund. The Newcastle Stock Exchange listing was initiated August 25, 2006, with a funding of over $4 million in both cash and BBX trade dollars. BBX hopes to transfer the fund to the Australian Stock Exchange later this year for a full main-board listing.

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. . .)


Trade Exchange Owners...
Build Rapport & Empathy With Your Client Base!!

The most powerful marketing tool in the barter industry, The Competitive Edge newsletter, is a monthly, ready to use, professional 4-page publication...no work is needed! (Click here.)


Bank Of International Art Money

In our August 1 issue we reported on Lars Kraemmer, CEO of Bank of International Art Money (BIAM), and his ingenious trading format using Art Money. Below is a copy of a piece of Art Money, which one can consider as art or as money.

You can frame the 12-cm x 18-cm (4.5” x 7”) work on the wall, or spend it when shopping in registered BIAM shops, when booking overnight stays at a BIAM host, and when purchasing art from the many registered BIAM artists. You will find all of these functions on the web site: http://www.art-money.org.

The following listings are a service to our readers. Please note that due diligence is advised in all of your business transactions...cash or barter.

Talk Radio Syndicator Willing To Barter Big-Time!

National Exposure On Full Trade

National Trade Association’s corporate trade broker Jill Halper has a contract with a major radio syndicator and can provide your company national (or regional) coverage on trade.

Several prominent, national radio talk shows, covering an array of topics, are obtainable. To build your company’s brand with this vast national exposure that’s available on trade, contact Jill Halper via e-mail at jhalper@ntatrade.com.


Real Estate Economist Anticipates Hard Landing, Saying, “It’s Ugly Out There”

A bearish real estate economist, Christopher Thornberg, says the Southern California housing market is a bubble and beginning to pop. Thornberg was one of the first economists to declare that the housing market was peaking in September 2005.

He says there has been large-scale overbuilding of homes and condominiums nationwide, and in So. California massive price appreciation has taken place that is just not justifiable by any kind of standards of reasonable economics.

“With interest rates rising in recent months and sales declining, the bubble is popping,” Thornberg concluded, “just like a bubble is supposed to.” If you look at what your house was valued at three years ago and what it is now, he queried, is it really worth 70% more? His answer, “There is no way you can justify the math.”

Other Points Of View

Angelo R. Mozilo, 67-year-old chief executive of Countrywide Financial (the nation’s biggest home-mortgage lender), who has personally been in business for more than five decades, also had a sobering message for investors: “Buckle your seat belts, I’ve never seen a soft landing in 53 years.”

And the CEO of the country’s biggest auto retailer, Mike Jackson of AutoNation, delivered a stern message to his troops last week, “Rising interest rates are going to pop the bubble in real estate, and that, combined with rising gas prices, is toxic to the consumer.”

Editor’s Note: U.S. homebuilder optimism sank for a seventh consecutive month in August to its lowest level in 15 years, as a dearth of buyers caused inventories of unsold homes to pile up. The National Association of Home Builders said its index of sentiment among homebuilders sank to 32. (A reading below 50 means more builders view sales conditions as poor rather than good.)


Hotel General Managers

Here’s The Easiest $100,000 You’ll Ever
Bring To The Bottomline!

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor’s cash agreement for AV services, here’s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of hotel rooms and/or trade dollars.)

Your hotel’s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: bmeyer@barternews.com. (Please type in AV Services On Trade in the subject line of your e-mail.)

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.

The following information was provided to us by the National Association of Trade Exchanges.

Trade Exchange Contingent Enjoys Annual Convention In Toronto

The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) held its 22nd Annual Convention August 10-12 at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. Although the convention was not as well attended as previous events, NATE attendees enjoyed an extremely positive and productive three days of seminars, and sales and broker training. All attendees said they came away with a great deal of useful information that they plan to implement within their own trade exchanges. 

NATE continues to keep pace with the latest innovations in technology, and many of its convention sessions covered such topics as search engine optimization, and how to use technology to improve the visibility and efficiency of their trade exchange.

Two viable ways that NATE is leading the pack, regarding technological advances in the barter industry, are through its newly redesigned NATE and Banc Web sites. Tom McDowell, Executive Director of NATE, said the association has received tremendous feedback from its members as to the ease of navigation and usefulness of these two sites.

NATE continues to stand at the forefront of the barter industry as the premier association for independent trade exchanges worldwide. But, like any industry, the world of barter is facing many significant challenges that impact the bottom line of each trade exchange owner. NATE addressed several of these challenges with such discussions as “Our New Competition and How to Combat It.”

This session helped to identify and deal with the effects of the Internet, superstores, and other factors that are infiltrating the barter industry and affecting the way trade exchanges do business.

As NATE looks to battle new competitors, members turned their attention to addressing the needs of their existing clients. Jonathan Weaver of Peak Performers conducted an intense sales session designed to help NATE trade exchange owners learn how to understand and speak their customers’ language, as well as to show how prospects and members view their business.

NATE also selected the following committee chairs for the next year. Ric Zampatti of The Barter Company in Atlanta is chairman of the Barter Association National Currency (Banc) Committee, and Jerry Howell of Midwest Business Exchange in Kalamazoo (MI) is chair of the Programs Committee. Dale Mardak of International Monetary Systems in New Berlin (WI) is chair of the Membership Committee.

NATE president Fran Crumpton of Gulf Coast Trade Exchange in Pensacola (FL) will continue to chair the Education Committee. Jim Cassidy of Barter Partners in St. Joseph (MI) will remain chair of the Technology Committee.

Eight trade brokers earned the prestigious Certified Trade Broker designation during the NATE convention. The trade brokers successfully completed the standards and met the qualifications to attain Certified Trade Broker status are Mark Reilly, Shannon Niebergall, Dave Schiff, Jordan Kruger, and Francisco Theoduloz of Barter Network Limited in Toronto; Mark Bowman of IMS Barter in New Berlin (WI); and Miriam Worsnop and Jonathan Fantham of XO Limited in New Zealand.

“The NATE Certified Trade Broker Program challenges each one of us to strive for the highest level of service to our clients and ensures the continued growth and expansion of our industry,” said Fran Crumpton, President of NATE. “This particular group of well-trained brokers will continue to be an asset to the barter industry.”

The CTB Program is offered annually during the NATE convention. Lisa Boudreau of IMS Barter-Connecticut and Anna McDowell of ATX The Barter Company in Cleveland, assisted with the CTB training.

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Aliant Jumps On Popularity of Electronic Gift Cards...Offering Merchants Free Card Programs

Recently we reported on the survey by Stored Value Systems that revealed 76% of adults bought and used gift cards last year. (A gift card is a store-branded card with a predetermined value that a consumer purchases from a business...much like a pre-paid credit card.)

Aliant Financial Services, one of the country’s leading providers in electronic payment services, has announced that they will be giving business owners a Free Gift Card Program with service for life of their account, as long as the merchants process their credit cards through Aliant.

Aliant says it’s the only free gift-card program in the electronic payment industry.

For more information on their free gift card program go to http://www.freegiftcardprogram.com.


The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.” Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.

Top 10 Countries With Online Users

The number of Internet users, age 15 and older, as of June, 2006:

United States 153 million
China   78      “
Japan  53      “
Germany  32      “
United Kingdom 30      “
South Korea 25      “
France  24      “
Canada    20      “
India 17      “
Italy  17      “

(Source: comScore Networks.)


Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


Every barter company in the world is listed on our web site, click through to our Global List of Barter Companies.

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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