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November 11, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/11/2008

Lasater Re-elected

Gary Lasater, CEO of eValues ( and a barter industry pioneer, won a citizens mandate for re-election to the Parker Town Council in Colorado. Parker is in the southeast Denver metro area, with a population of 50,000. The two other incumbents running were not elected.

$300 Million Real Estate Available On Part-Barter Basis

Mountain resort home sites as well as cabin and pedestal homes are available on a part-cash part-trade basis. The properties are located within fine communities in the mountains of northern Georgia.

For further details go to

Wonderland Bakery Promoted Voting With A Twist

Wonderland Bakery (, a specialty bakery and gift concierge in Irvine (CA), helped get the votes with ?good taste? in the recent national election. Customers could purchase cookies depicting their favorite presidential candidate and political party.

Allyson Ames, founder of Wonderland Bakery, noted, ?We have made thousands of politically decorated cookies since we received the 2008 California Business of the Year award in May from Senator Harman and Governor Schwarzenegger in Sacramento.

PepsiCo Considers Multiple Opportunities

PepsiCo?s CEO Indra Nooyl, an Indian-American, said her company considers as many as 30 acquisitions globally at any one time. She says it?s important as a company today to see yourself as a global citizen, making sure to understand the world around you.

 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. . .)

When You?re ?Paid In Advance? You Are Able To Handle Today?s Dramatic Change

As we all know, the digital revolution is steadily driving forward, and the emerging new economy represents a tectonic upheaval. We?re going to see as much change in the next couple of years as our parents saw in their entire lifetime.

What does this mean to you? Just this:  every business decision must be given its due in view of lightning-fast change. For instance, every time you now extend credit to someone you are in a precarious situation. Today?s suddenness of change, due to the technological and economic factors, now present in a fast-changing world is the reason.

So, for maximum protection, insist on payment with delivery. Whenever possible, work through your trade exchange, because then you?ll be more secure in your business transactions. After all, that way payment is always made in advance!


25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at

Economic Woes Hit Main Street Business Owners

October?s churning economic activity clearly worried small business owners. The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism fell 5.4 points to 87.5 (1986=100), the third lowest reading in the 35-year history of the survey.

?The decline in the index is a clear indication that the economy is solidly lodged in a recessionary mire,? said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. ?The third-quarter decline in Gross Domestic Product was not large, 0.3% at an annual rate, but consumer spending ? 70% of GDP ? was down more than 3%. The consumer does not appear ready to get into a holiday mood to save the fourth quarter numbers,? the economist said.


Seasonally adjusted, average employment per firm declined by 0.41 workers in October, a reading worse than September?s. Nine percent of the owners increased employment by an average of 2.7 workers per firm, but 17% reduced employment an average of 2.7 workers per firm, seasonally adjusted.

Forty-six percent of the owners hired or tried to hire (down three points), and 76% of those trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the job openings they were trying to fill. Eight percent of the owners reported that the availability of qualified labor was their top business problem, down from 17% in September 2007. Fourteen percent (seasonally adjusted) reported unfilled job openings, down four points from September (the 34-year average is 22%), anticipating another up-tick in the unemployment rate.

Over the next three months, 9% plan to create new jobs (down three points), and 15% plan workforce reductions (up five points), yielding a seasonally adjusted net-zero percent of owners planning to create new jobs, seven points lower than September and one of the lowest readings in survey history. Only the 1974-75 and 1980-82 recession periods produced lower readings.

Capital Spending

?While Fed policy may be keeping financing costs low, the weak economy has reduced the need for expansion and new equipment putting pressure on cash flows and inducing owners to postpone discretionary capital outlays,? said Dunkelberg. ?The frequency of reported capital outlays over the past six months rose two points to 54% of all firms, still at recession levels historically, but at least it didn?t fall.?

Thirty-six percent reported spending on new equipment (unchanged), 20% acquired vehicles (up three points), and 13% improved or expanded their facilities (up one point). Twelve percent spent money for new fixtures and furniture (up 1 point); 5% acquired new buildings or land for expansion (down two points).

Plans to make capital expenditures over the next six months fell two points to 19%. This reading was last this low in 1975 and only lower at 16% in 1974. ?Clearly in this uncertain environment, owners are postponing any capital projects that are not essential to the operation of the firm,? Dunkelberg said.

Five percent characterized the current period as a good time to expand facilities, down six points ? the lowest reading since 1982, and the second lowest in survey history. A net-negative 4% expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, an 18 point decline from September, but far from a record-low level.

Inventories and Sales

Small business owners continued to liquidate inventories. A net-negative 13% of owners reported gains in inventory stocks (more firms cut stocks than added to them, seasonally adjusted), the seventh negative double-digit month and the seventeenth negative month in a row. Unadjusted, 11% reported gains, and 23% reported inventory reductions.

For all firms, a net-negative 4% (three points worse than September) reported stocks too low, seasonally adjusted. The net percent of all owners, seasonally adjusted, reporting higher sales in the past three months lost 10 points, falling to a net-negative 21%, the worst reading in survey history.  Unadjusted, 20% of all owners reported higher sales (down six points), and 37% reported lower sales (up six points).

Owners are still satisfying customer demand out of current inventories and plans to replace stocks are weak. Expectations for gains in real sales also declined, falling 14 points to a net-negative 16% who expect improvements (the second worst reading in survey history). Weak demand was the single most important business problem in September, taxes was second, and inflation and cost and availability of insurance tied for third.

Poor sales expectations produced a decline in plans to add to inventories with the net percent planning to add to stocks falling two points to a net-negative 5% of all firms, seasonally adjusted. Seasonally unadjusted, 10% plan to add to stocks (unchanged), while 20% will reduce stocks (up four points). ?This is very bad news for manufacturer?s order books.? Dunkelberg said.


Price pressures continue to abate with sales trends now at recession levels. The net percent of owners reporting higher average selling prices dropped five points to a net 15% in October, seasonally adjusted, down 17 points since July. ?The bad news is that this is still a high reading, inflation, especially core inflation, is not going away quietly,? Dunkelberg said.

Unadjusted, 29% reported raising average selling prices, down five points, and 17% reported lower selling prices, up two points from September. The percent of owners citing inflation as their No.1 problem fell five points to 11%, about half its level a few months ago.

Plans to raise prices fell six points to a net, seasonally-adjusted 18% of owners, 20 points below the July reading, signaling good news for the Fed.


The net percent of owners reporting earnings gains was unchanged in October and at a dismal level. Seasonally adjusted, those reporting declining earnings trends outnumbered those with gains by 35 percentage points. With a decline in the percent of firms raising selling prices, it has become harder to pass on the pressures from ?backdoor inflation,? one of the top-rated business problems. The percent of all firms reporting higher employee compensation fell two points to 15% of all firms, but this was not enough to support profit improvement.

Of the owners reporting higher earnings (13%, down four points), 54% cited stronger sales (up one point) as the cause, and 8% each credited lower materials costs and higher selling prices. For those reporting lower earnings compared to the previous three months (41%, down four points), 59% cited weaker sales (up 18 points), 27% cited higher materials costs (including energy), and 10% blamed lower selling prices. Two percent each cited higher insurance costs, higher labor costs or higher taxes for the adverse performance of profits.


As the economy weakens, loan demand continues to be soft. Only 33% reported regular borrowing, a point higher than September, but historically low (the 35-year low is 31%). Because of the slowdown in the economy, the credit worthiness of potential borrowers has deteriorated over the last year, leading to more difficult terms and higher loan rejection rates (even with no change in lending standards) for some owners.

Thirty-one percent reported all their borrowing needs met compared to 6% who reported problems obtaining desired financing.  The net percent reporting borrowing needs satisfied was down two points from September.  The net percent of owners reporting loans harder to get fell two points to 9% of all firms from its cyclical high of 11% reached in September.

The net percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease in the coming months was a seasonally adjusted net-negative 16% (more owners expect that it will be harder to arrange financing), three points worse than September (the average was a net-negative 8% in 2007). Owners expect deteriorating economic conditions to make borrowing more difficult.

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Eight Ideas To Improve Your Productivity & Effectiveness

1)    Get right to the point with the telephone caller by saying, ?Hi Susan, nice to hear from you. How can I help you??

2)    Keep conversation to a minimum ? walk your colleague out to your office door, saying, ?Thanks for the info, Jim. Catch you later.? Take a short turn and return to your desk.

3)    Take advantage of voice-mail by leaving a message after hours when colleagues are not apt to be there, and avoid a two-way conversation.

4)    Hand-write your reply on the bottom of a memo and pass it right back to the sender.

5)    Keep your most critical files right at hand in a vertical file on your desk, at the front of your desk-file drawer, or in a mobile file cart at ?fingertip? distance.

6)    Create a daily ?To Do? list out of yellow stickies placed on a clipboard. Toss away the stickie as you complete each task, ending the day with an empty clipboard.

7)    Use the 10 minutes, waiting for a meeting to start, to jot a short note or read a journal article. You?ll be surprised at how many pesky tasks you can clear away in 5 or 10 minutes!

8)    When a spontaneous meeting arises try to meet in a colleague?s office, not your own. It?s a lot easier to excuse yourself from someone else?s office, when the meeting has outlived its usefulness, than to ask them to leave your office.

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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today?s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital?which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our ?Secondary Capital Section.?

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