Wednesday January 18th 2017

Is Barter the NEW way to do business?

bar·ter
ˈbärtər/
verb
verb: barter; 3rd person present: barters; past tense: bartered; past participle: bartered; gerund or present participle: bartering
  1. 1.
    exchange (goods or services) for other goods or services without using money.
    “he often bartered a meal for drawings”
    synonyms: trade, swap, exchange, sell More

    “they bartered grain for salt”
noun
noun: barter
  1. 1.
    the action or system of exchanging goods or services without using money.
    “it will be paid for by a mixture of barter and cash”
    When we hear the word “Barter”, many of us are confused as to what this means. It was, in the ” days of yore”, a way of life. In our forefather’s day, a doctor might make a house call and be paid with a chicken or a dozen eggs instead of money. When we watch the old westerns on TV or in the movies, it seems that a coin is placed on the bar for a shot or a beer, but in many instances, another form of payment was made- BARTER!.
    Barter is still around today! TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, and other media use it on a daily basis. Ads that you see or hear for entertainment movies, plays, concerts etc are often paid for with tickets to that particular event. Then the station or publication uses these as prizes for contests ( increasing the ratings, which in turn increases, the rates for those cash advertisers) or as incentives to their larger ad spenders to do even more.
    But there are other ways that barter can be a part of your life. Barter exchanges exist in today’s business world. Art of Barter, IMS and ITEX are the three major players in the Greater Chicagoland Area. I have had dealings with all three of these. The way it works is simple. You , as a member, can sell your goods or services to other members for what are called “barter dollars”, which are in your barter Bank. The dollars that you have accumulated are taken from your account and moved to theirs, as if it were a bank transaction. The only difference is a fee or service charge that is in cash (there are some alternate programs with each of the exchanges).
    Sales tax for the purchases are also in cash. Can’t get away from these taxes, no matter what you do. In the case of restaurant members or any other “service” business, if tipping, it is also on a cash basis. The idea of joining a barter exchange (many businesses belong to all three) is that they help your business get noticed and send people your way. If you need something, all you need to do is check the list,or call your broker and tell them what you are seeking. They, in turn, will find it for you, let you know who to call and then you can finish up the deal.
    The beauty of the exchange system is that unlike the olden days where the Doctor had to treat a member of the household to get a chicken or the eggs, we do not have to offer our services or products to the person who has what we want. There are others out there who want what we have to offer.
    Take a look at your business model! Are you getting all that you can from how you do business? It might be possible that “barter” can be an effective way for you to increase your business and even your cash flow. Yes, even doing Barter business can increase your cash flow. Items that you paid for in cash are now potential barter purchases. Barter clients may bring in additional customers (who are not barter users) as referrals! It is difficult to know just how this investment will pay off, but as one who has seen it in motion, I can tell you, if done properly, it is a WIN-WIN situation.
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