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December 9, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/09/2008

ITEX Holiday Barter Fair Pulls Sellers From Across USA

A business from Toronto was selling golf clubs, while a Florida-based jewelry retailer traveled to Ontario (CA) to make holiday sales.

Vendors took possession of the 200 available booths to move their wares. This Southern California Holiday Fair is the largest ITEX one held in the United States.

Steve White, ITEX’s CEO, flew down from Seattle to view the flurry of sales occurring at the Ontario Convention Center this past Sunday. Peter and Neita Brooks, owners of the San Dimas-based ITEX Inland Valley stage this ever-growing, impressive event every December.

To view a short video of this holiday fair click here.

U.S. Small Businesses Still Upbeat

Michael Alter, President of Sure Payroll Services, sent me his latest findings showing that although the stock market hit the skids, how we view the economy is based on our personal circumstances. And the small business marketplace in November was surprisingly optimistic.

To read the report see: www.surepayroll.com/scorecard/2008/november

“Stocks Aren’t Cheap Yet” Contends Pimco’s Bill Gross

Pacific Investment Management Company’s Bill Gross, the manager of one of the world’s largest bond funds, said stocks aren’t cheap when viewed in relation to the direction the market is heading...with more regulation, lower leverage and higher taxes.

Gross said he believes in stocks for the long run, but only when bought at the right price. He said 14000 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a stretch, since about 20% of bank capital is now owned by the U.S. government.

Sports Illustrated “Sportsman Of The Year” Believes In Barter

History’s greatest Olympian, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, is endorsing a new protein drink called PureSport. It’s hardly as well known as competitor Gatorade, but with Phelps’ name behind it (along with fellow Olympic swimmers Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen and Ian Crocker) the University of Texas spin-off is off to a dizzying start.

Last month PureSport hit the shelves at Chicago’s Sports Authority, one of a 400-store sporting-goods chain. Phelps and the other Olympians agreed to endorse the protein mix before Phelps earned his eight gold metals. The foursome took a 5% equity stake in the company in exchange for their endorsement.

Yahoo Barters With CBS To Lower Costs

Yahoo is plugging its Internet radio service into CBS Corporation’s webcasting network in a move driven by dramatically higher royalty for airing music online.

Yahoo’s radio channel, called Launchcast, will combine with CBS beginning in February. Under the arrangement Yahoo will depend on CBS Radio to power Launchcast as well as sell all the ads on the service.

Barter comes into play as, in return for the helping hand, Yahoo’s high-traffic news and sports sections will feature some of CBS’ top-rated radio stations, including WFAN in New York and KNX-AM in Los Angeles.

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. . .)


BarterNews Teams With iTV Network To Air Weekly Barter TV Show

David Cooper, sales trainer extraordinaire and the founder of the iTV Network, is teaming with Bob Meyer, founder of BarterNews magazine, to present a weekly program about bartering on iTV Network’s barter channel.

The objective of the program will be to expand the awareness and use of barter by educating the millions of small and mid-size business owners, those who are yet to use barter in their business endeavors.

David Cooper has appeared at over 8,000 paid events since 1974 and 1,600,000 people have paid to see him speak. Bob Meyer began publishing BarterNews in 1979 and over the years has been acknowledged within the commercial barter industry for his contributions with numerous awards for his efforts.

For more information on the weekly iTV show see video at www.davidcooper.com/view/421.


Do You Need A GPS?

By Doug Dagenais

(When BarterCorp was sold in 1999 to Intagio, Doug Dagenais became the new National Sales Manager handling their retail and national accounts. He also took over management of the Chicago Corporate owned location.

In 2003 he left to build the barter division of Shell Vacations Club. There, he coordinated $1 million annually in room-night trades with many exchange groups as well as direct vendor transactions.

Contacted by Steve White in 2007 to compliment the organic growth of ITEX, he was brought onboard as National Sales Manager. Subsequently, new nationwide account registrations for the company have exceeded 30% over the past year.)

As we all attempt to manage and grow our business, sometimes we’re challenged in finding the way. For a barter network, when it comes to new account registrations—the key to growth—losing the way can be devastating. We search for prospects by networking, cold calling, advertising, getting referrals, and talking to anyone we know. It’s much like the advertising industry in the past, promote your products to everyone and see what sticks. This approach has passed by in the advertising industry and it should have passed us by as well.

Target Market Segmentation has proven to be the most cost effective approach to growing a business. This means defining the market that your core business works well with, and messaging your products/services to those targets through the medium they respond to. A simple statement, but it has a host of implications to the barter industry.

Defining the market: What business are we in? One of the great opportunities about our industry is that barter can be applied to most every business. This is also one of our great challenges. What customer do we serve and serve well? What customer segment do we have the resources to support? Small business services? Mid market manufacturing? Media? Travel? National accounts? All of these?

My experience tells me that we build communities, no matter what industry or size business we serve. Communities based on a clients’ needs and offerings. If we move in this direction, it results in an immediate transaction, benefit to our customer, and an urgency for the prospect to move forward quickly. No matter what segment we choose, we need to be focused on filling the customer needs. If our prospecting carries us outside of this, we’re taking the wrong direction and need to look at our map.

Core business: Once we define our market segment, can we define our core strength in serving that market? Do we focus on supply chain transactions or ancillary expense categories? Are we in the membership business or are we creating one time transactions? When we define our core business, we best understand how we can serve customers and can thus, in fact, deliver our promises and exceed expectations. Do this and we can build on our customer relationships, rather than churn through prospects that we should have never sought out.

Messaging: Knowing our market segment and how our customers perceive us begins to define our core essence. (Our core business is what we think we provide our customers. Our core essence is what our customers think we provide them.) Understanding what our customer expects from us helps define our message—our value proposition.

If this can be defined, our message can be loud and clear. We will truly be providing solutions and be valued by our prospect. Without this, barter can be a blur of misunderstood options and processes that eventually erode the customer benefit. And hence, continue to drive us toward continuing to prospect in areas where we have no business.

Medium: I don’t believe the barter industry has experienced great market penetration with traditional advertising. I would suggest that our industry is ripe to experience viral marketing...creating a “buzz” generated by our customers. Again, a conclusion that should drive us to grow our business based on our current customers’ needs.

If we can focus on these elements, we should never be challenged for finding prospects that result in a smooth path to growing our business. And, if we execute properly, not only will we find the right prospect, but as well, enhance our ability to close the prospect and ultimately create customer satisfaction. And that will give us “buzz.”

So, turn on the GPS and never get lost again!


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.


TTi Reports $80 Million Trading Volume

TeleTrade international announces through the first 11 months of 2008 for barter/trading activity that volume is nearly $80 million for worldwide transactions through its online platforms for independent trade exchanges. The total of all online activity since 1999 when TTi took its technology online now exceeds 642 million. 

The eValues system for independent barter/trade exchanges reflects nearly 50 million in transaction volume during this period. EValues online totals reached an activity level of almost 356 million since coming online in 2000. 

TTi has its swipe-card terminal technology program available to all U.S. based exchanges, and can create a system for local exchanges worldwide to have this capability. For the U.S. exchanges, TTi has been able to secure a relationship with the country’s fourth largest private merchant service provider to give participating exchanges the “guaranteed lowest credit and debit processing rates.” From a single terminal, merchants have the combined ability to process credit, debit, discount, and barter programs.

For more information contact CEO Gary Lasater at (303) 840-7172 ext 1, or gary@teletrade.net.


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Full Service Ad Agency Opens Barter Department

RJPalmer, headquartered in New York, is a privately held ad agency with some $650 million in annual billings. The company launched a corporate barter department—Trade X Media, headed by Senior VP Vince Laraia.

Laraia, formerly of Interpublic’s MAGNA Global Trading, was their Executive VP, Worldwide Director. Throughout his career he has assisted a plethora of Fortune 500 companies with strategic corporate barter solutions.

For more information go to http://www.RJPalmer.com.


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews

Former Russian Multi-Millionaire Promotes Commodity Bartering

German Sterligor, 41, is promoting an electronic barter idea for commodities, that he claims could save Russia’s foundering financial system.

Sterligor made his first million at age 24 but exited from the high life when he challenged then-President Putin in his 2004 re-election bid. At the time he was a tycoon with hundreds-of-millions of dollars in the bank, dozens of businesses, offices on Wall Street and in London, and a villa in Rublyovka, a Moscow suburb for the super-rich.

Now, living on a farm outside of Moscow, he along with a former business associate have set-up an “anti-crisis commodity transactions center for commodity bartering.” It’s an electronic substitute for money that’s not linked with the dollar, euro or ruble.


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