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Bob Meyer

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Prices May Vary But Bartering Is Still The Best Deal!

It�s very interesting to observe how industries that are governed by the clock package and market their services. The importance of time takes on a new meaning when companies have to �use it or lose it.� Today hoteliers are some of the more creative thinkers in regards to pricing and selling their product. They see the wisdom of selling in a variety of ways, including the bartering of their space.

Here�s a look at the different ways they move their inventory:

  Super-saver rates, for those who make reservations at least 29 days in advance. (This marketing strategy is similar to the airlines.)

  Corporate rates, which typically are discounted 10% to 50% ... when one shows a company ID, or even a business card.

  Discounts to members of clubs, organizations and other national affiliations such as frequent flyer plans, auto or oil-company travel clubs, and AARP senior citizens.

  Special weekend guest rates. These concessions are due to increased weekend vacancies in the big city hotels that cater to business travelers Monday through Thursday.

  Free accommodations are available from tour organizers, when one hustles up four or more paying travelers for their tours.

Hotel industry accounting firm Laventhol & Horwath reports that it�s often possible to get a better hotel rate than the one posted. All you need to do is ask. (Discounts of 10% to 20% were available for the asking at one-third of 270 luxury hotels surveyed by the firm.)

For members of a trade exchange, often the easiest and �best� rates for hotel rooms are those acquired with trade dollars. That�s because those dollars have superb leverage having been earned at your company�s variable cost-of-doing business.

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