The "Barter" or "Trade" Business
written by Jim Berry
Bartering or Trading business goods & services is one of the oldest sources of producing income. There are a number of barter companies out there that can put you in touch with other traders to obtain the goods & services for your business.

Good barter companies are networked with many other barter companies to expand the goods & services they can provide you.

Barter works this way. The trade company GIVES you a customer to work with at no cost to you. You provide what you have to offer in business and charge a certain amount of "credits" to the customer. The customer's account is debited.

Let's say you do a job for a customer that you price at $1,000.00. Your trade account is credited $1,000.00 for doing the job. The customer is debited $1,000.00 for receiving the good or service. 1 credit equals $1.00 - the same as cash.

You can now BUY $1,000.00 of goods or services from someone else in the trade group. Normally you pay a cash fee of 10% to 15% when you BUY. This is how the trade group makes it's money.

I have known people who are good traders and those that are bad traders. The bad traders do work for another business but never SPEND their credits. They complain that trading is no good because they can't get what they want. But - they don't put in the effort. One person I know only wanted to buy airplanes & boats. You have to be realistic.

Let's say you need a computer, a monitor, a conference table and conference chairs. The trade group you belong to might have an available computer and conference table but may not have the other items at a particular time. Then you would have to buy the items they do not have for cash or go without them until they become available.

So you need to know before you join a trade group - how many other trade companies is it associated with so there is more available to buy with your credits. If the trade group is small then you might not join it because you will wind up with an amount of credits that you cannot use.

Your trade representative is an important factor. If the rep is not
aggressive, you won't do well.

Trading does not replace cash business but it is a good alternative for producing income and obtaining what you would normally not be able to buy.

On trade you might get a hair cut, a grandfather's clock, furniture, office equipment, send roses, go to a restaurant, get air fair, go on a trip, buy carpeting, get your car repaired, have printing done, do advertising, have a party, get a caterer, install a security system, go back to school, get your gutters clean etc. There are many things you can do on trade. Some trade groups have over 6,000 members.

Be careful to keep your personal items separate from the business items you buy. If you are audited buy the IRS they watch this very carefully.

I belong to 3 national trade companies. I use it to it's fullest.

A few years ago I was interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer about trading practices. I made sure I told the newspaper that people should keep their business & personal trades separate. In other words, do not use personal trade expense as a business deduction.

I have been trading for about 12 years now. The nice thing about trade is that the trading company normally GIVES you customers to work with.

Although few people know it big business has huge trading rooms. For example, one company might trade 500 suites on a cruise ship for $500,000.00 of advertising.

Trading takes you to places in business you otherwise would never go. It puts you in touch with business people FAST. Where else can you do better than that?