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September 7, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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New Worldwide Barter Travel Portal—World Travel Exchange—Now Available

Richard Lugo, co-founder with partner Linda Sim of The Business Exchange located in Scotland, has spent the better part of last year, along with considerable money, in the construction of a barter travel portal that he envisions will move the commercial barter industry to a higher level.

(Lugo, incidentally, working along with IRTA’s then Executive Director Paul Suplizio, was the person who organized the first IRTA/Europe meeting—which he sponsored and funded—back in 1995.)

World Travel Exchange (WTEx) was launched after Lugo attended a European meeting last October, which was held in Brussels and hosted by Walther Smets. IRTA was an invited guest.

At the meeting, some of the attendees were lamenting about the uncooperativeness and lack of trust that existed among certain exchanges. The consensus was that travel is a universal need, and therefore one commodity that can build and further develop trading relationships among exchange owners.

Although there was general agreement that Lugo’s idea of establishing a travel portal was a good one, he was concerned about how it would get built. So Lugo heeded the suggestion, “It’s your idea, why don’t you work on it?”

With the goal of keeping the service and site as simple as possible to use, he consequently developed it as a tool for brokers who spend considerable time handling travel for their exchange.

Free Sign-up Ends September 15

There are 103 trade exchanges, including the world’s largest, now posted on WTEx’s site along with listings of 364 hotels, restaurants, resorts, car rentals, etc., all primarily based in Europe.

At present, WTEx is offering free access for any trade exchange with travel inventory to sell. After September 15, barter companies will need an IRTA-UC account for free access.

WTEx is not a payment system, but a booking system. Direct reciprocals and IRTA’s Universal Currency will be accepted for payment. For more information visit www.wtex.org, or e-mail wtex@tbex.com.


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Petree's ITG & Bartercard Join Forces

The International Trade Group, started in 1996 by Henry Petree with headquarters in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma (and locations in Arkansas, Texas, Florida and Hawaii), has reached an agreement to integrate and consolidate its operations with Bartercard U.S., the North American licensee of Bartercard International.

Bartercard International has licensees in 20 countries and reportedly generated over $1 billion in trade last year with among its 70,000 members (businesses) worldwide.

Bartercard U.S. was launched in 2001 and currently has 4,000 business members. Petree has been appointed president of Bartercard Franchise Corporation. For more information see www.bartercardusa.com.


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IMS Creating National Sales Force To Expand Into New Metropolitan Markets

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM), doing business as Continental Trade Exchange, has announced they are hiring a staff of outside sales people to enable the company to enter untapped metropolitan areas.

Executive Vice President John Strabley explained, “Though most of our prior growth has been through acquisitions, during the past six months we have also had record-setting results in new client enrollments.

“For that reason, we intend to open offices in several major metropolitan areas in which we currently do not have a presence. In addition we will continue to add sales people in our existing markets.”

Founded in 1989 and serving more than 7,000 customers in 24 U.S. markets, IMS is one of the largest publicly traded barter companies in the world and recently reported record gross revenue and profits in the second quarter of 2004. For more information on the company visit www.internationalmonetary.com.


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


Donating Your Time-Share Just Became Easier

Although a handful of charitable organizations accept donations of time-share units, many avoid doing so because of the costs and risks associated with selling them. That’s changing, as Glenn Ostrowski, president of Bozeman-based Go Timeshare resale firm, set up a nonprofit called “Donate for a Cause.”

The new company will sell a time-share, and then donate the proceeds to the owner’s charity of choice.

According to Ostrowski, it is difficult and expensive for most owners to sell their time shares due to the marketing costs and the fact that most time shares are worth substantially less than the original purchase price.

In most cases, time-share donors can get a $4,900 write-off on their taxes, which is often twice as much as what the time-share will sell for. If the unit is worth more than that, donors can pay for an appraisal to get a higher write-off.

Ostrowski estimates that Donate for a Cause will raise between $75,000 and $100,000 a month for charities by selling time-shares for donors. (The non-profit company will take a 5% fee for its intermediary service and will pay brokers a 20% commission on each sale.)


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


What A Difference A Year Makes

Mark Burnett, the creator and executive producer of The Apprentice TV show, approached many companies last year about product placement deals in the show...and had many doors slammed in his face.

Although one company, which sells time-shares on private planes, did take advantage of the opportunity. New York-based Marquis Jet Partners got screen time in three “Apprentice” episodes in exchange for providing one flight from New York to Boston for each of the contestants. (Advertising buyers estimated the exposure the company received translated into $5 million to $10 million in advertising!)

This year Burnett’s receiving a different reception for his offer, which allows companies to participate in the show. And those he is working with are paying dearly this time around...with fees of $1 million each for “product integration.”


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Here & There...

  • The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) is holding its 20th Annual Convention at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas this week, September 9 to 11. Attendance this year is up and expected to exceed 150 attendees.
  • Congratulations to Patti Falus, founder of Barter Network Ltd. of Toronto. Ms. Falus has been named the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year!
  • Victor Castano Jr. of Alamo Barter in San Antonio, along with partner Rachel Taylor, runs a very successful exchange. In 2003 their company did $13.2 million in barter transactions. Castano is president-elect of NATE.
  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of this issue (right hand corner) and sign up!
  • Joe Crump, president of Bentley Crump Barter Network, has been elected to the Bentley Commerce Board of Directors. Crump, the founder of Crump Barter Systems in 1998, established a clearinghouse through which members of different trade exchanges worldwide can trade inventory and services with one another.

    Bentley Crump Barter Network has a clearinghouse membership of 160 exchanges, which represents approximately thirty percent of the trade exchanges in the U.S., and nearly fifty percent of the exchanges in Canada.

  • More than half of Asia still lives in poverty with 1.9 billion people, or 60% of the population, subsisting on less than $2 a day according to an Asian Development Bank report. (Nearly 74% of those who get by on less than $2 a day live in China and India.)

  • A recent poll by Forbes magazine indicates that more than 50% of a sampling of college seniors see starting a business as their highest ambition. Forbes says the current generation is the most entrepreneurial in American history.

  • Costco’s new rebate card (in partnership with American Express) offers 3% cash back for spending in restaurants anywhere in the world, and a 2% travel refund for airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, cruises and spending with a travel agency. All other purchases will receive a 1% rebate.

    Only Costco members are eligible to apply for the card which has a $100,000 spending limit per year. Cardholders will be provided with vouchers once a year which they must take to Costco and either redeem for cash or use toward a discount on that day’s shopping trip.

  • Both chambers of Congress and several state legislatures are considering measures that would require restaurants to provide nutritional data on menus. Restaurant chains with 20 or more units would be affected.

    Advocates says the legislation would help in the nation’s battle against obesity. The restaurant industry opposes the legislation, saying nutritional analysis would be costly in a business that operates on very thin profit margins. Plus, it would be expensive to print new menus each time dishes are updated.

  • According to data from Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, there are some 7.7 million people world-wide who have more than $1 million in financial assets.

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
Copyright BarterNews 2004. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.

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