by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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Your article, ?Technology, Cash Discounts May Become
Barter Industry?s Major Challenges,? in last week's Tuesday
Report inspired me to write the following.
Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
(Editor?s note: Mr. Greco has, for more than 25 years, been working
at the leading edge of economic and financial restructuring. He is
the author of
Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender.
Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2001.)
Technology?s Effect On Future Of Barter Industry
The Tuesday Report of November 22 warned that
technology is becoming ?another growing competitor? of the barter
industry. This is a warning that must be taken seriously.
Fortunately, technology is available to all (to be used) and the
barter industry is better positioned than anyone to take advantage
of the new technologies. How is that so?
The key lies in understanding that the financial
advantages that can be offered to trade exchange members are
ultimately far more valuable than the marketing advantages that (the
barter industry has) heretofore been emphasizing.
Your article noted that ?today's typical exchange has
a preponderance of service businesses as members.? The geographical
limitations upon the delivery of services has up to now enabled
trade exchanges, with their focus on local markets, to ignore the
development of online markets, but that is about to change.
Citing technological and market developments such as
Craigslist, eBay, and Google Base, with their new focus on local
markets and the service sector, the article argues that ?a major
shift is underway in how consumers and small business owners shop
for local services.? The truth of that observation is undeniable,
and in fact, understates the case, which is further supported by
considering such other market entrants as Matchbin.
One essential feature of Matchbin is its attention to
local markets that are managed online and networked together. The
Matchbin motto is, ?locally focused while globally connected.?
Another distinguishing feature of Matchbin is its strategy of
building customer base by soliciting groups that are already
connected. Its ?Buddybin? feature enables participants to create
networking connections similar to Linkedin or Friendster. Matchbin
describes itself as ?a dating service for your stuff.?
Their recent partnering agreement with eBay gives
Matchbin a reach into eBay's huge established market, plus the
credibility that goes with associating with a major recognized
brand. In return, Matchbin promises to provide eBay with the
localization that it has lacked up to now.
Clearly the future of marketing is online, and any
trade exchange that does not soon extend its own marketplace into
cyberspace will be left in the dust. But the most important point is
this. Not only is technology changing ?the way consumers and small
business owners shop for local services,? it's changing the way they
PAY for both services and products, not just locally, but globally.
We've already seen the emergence of payment options
like PayPal, but that is just a minor shift compared to what's
What's coming is the use of trade credits that will
be internally cleared within the exchange network itself. Credit
clearing within their own realms is what barter companies have each
been doing from the beginning, so they are well positioned to take
cashless trading to the next level.
The Universal Currency utility that has been
established by IRTA (International Reciprocal Trade Association) is
a step in that direction in that it provides a means by which
exchanges can trade with one another. The ultimate step, however, is
to provide a means by which a member of one exchange can trade
directly with a member of another exchange. What will it take to
The basic requirements are for each exchange to
establish an open line of credit for each of its members. Those
credit lines will be adequately secured and insured. Further, it is
necessary for participating exchanges to expand their membership to
include all levels of the supply chain from retailers to wholesalers
to manufacturers to basic commodity producers to consumers and
workers, so that every member is able to pay their suppliers with
Finally, each participating exchange must agree to
adhere to an appropriate set of standard procedures and protocols
relating to the allocation of credit lines and the management of
internal operations. A small fee collected on each transaction will
provide huge profits for those that can efficiently clear account
balances and quickly ramp up the scale of their operations.
Editor?s note: A set of standards (standard procedures & protocols)
as alluded to by Greco has been a topic of discussion at the last
two International Reciprocal Trade Association conventions.
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Mardak Enthusiastic About Growing Revenues & Profits
International Monetary Systems Ltd. (OTCBB:INLM) has
announced its third-quarter earnings which ended September 30, 2005.
Gross revenue increased 43% to $1,674,526 compared to $1,169,918 for
the third quarter of 2004. The increased revenue was a result of
five acquisitions and the internal growth of Continental Trade
IMS?s year-to-date consolidated gross revenue for the
nine-month period ending September 30, 2005, totaled $4,415,165
compared to $3,347,528 for the same period in 2004, an increase of
Total expenses for the nine-month period were
$4,254,309 compared to $3,267,479 for the same period in 2004.
Year-to-date net income for the first nine months of 2005 was
$120,656, compared to $61,686 for the same period ending September
30, 2004, an increase of 96%.
CEO Don Mardak
affirmed, ?With year-to-date earnings up 96%, we are on target to
hit all of our projected numbers. These continuing good results
validate our growth-through-acquisition strategy.?
New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!
You can obtain
useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue
?Applebucks? Used To Motivate Restaurant Employees
In a bid to reduce high turnover rates among their
restaurant employees, Applebee?s International is following the
management strategy of General Electric Co. (Applebee?s is the
U.S.?s biggest casual-dining chain by number of restaurants?1,786.)
They?re doing it by ranking their hourly employees,
and then rewarding managers for retaining the better workers.
Managers get rewarded on how well they retain the top 80% of their
staff, the ?A? workers (top 20%) and ?B? workers (the middle 60%).
To win employees? loyalty, managers award them
?Applebucks? points, the company?s currency, which can be used to
acquire various goods and services.
The system is
working, having reduced the annual turnover rate among hourly
employees by almost half in four years.
barter company in the world is listed on our web site,
click through to our Global List
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Angel Investors Pull Back From Betting On Start-Up Businesses
According to a recent study by the University of New
Hampshire?s Center for Venture Research, ?angels? are getting cold
feet! (An angel is a wealthy individual willing to invest in a new
business before anyone else does.)
Less than half (48%) of these investors are betting
on new start-up businesses, a drop from 59% a year ago. And for
years prior the figure was around 75%. Where are the ?angels?
investing? In later-stage companies, as their business plans appear
better prepared and fleshed out.
Venture-Capitalists Also Prefer
?Big? is in, in the venture capital world these days.
Industry data shows they?re putting bigger chunks of cash into
larger, more-established companies and easing up on earlier-stage
The VCs are opting
for bigger investments in more mature companies because these firms
might go public or be purchased more quickly than newer firms. The
goal of any venture-capital investment is an ?exit,? usually in the
form of an IPO or an acquisition.
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The art-and-culture industry in Santa Fe, New
Mexico, generates one out of every six jobs and $1 billion
annually. Nationally, Santa Fe ranks second in art sales to New
- Dubai Hotel will be getting
Trump?s name, according to top Emirates developer firm Nakheel. The deal brings
together two of the world?s flashiest developers, and marks Trump?s first foray
into the Middle East. Trump isn?t required to invest any money, instead trading
on his name to provide its brand to projects that could be entirely financed and
built by Nakheel.
Dubai is one of the world?s
fastest-growing cities, and is emerging as a hub for business and tourism which
last year doubled to 5.4 million.
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- American Express is launching a
new type of insurance for frequent flier miles. The product, called Air Miles
Protection, starts at $5.40 a month for 60,000-mile or 100,000-mile plans at
seven airlines, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Northwest
Airlines. If an airline ends its frequent-flier program and no other airline
continues it, American Express will insure the miles that are lost.
The program will give travelers cash value for unusable miles,
i.e. $50 for every 3,500 miles they redeem. The money is good
only for buying airline tickets with the American Express card,
and is presently available in 38 states.