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November 18, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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We wish you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!


IRTA President David Wallach Takes East Coast Swing

What began as a trip to Rochester (NY) to oversee the movement of the International Reciprocal Trade Association headquarters office from that city to Portsmouth (VA), evolved into a ten-day visit to several east coast commercial barter industry members for David Wallach, IRTA President.

�Initially, he had planned traveling from San Francisco to Rochester to assist in the oversight of the IRTA headquarters move� said Ron Whitney IRTA Executive Director. �We subsequently determined that it would not only be very cost effective but extremely productive for Dave to visit various east coast industry members delivering IRTA�s message of unity, education and self regulation.�

After his arrival in Rochester on November 4 and aiding with the preparation for the move, Wallach met with barter Hall-of-Famer Steve Webster. They discussed the status and direction of the Modern Trade and Barter Industry. �I came away from our conversations impressed as always with Steve�s knowledge, insight and vision, for our industry,� related Wallach. �Steve feels that the industry and IRTA are proceeding in a positive and correct direction.�

Wallach also toured Rochester�s IMS Barter office, speaking with several individual employees. it was noted that the office had both a high morale and a very competent staff. �Myles Webster demonstrated the IMS operating software�s ability to track client projects, explaining that project management was the key to increasing their clients� use of barter currency,� disclosed Wallach.

From there Dave traveled to Maine to visit the Trade Exchange, a 300 member single office exchange located in downtown Portland. Natalie Ladd manages and operates the company almost single handedly, having only one part-time assistant. �Natalie is a wonder, last month she not only did all of the trade direction, but she signed up nine new client members,� marveled Wallach.

Boston was his next stop; there Dave was hosted at the home of his longtime friend Allan Hackel. �Allan is a true pioneer of our industry; he practically founded corporate barter and he holds almost every industry honor including IRTA�s Barter Hall-of-Fame,� observed Wallach.

Although he could have retired years ago, Allan is in his office and working before any of his staff arrive in the morning, and is still at it after they go home. He loves his work and is very involved in the day to day operation of his company which is very competitive in the corporate barter arena. �I totally support the renewal of the Corporate Batter Council,� declared Hackel, �and feel that IRTA is leading the entire barter industry where it needs to go.� A true family business Allan�s staff includes his son Peter and daughter Jody.

Also located in Boston is New England Trade, owned and operated by Gary Oshry and Ken Meharg, which has over 1000 active members. Wallach met with Gary and Ken primarily deliberating the acquisition of new client members, with a focus on lead generation. �Keeping your sales staff in front of potential customers is the single most important factor in client acquisition,� Wallach elaborated. �They are definitely on the right track for growth in their market.�

Another Boston area exchange he visited was Barter Connections, with about 400 members owned and operated by Ken Barron. As Ken is not presently a member of any industry association, Dave chatted with him about the many benefits of joining other industry leaders in supporting IRTA and its industry goals, code of ethics, and mission. After the meeting Ken agreed to submit his application for IRTA membership.

New York and a meeting with IRTA member Alan Elkin, CEO of Active International, the world�s largest corporate barter company, was the last stop on the swing for Dave Wallach. Both Alan and his partner Art Wagner are in the barter Hall-of-Fame, and legends in the corporate barter industry. During the hour-and-a-half session with Elkin and Dayna Frank, a full range of topics were examined including effective use of IRTA�s Universal Currency, renewal of the Corporate Barter Council, and more effectively interfacing the corporate sector with the retail sector of the modern barter industry.

Elkin definitely has committed himself to the renewal of the Corporate Barter Council, and plans to become personally involved by attending meetings of the Council. Action items were put in place during the meeting to follow up on, along with other matters. �In my view the world�s present economic situation provides an excellent opportunity for our industry to demonstrate how business can effectively profit from their excess business capacity and under utilized assets,� asserted Alan Elkin.

(The International Reciprocal Trade Association (www.irta.com) is a non-profit organization committed to promoting just and equitable standards of practice and operation within the Modern Trade and Barter Industry and Alternative Capital Systems, as well as raising awareness and value of these processes to the entire worldwide community.)  


    IRTA BULLETIN 11/18/08

        See the excellent 11/13/08 New York Times article on barter.

IRTA was contacted by the N.Y.Times and referred the reporter for interviews:  Click here

         IRTA's representation on the IRS's IRPAC Committee resulted in the IRS updating their webs site's barter sections:  Click here


         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

         Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click here.) 

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Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It�s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry�s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it�s because we�re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there�s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let�s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this �cash only� focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don�t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It�s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


IMS Future Looks Bright

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM), a worldwide leader in business-to-business barter services, has filed its third-quarter report on form 10-Q.

During the quarter ended September 30, 2008, IMS processed more than $27 million in trade transactions compared to over $26 million in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of more than 4.5%. The trade volume generated gross revenues of $3,537,840, compared to revenue of $3,563,578 in the third quarter of last year, a slight decrease of 0.7%.

Total expenses decreased 5.5%, from $3,716,140 in the third quarter of 2007 to $3,511,054 in the current period. The decrease is the result of its efforts to consolidate administrative operations, and to streamline sales and marketing costs by more quickly identifying under-performing elements.

Despite slightly lower revenues, the net income from operations was $26,786, compared to a loss from operations of $152,562 during the same period last year. After adjusting for interest expense and the income tax benefit, the net loss for the current period was $121,516, a decrease of 9.5% over the loss of $134,232 in the third quarter of 2007.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2008, International Monetary Systems generated gross revenue of $10,596,113 compared to $10,285,250 last year, an increase of 3.0%.

Total expenses increased from $10,573,326 in the first nine months of 2007 to $11,039,616 for the same period in 2008, an increase of 4.4%. The net loss from operations was $443,503 for the first nine months of 2008, compared to a loss of $288,076 for the same period last year. Most of the 2008 operating loss was generated in the first two quarters of this year.

The deferred tax benefit represents the adjustment to the deferred tax liability, which arises from the differences in basis of acquired membership lists for financial reporting versus tax reporting.

Operating profit or EBITDA � earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization � totaled $791,304, a decrease of 4.35% from the $827,295 reported for the same period of 2007. The lower total for 2008 is primarily the result of greater non-cash expenses such as depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is calculated as follows:

 

Nine Months Ended

September 30, 2008

Nine Months Ended

September 30, 2007

Net loss

$ (416,616)

$ (261,594)

Interest expense

202,485

271,426

Income tax (benefit)

(219,718)

(261,143)

Depreciation

222,192

180,228

Amortization

1,002,961

898,378

 

$ 791,304

$ 827,295

Liquidity, Sources Of Capital, Lines Of Credit

On September 30, 2008, current assets were $3,258,814, and total assets were $18,103,362. Current liabilities were $3,399,105 and total liabilities were $9,073,204, resulting in total shareholder equity of $9,030,158.

At the end of the third quarter of 2008, the unrestricted cash balance was $408,221 compared to $812,365 on December 31, 2007. Though operations and financing activities generated $310,428 and $61,511, respectively, the company used $765,834 in cash for investing activities: $495,000 for business acquisitions, more than $70,000 for equipment purchases, nearly $11,000 for marketable securities and life insurance, and nearly $192,000 to fund restricted cash. Cash also decreased due to a foreign currency translation adjustment of $10,249 from its Canadian operation.

In March 2008, IMS drew $210,000 on a line of credit of which $100,000 was used as the down payment on the accelerated acquisition of New York Commerce Group. In June of 2008, $50,000 was paid to reduce the line of credit. In total the company has borrowed net $309,000 against lines of credit in 2008.

CEO, Don Mardak, asserted, �Considering the present economic environment, we are quite pleased with our company�s third-quarter results. Earlier this year, we made a commitment to reducing expenses, and this process will continue into the fourth quarter of 2008 and beyond. As a result, we believe that IMS has turned the corner toward ongoing profitability.�

For more information visit www.imsbarter.com


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews

Consumers Seek Bargains Rather Than Gift Cards

The National Retail Federation predicts a 5.6% decline in sales of gift cards this holiday season, the first drop in six years. (Sales of gift cards are expected to hit $24.9 billion this season, down from $26.3 billion last year.)

Fewer people said they planned to buy gift cards this year�53.5% compared with 56.6% in 2007. Many said they preferred to buy an item on sale instead of a gift card, which doesn�t go on sale.

The average amount shoppers spend on holiday gift cards is also expected to decline by 5.7% to $147.33 according to the National Retail Federation.

A drop in gift card sales could have a significant impact on retailers, who now restock their shelves after Christmas in anticipation of shoppers coming in to redeem gift cards.


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