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October 2, 2007

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/02/07

Bartercard�s Annual International Sales Conference Honorees

Kevin Dienhoff was honored for achieving 1,000 new member sign-ups (sales) over his illustrious career with Bartercard.

Vanessa Hawkins was presented with a prestigious award for breaking the Bartercard world sales record�47 sign-ups in one month.

For more information on Bartercard see top of page for �Site Sponsors� click through.

Matthew Moots Of Overland Park...85-Years-Old And Going Strong

Fired up at age 85, ITEX�s Matthew Moots is one of the �seniors� in the commercial barter industry. Not only has he been involved in formal trading (commercial barter) for 45 years, he�s made a living as a motivational speaker as well.

Moots, who grew up in Kirksville (MO), saw his dad butcher hogs and cattle, which were then traded with the local butcher and townspeople. This instilled in Moots the belief that trade could provide virtually anything a person needs.

Moots has a loyal base of clients in Overland Park (KS), which he cherishes. Many have become very good friends in addition to their business relationship...just the way it should be.

For more information go to http://401280.itex.com.

Google To Woo Ad Agencies

Google�s newly launched Creative Lab, hired former Ogilvy & Mather co-president Andy Berndt to help market products in a better way. He will also facilitate working with ad agencies in a way that is not competitive with them.

The company�s early strategy is to create industry vertical-specialist teams and develop intimate relationships with marketers at the CEO, CMO and CFO levels. Thus ensuring their participation at meetings when ad budgets are developed.

Google Now Provides Tools For Newspaper Ads

Google now is also offering tools to produce print ads that will help advertisers create newspaper ads. The free system lets advertisers enter information about their product or service, upload an image into an ad template, and send the ad to a network of 450 newspapers.

It�s another step onto Madison Avenue territory. Some agencies, indeed, are beginning to worry that Google intends to perform the creative task of designing ads too, after already expanding its ad-brokering services into traditional media (print, TV and radio).

Quote of the week:

�The best thing you can do is take the right decision. The second best thing is to take the wrong decision. The worst thing is not to do anything.�

�Franklin Roosevelt

Correction On IRTA Awards

It was brought to our attention that there was an oversight in our report on the International Reciprocal Trade Association�s awards.

Additional brokers who registered and passed the Certified Trade Broker program were Doug Fent and Renee Clevenger of NuBarter in Savannah (GA).

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. . .)

IMS Appoints Former IRTA Executive Director

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) announced the appointment of former IRTA Executive Director, Krista Vardabash, as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Ms. Vardabash served as Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association�the only international trade association for the commercial barter industry�for seven years.

Prior to her service at IRTA, she maintained a successful business planning firm in the northeast. Ms. Vardabash was recently recognized for many accomplishments at IRTA, including strengthening the Universal Currency network, establishing the IRTA brand worldwide, and leadership and commitment through a challenging period of change.

�I look forward to being a part of a team that has already made significant strides towards uniting and standardizing the trade exchange industry�which was always a focus during my tenure with IRTA,� declared Vardabash. �This is a great opportunity to have a more direct impact on that goal and to elevate the industry overall.� (Krista Vardabash can be reached at (585) 244-0600, ext. 53.)

IMS CEO, Don Mardak, added, �We are very pleased to have Krista bring her many talents to our executive team. She is one of the most respected people in the barter industry, and has already helped us create a comprehensive five-year business plan that outlines the IMS vision and critical areas of success. Going forward, she will also be active in the marketing and branding of IMS, as we continue to expand upon our position in the industry.�

For more information on IMS see �Site Sponsors� at top of page for click through.


Expert On Gift Cards Replies To Oct. 25 Article On Gift Certificates

(Submitted by Mike Kelly, CEO of SwapaGift.com.)

The issue of escheatment (surrendering the unclaimed value) is, as you noted, a state regulated issue. Issuers of stored value cards are forced to turn over the value on these cards in many cases (I believe over 35 states now). What doesn't get mentioned often, is that the issuer is still carrying a balance sheet liability in their pre-paid sales account.

What this means is that the revenue collected from the sale of these unused gift cards is not recognized because the issuer has not delivered merchandise against it. The cash is there, but the ability to recognize it is not. There becomes a real accounting issue with significant consequences...another article in and of itself. 

Issuers in the past, have addressed this problem by utilizing expiration dates and inactive card fees, to �reclaim� the liability or a portion of it. In the case of an expiration date, the total amount of the liability was satisfied; with inactive fees, it was recognized incrementally. 

The consumer obviously isn't concerned with the issuer�s accounting issue - only the fact that the card should keep its value indefinitely. Hence, state legislators have come to the consumer�s defense. After all, who is going to promote that big businesses should be allowed to take your money and charge you for holding it?

In response, some issuers have taken expensive and temporary measures to safeguard their gift card revenue. As an example, the issuer could spin off the gift card issuing portion of their business, and re-establish it in a state that doesn�t escheat these cards. This is really only a temporary solution.

As you pointed out the list of states banning expiration dates and regulating the unclaimed property is increasing. There are fewer places where reorganizing the business this way can be done. Crazy!!

Small businesses (spas, restaurants, etc.) are less impacted from an accounting perspective, because they tend to perform cash-based accounting. They�ll recognize the revenue when it is received, not when they deliver service/merchandise against it.

They are however, often regulated to honor lengthy time frames and buyback commitments�adding administrative costs. Here, the consumer takes a bigger risk, because the likelihood that a small retailer will be out of business is higher than that of a national chain (just a fact of life).

The bartering of gift cards, on sites such as SwapaGift.com, allow the consumer to realize the full value of their card/certificate, and often times liquidate at a discount that is higher than any state-mandated laws. In a swap transaction, both parties typically trade cards that are of equal value...and therefore are not forced to discount the scrip.

Effectively, the parties are really trading the restrictions that these cards represent (good at the issuer only). The opportunity to trade scrip at parity or purchase scrip at a discount, are inviting to value-seeking consumers...reasons why www.SwapaGift.com has been able to establish a sound, liquid, secondary market.


There are over 500 articles posted on our blog.
Click here www.barternewsblog.com.


Jury Duty Scam

This scam has been verified by the FBI (their link is included below). It is spreading fast...so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take summons for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of scam has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your social security number and date of birth so as to verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo your identity just got stolen.

The scam has been reported so far in 11 states, including California, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and Colorado. It is particularly insidious because intimidation is used over the phone to try bullying people into giving information by pretending to represent the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

For more information check it out here:

http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/j/jury_duty_scam.htm

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm


What Does Housing Crisis Concern Mean For Economy?

A consulting firm in Chicago, the Spectrem Group, reports that until August, U.S. residents with more than a $1 million in investment assets were shrugging off worries about the housing crisis. But now the rich too have caught the property jitters, with 43% saying it is their biggest investment worry, up from 9% in May.

Their concerns are valid...the S&P/Case-Shiller index of U.S. home prices plummeted more in the second quarter than at any other time in the past two decades.

What does this mean for the economy? Government statistics show that those in the top income quintile account for 39% of all consumer spending, which in turn has driven 70% of gross domestic product (the value of all the nation�s output of goods and services).

If the rich pull in their horns, fretting about the value of their real estate, it could have an outsize/negative effect on the economy, which would be bad for everyone.

In the past, however, recessions have historically been a boom for the barter industry...as companies of every size and description seek the additional business from trading to overcome the slowdown in the cash marketplace.

Expert Contends Housing Recession More Severe Than People Realize

Ivy Zelman, 41, a former housing analyst at Credit Suisse, warned about the housing crisis months before the downturn. Now on her own, as head of research firm Zelman & Associates, she sees this recession in housing as more severe than the 1990 and 1991 downturn and believes it could have a much broader impact on the economy than people realize...lasting longer in duration and causing the consumer to �roll over.�

Zelman was one of the first Wall Street analysts to question bullish home builders, showing concern over the flood of speculators buying new homes and the problems posed by subprime mortgages.

In 2006, The Wall Street Journal ranked Ms. Zelman the top homebuilder analyst in their �Best on the Street� survey. Prior to working at Credit Suisse, she worked at Salomon Brothers focusing on housing.

Rating Real Estate Gurus

Real estate investor and newsletter publisher John T. Reed, keeps tabs on the many leaders of real estate seminars...those gurus who supposedly have the answers and ways to reach real-estate riches.

But Reed contends that the real estate information business is presently dominated by people who push their seminars and mentoring services out of boiler rooms�and most don�t provide the content promised. In the �60s and �70s, he says all were legit and sincere, although admittedly, some were better than others.

If you�re looking for information on the current real estate purveyors of seminars, Reed, who is based in Alamo (CA), lists and rates more than 130 real estate and financial gurus on his web site www.johntreed.com.


NFL Continues To Push Distribution, Barter Plays Role

The National Football League continues to spread its footprint across more networks, signing a deal with Ion Media for a weekly one-hour �NFL Game of the Week� every Saturday at 6 p.m. through January.

Ion, a TV-station group that reaches 93 million viewers, is the second network deal engineered by the NFL in the last month. A weekly prime-time series called �NFL Network: Total Access� runs every Saturday evening from 9 to 10 on MyNetworkTV through the end of the NFL season.

Ion will pay the NFL an undisclosed license fee for �NFL Game of the Week� and will keep all of the advertising time in each telecast. It will also run promos for the NFL as part of the arrangement. The MyNet contract is more of a barter deal, in which the NFL doesn't pocket any cash but instead gets some 30-second spots to sell in the �Total Access� telecast.

NFL Films will also produce 21 episodes of a new half-hour series for Ion called �Stories of the NFL,� consisting of profiles of players and what their lives are like off the field. It kicks off in February 2008.

Brandon Burgess, CEO of Ion Media Networks, and Howard Katz, chief operating officer of NFL films, negotiated the contract.


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.

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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.

Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

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


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