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In-depth Look At U.S. Trade Exchange Industry�s Size

Editor�s Note:

In mid-August of 2011, the most ambitious attempt was made to ascertain the size of the trade exchange industry in the U.S. Steven White, CEO of ITEX, likened the effort to better understand the size of the industry to be very important � similar to that of a Corporate Balance Sheet.


Working in conjunction with BarterNews, a member of the ITEX corporate staff contacted each and every trade exchange on the BarterNews website list The goal was to see what exchanges were still in business. If no longer in business, the listing was deleted from the BarterNews trade exchange listings.


An exchange was considered no longer in business if: no one answered the phone or the phone was disconnected; their website was non-existent or not working; and no information was found about the exchange on or on Google. After a month of effort over 100 trade exchange deletions were made.


Below, in a letter from Steven White, are the conclusions of the trade exchange industry�s size in the United States. Given the continual media questions about the size of the trade exchange industry, this endeavor to ascertain a more realistic figure as well as perspective was important. We welcome your thoughts and feedback.  

April 20, 2011

Mr. Bob Meyer
Laguna Niguel, CA

Re: Barter Industry size

Dear Bob,

The size of the barter industry has been debated for many years and, consequently, has created many opinions. ITEX, in partnership with BarterNews, took on the task of trying to quantify the results for the industry in the United States. Here was the process:

1.    Verified the map of USA barter companies at was accurate;

2.    Updated the map listings. Since 2005 both ITEX and IMS have acquired dozens of exchanges, which consolidated more than 75 office locations;

3.    Synchronized the map listing with NATE and IRTA membership directories;

4.    Verified every website or business listed at�s USA map.

Next we utilized ITEX�s internal database for cash revenues, number of members, the average size of an office and the amount of revenue generated per member. We reviewed the public filings for IMS and news releases of TradeBank, and then we averaged all the numbers together to create a benchmark.

Below are our conclusions for the industry size in the United States:
Number of barter business locations: 295
Membership: 88,577
Cash revenues: $56,511,862
Transaction volume: $680,000,000

I understand our methodology is not an exact science, however, I hope its gets us closer to the mark. Accuracy is the goal. We certainly appreciate any positive feedback to further authenticate the facts as we show them.

You may e-mail Bob Meyer at, letting him know if ITEX can utilize any statistics you may have or request he keep the information confidential. ITEX will only use any industry information for the statistics and never disclose the source without your expressed permission. We will share the consolidated data, with BarterNews for periodic updates.


Steven White
ITEX Chief Executive Office

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