Bartering is an ancient system of trade. One party trades with another without the use of cash. Advances to technology has enhanced the ability to barter over the internet. From solopreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, bartering is in full swing.
In today’s environment bartering is done via individual to individual or through a third-party known as a bartering exchange or bartering network.
- When bartering with an individual you are obligated in the trade.
- A bartering exchange removes that obligation because you have a vast array of members to barter with.
According to Steve Krauss from USA Today “Barter is an excellent method to grow your business in a variety of ways, and even better, without using cash. So maybe it is not surprising that it is estimated that businesses in the U.S. engage is $20 billion worth of barter every year. For the small business, there are significant benefits to using barter to supplement their normal business. ”
A barter exchange is built around their members. The exchange provides you with “their” currency which allows you to purchase from other members. A record is kept that will debit or credit your account accordingly.
According to Odyssey Barter “An established barter trade exchange allows you the opportunity to exchange goods and services with barter dollars instead of cash that have been earned by selling your company’s goods and services to other active barter members.”
Odyssey Barter offers service-oriented alternatives to currency for businesses. There is a fee to become a part of this exchange, but a portion of the proceeds goes to local charities.
Bartering through exchanges can provide exposure that yields not only bartering opportunities, but opportunities to earn cash as well.
According to Barter News “Millions of entrepreneurial business owners, giant multinational corporation, and even governments are routinely involved in bartering efforts. They do so for one reason—it’s profitable!”
Check out the video below that is a testimonial for Biz Xchange and gives great benefits for bartering.
My Bartering Experience
When I started my business 7 years ago I joined a networking group that met weekly. During one of the meetings I spoke with a personal trainer that needed a presentation to run continuously while he participated in a health fair. We decided to barter my expertise with PowerPoint in exchange for him becoming my personal trainer. I completed the presentation and received one session with him.
I learned that when you barter individually you have to make sure that their will be an even exchange of value. I received one session but would have liked to have received two or more. He offered me a discount for more, but I did not feel I received the same value. I walked away from the experience feeling I should have negotiated better.
Create Your Value
Admittedly my personal experience a few years back did not leave me feeling like I received the same value that I provided more because “I” failed at it. There was a profit, I learned something from the experience.
My business was new, I was fresh in networking and entrepreneurship and did not understand my full potential or value.
One of the first things to determine prior to entering into bartering is to define the value of your offer. Once that is complete, and you feel good about it, it will allow you to be on an even playing field with others that are willing to barter with you.
Have you ever bartered before? What was the one lesson you learned from the experience? Have you profited from bartering?
Below are links to a few barter exchanges that can provide more information and get you started – maybe I will see you there!