by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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More Feedback On “Technology’s Effect On Future Of Barter Industry”
First, from IRTA’s Executive Director Krista
For sure, technology is making possible many things.
As the book, The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar,
Straus & Giroux), suggests, there are many incredible changes taking
For the barter industry, the world is flat and
quickly getting flatter! And it’s a double-edged sword. With
increased collaboration power and affordable robust technology
converging, some remarkable possibilities are on the horizon...but
so are the incidences of rogue operations. It’s the nature of the
In many fields, rogue operators are non-starters, or
are eliminated before much harm is done. For instance, matching
software is harmless—yet powerful, absolutely. But the worst thing
that can happen is a bad swap.
Reputable systems will make quick work of getting the
bad swapper out. However, in the field of credit-clearing, rogue
operators typically are discovered after big damage is done.
The commercial barter industry faced this 26 years
ago and gained their niche only after a long fought, expensive
I’m excited and also concerned that the cashless
trading industry, which commercial barter has pioneered in such a
significant way, may be on the verge of a quantum leap...but also
may be destined to repeat history at the same time. An
investigation, such as occurred decades ago when we were much
younger and less developed, could irreparably set our collective
For those of you who were around back then, imagine
what it would have been like if the International Reciprocal Trade
Association (IRTA) had not been formed and the IRS was successful
thus in their “John Doe endeavor” to extinguish the use of
commercial barter through the trade exchange model.
My concern today stems from the proliferation of
barter software (for exchange networks) being marketed to commercial
and non-commercial exchange networks. There is an incredible naiveté
about the responsibilities involved in maintaining a solid exchange
network and how to identify a system that is aiming only to expand
the distribution of its own trade credit.
The technology part is easy.
Making sure that operators are honorable, ethical,
knowledgeable and responsible to the public is another matter. In my
position as Executive Director of IRTA, I have been exposed to many
It seems like many people or groups still have an
agenda driven by the desire to be the first, the biggest, the
most...in short, to claim responsibility (take the credit) for the
quantum leap anticipated. This makes no sense to me. Not only is it
selfish, it’s silly. Didn’t we all chuckle when Al Gore reportedly
claimed to have discovered the Internet?
Sure, there is talk about being collaborative and
working together, yet I still see a lot of guarded secrets, hidden
agendas and blue-sky thinking, but not enough doing or doing it
I feel IRTA’s job at this time is to continually
upgrade membership requirements (quality and management standards),
educate the public, and work to steward the collaboration needed to
nurture an expansive, responsible and UNIFIED cashless trading
world. No small feat.
Regarding last week’s comments by Thomas Greco about
Matchbin (formally known as Barter Farm) I am unaware of their
agreement with eBay and I’m uncertain that I understand what Greco
means about eBay lacking localization.
Perhaps he means in conjunction with Matchbin, eBay
can potentially replace all the local “swap sheets” that circulate
in communities all over the world. Super...then add a non-cash trade
credit...a UC perhaps...and now we’re cooking.
Regarding the founders of Matchbin, Jon Firmage and
Josh Higgenbothem, I liked their enthusiasm and direction when I met
them at the IRTA Conference in 2003. They don’t issue a trade
credit, but their web site is looking great and the matching
capabilities are cool...and their focus on local, but global is
right on. Other entrants similar to Matchbin are equally impressive,
I still strive for the Visa vision for the cashless
trading world. And I truly believe that this quantum leap will come
from within what we know of as the commercial barter industry. I
hope it will start to emerge soon, and be led by gracious, ethical,
benevolent leaders who will see beyond their own “fiefdom”
aspirations or personal glory pursuits.
I wish to thank Tom Greco for sharing his thoughts
and insights. This kind of communication is precisely what our
industry needs more of.
Barter Industry Should Embrace Open Cyber Trading Systems
Tucker, President CTEX Group
The writing is
on the wall, regarding threats to the commercial barter industry
from cash or new cash-equivalent online systems. Because,
essentially these live 24/7 online systems are producing technology
that empowers the buyer to clinch “deals” (smartshopper.com)
that might otherwise be a market open to a barter pitch.
can monitor specific products by location, price, you name it...and
then notify the buyer so that a transaction can be completed at the
very last minute. Thus it enables the seller to practice a form of
particularly true with intangible services such as hotel
accommodations, which is the focus of our group. Online technology
allows rooms to be sold as commodities, prices rising and falling
with market demand. Try getting a room in New York City next week on
barter. It’s almost impossible to find for cash, in fact
Intercontinental Hotels do not have a single room available
itself enables the sharing of small transaction fees between
etc.) and travel companies, and is offset by enormous volume when
there are open markets.
allows for “accessible/available” products and services to be
available in database after database, but on a live, first come,
first served basis.
For example, a
company might have 100 SKU’s of product available, however the
ubiquitous nature of the online technology has these products
omnipresent on 200 different sites simultaneously!
units are available in cyberspace at a particular instant. That’s a
mind-boggling 2000% factor, that’s leverage. In the blink of an eye
these rooms can be sold before the hesitant buyer hits enter!
commercial barter industry embraced open cyber trading systems and
volume based fee sharing, similar leverage factors of 2000% and
greater could be achieved. That’s velocity.
note: The CTEX Group
has been working within the barter industry since 1992, providing
various services to hoteliers.)
New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!
You can obtain
useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue
Thai Countertrade Deal: Wings For Wings!
military, which last fought a war in 1987 against tiny neighbor
Laos, wants to spend $6.6 billion on upgrades over the next nine
years, according to their defense minister.
The first stage
of the three-part planes, ships and tanks spending plan would focus
on repairing and replenishing weapons, improving civilian rescue
operations, and economic development.
Thammarak Isarangura said barter is the country’s top priority for
procurement. And he has full backing of Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, who champions barter deals so they can reduce the
country’s trade deficit. Their goal, trading Thailand’s abundant
farm goods for costly hi-tech military products.
During trips to
Stockholm and Moscow last year he floated the idea of trading Thai
chicken for fighter jets either from Russia or Sweden, despite the
air force’s preference for USA’s F-16s.
“They both have
wings and they can both fly,” Thaksin says.
barter company in the world is listed on our web site,
click through to our Global List
of Barter Companies.
University’s Barter Deal With Google Has Huge Pay Off!
director of Stanford University office of Technology Licensing
reported that the university has made $336 million on the sale of
its stock in Google Inc., the Internet search-engine giant created
by two of the university’s graduate students.
received 1.8 million shares of Google in exchange for allowing
Google to use key Internet search-technology developed by company
founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page while they were graduate
students at the university.
the patent on the technology, which the university licenses to
Google under a multi-year deal.
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Next Big Wave In Housing Will Be Penturbia!
A retired real
estate professor from the University of Washington, 84-year-old Jack
Lessigner, says the next big wave in housing will be a move away
from the classic suburbs and toward remote parts of the country.
says the growth of the classic suburbs has actually been slowing
since the 1970s, and it will only accelerate in the coming years.
bottomline is that suburbs are too crowded and too expensive...a
victim of their own success. As a result, many Americans will opt
for a lifestyle that is calmer, less densely populated and cheaper.
They’ll flock to a place Lessigner has termed “Penturbia,” urban
developments in rural regions.
living will be powered, in part, by the Internet, which lets many
folks do business from just about anywhere.
grown old,” the professor says. “It was a paradise in the 1940s and
1950s. It was everything we wanted. A wonderful innovation, but now
suburbia has become too big, too unwieldy, too expensive.”
one of the most important parts of housing demand is fashion.
Today’s major trend is toward open spaces. The octogenarian real
estate professor has just authored his sixth book, Your
County—Boom or Bust? The Rise of Penturbia & The Fall of Suburbia.
A Gift To A Friend Or Associate. If you know someone
who might benefit from this newsletter, feel free to forward it
to them! (See the “box” at the end of the newsletter
for the forwarding service.)
William B. Tanner Dies
Back in the
1970s, one of the early corporate barter companies was the Memphis
based William B. Tanner Company. It was headed by Bill Tanner, a
most colorful personality who built a huge company which later sold
to Media General.
Issue #3, had an extensive article about Tanner. It described the
way he traded promotions and jingles, his company created in-house,
for a wide variety of media from radio stations around the country.
Bill Tanner died
December 1, at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis at the age
International reports total annual combined transactional volume
was $86,830,085 for the period through November 30, 2005. The
greatest growth came at eValues.net where combined transaction
volume totaled $53, 480,000, an increase of $13,400,000 over
2004 volume. For further information contact CEO Gary Lasater at
- ITEX Connecticut will hold
their annual Holiday Show on December 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 707 on
Main, in Monroe. For further details call (888) 294-6393.
- 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.
- Last week we reported on the
Dubai Hotel securing the Trump name in a non-cash deal. The country, a Persian
Gulf monarchy with a $27-billion economy, continues to push forward making
outside (non-oil) investments. Booming on the back of record oil prices this
year, Dubai bought a stake in DaimlerChrysler, the world’s No. 5 automaker.DP World,
Dubai’s port company,
agreed to acquire Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. for $5.7 billion,
which will peg them as the world’s third-largest port operator, gaining
container terminals from Europe and the U.S. to China. (Just a year ago they
paid $1.15 billion for CSX Corp.’s container terminals in Asia and South
America, as well.)