Monday, April 26, 2010

Businesses keep cash in their pockets

The following article outlines how members of a similar exchange to Trade Exchange Canada have utilized their membership to leverage their business, reduce some of their current expenses, attract new customers and grow their businesses.

 Nick Petrow

Trades for heating and air-conditioning service, and for lawn care at his restaurant.

Philip Rich

Has bartered for oil changes, haircuts and vacation rental houses.

Jim Nelson

Found a business in another state to make a transaction.

Restaurant owner Nick Petrow first used bartering 16 years ago when he needed tile work done at his business.

The person who sold the tile ate free at Petrow's Restaurant for the next 1 1/2 years as payment. After that, Petrow said, he was sold on the idea of trading meals for services.

"It was great for business.''

Petrow said the arrangement also created a loyal customer who continued to eat at the restaurant once the debt was paid off.

But trading tile for food could only take Petrow so far.

Today he uses Tradebank, a business bartering service, to trade goods and services with other local businesses. He trades for heating and air-conditioning service and for lawn care at the restaurant. The money Petrow used to spend on those services he now keeps in his pocket.

"It reduces cost and guarantees business,'' he said.

Tradebank, a national organization, was founded in 1987 in Lawrenceville, Ga. Aubyn Fowler opened the Omaha franchise in 2005.

Businesses in Nebraska and Iowa pay a fee to join the network, which allows them to trade services with one another. Members receive a card that they use for goods and services.

About 80 businesses belong to the Omaha Tradebank network, but members can trade with any of the 10,500 Tradebank member businesses in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe, Fowler said.

Fowler said local members include restaurants, heating and air conditioning companies, lawn care providers, auto mechanics, medical professionals and even a tae kwon do instructor.

Omaha dentist Philip Rich has owned his practice for more than 30 years, but he has owned several other businesses as well.

Rich said he has bartered in all his businesses at some point.

Bartering is an effective way for an entrepreneur to network and to advertise his name to potential clients, which is crucial for a small business, he said.

Rich said bartering has attracted people who might not otherwise have used his services, including individuals without health insurance. And eventually that person could become a paying customer, he said.

Rich said he primarily uses bartering to obtain goods or services he might not regularly use or to get a better rate on services he needs. He has bartered for oil changes, haircuts and vacation rental houses.

Bartering allows businesses to operate more efficiently during slow periods, like now, because they can trade services instead of paying cash.

Petrow agreed.

Bartering partners fill empty seats, he said.

"It drives business without advertising and creates an extremely loyal customer base.''

Besides, Petrow said, if someone pays with a check or credit card there's no guarantee it will be good. That's something businesses are especially conscious of during a recession.

Inflation doesn't factor in to bartering, Petrow said.

Jim Nelson, owner of Jim Nelson Media Services, started bartering through Tradebank two years ago and found it confusing at first.

It helped that Tradebank handles the paperwork and accounting for the transactions -- businesses still are required to pay sales tax on what they get, he said.

Nelson said he recently needed something for his business that he couldn't find locally. Fowler was able to help him find a business in another state to barter with, which helped him to gain exposure on a national level, Nelson said.

Nelson said bartering might not work for every business, but it is especially helpful for business-to-business transactions. It's ideal for companies with extra capacity that aren't operating on narrow profit margins, he said.

"It wouldn't make sense for Nebraska Furniture Mart,'' Petrow said. "But it might make sense for the single guy making furniture.''

The business owners agreed that bartering was a good way to stimulate the economy during a recession: It guarantees customers, reduces costs and promotes the business.
 For the full article please click here

David Melse
Trade Consultant,
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Flow of Trade Dollars through Trade Exchange Canada

You're probably used to reading about what you could be doing as a member of TEC.  We promote members looking for additional business through trade, run special offers and announce our newest members.
This week, we've decided that we should share some of what you are doing as members of TECThere has been some exciting trading going on lately and we want to share some of it with you. The format of this newsletter is a bit different. We created a visual chart to show the flow of the Trade $ as it moves through the exchange. The best place for that is at the bottom of the newsletter, so head down there if you want to take a look at the flow of the $.
Read on further to hear some great member accolades and of course, what events are coming up for us.

Member Accolades!

We received this email from Sherry Cote, owner of A Vista Villa Bed & Barbecue. We just had to share it with the rest of you. Way to Go Seamus O'Hearn!
MORE accolades ... just love the attitude of fellow members!

Shamus from Shamrock Electric responded to both of my requests for TEC work within the day of being notified.   The last job on Thursday, Shamus ran into a huge problem with installing one of the ceiling fixtures and had to crawl around an insulation laden attic for quite some time to get everything working.    He didn't so much as grimace (although I felt very badly for him), just kept "whistling while he worked" with an amazing CAN DO attitude.   At the end of the day, the long list of things that I had asked for had not been completed because of the troublesome fixture.    Not to worry, despite the next day was a holiday (Good Friday), not only did he come back - he brought another electrician so that my downtime without electricity would be minimized!    What a guy!    Thank you thank you Shamus!   They were in and out of here and again, I hope I get the opportunity to pamper he and his wife some time soon ...

We're always wanting to hear more great trading stories? Let us know. email your story to us:
Check out these members who have connected their goods and services to turn their excess inventory into money in the bank.

Dollar Sign

While the chart below this article shows some of the recent activity some of our members have had visually, it does not tell the whole story of the trade $ journey. As you can see if you take a look at the movement of the currency, when you trade within the exchange, whether you're purchasing or selling, you're connecting with other business owners who be drawn to do business with you and will recommend you to their associates.

Listen to what Paul Beauchemin from ecentric has to say about a few of his recent experiences:
The first few months of our involvement with the Trade Exchange have been very active both as a seller and a buyer.

We recently completed a great project with Doug Illman of CrocTalk. Doug's website was very out of date and was simply not generating the interest that CrocTalk deserves. Doug contracted ecentric to create a new interactive website, with Flash animations, video, image galleries and an integrated blog, for Doug to keep the world updated with what's happening.  Be sure to check them out at

We have recently also been engaged to complete website redesigns for Dustin at King of Floors and Warren at Accelerate Communications. We are certainly pleased with the level of interest at this point.

These projects have in turn allowed us to complete some fairly good sized renovation projects at our house. Mike at Alanridge Construction and Seamus at Shamrock Electric have been great to work with.

We are certainly excited about our involvement with the Trade Exchange and look forward to meeting more of the members and hopefully being able to help them with their digital marketing and design requirements.

 For any information on utilizing trade as a powerful tool to build your business and to utilze any downtime.

Contact us we're always happy to explain our system and how to integrate it:

David Melse
Trade Consultant,
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Barter your way to success

Article courtesy of Donald Robichaud - Floodlight Consulting Group Originally posted on April 1st 2010

As we start to pull ourselves out of this economy it’s important to understand how the art of bartering can assist us to improve sales, profits and allow us to close more business.

Many business owners are leaving deals on the table as they have lost, or are not aware of the art of negotiation and barter.

In the early days of my business many sales were closed by bartering services so that the business deal could be consummated. Many times the client or I were in a cash crunch and we negotiated and bartered to close the deal.

The exchange of services and cash were crucial to the survival of the business.

Stories of bartering exist in my family since I was a child so I believe I gravitated to it more naturally in my business development. My grandfather was lobster fisherman in the spring, a farmer throughout the summer, a logger in the winter time and he also had his own gravel pit. When did he and my Grandmother have time for 11 kids? (That’s a story for another time)
I remember many family stories of fields being ploughed, or the delivery of produce to pay for services that were needed around the farm. People have been bartering since the dawn of man. There is no proof of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter but there are many examples in history of major countries bartering their wares for other products and services.

As a business owner you can barter to purchase what you need or want, and pay for them with the additional sales of your goods or services.

Bartering helps improve cash flow as it allows you to pay for what you need with your own goods or services, allowing you to preserve working capital for other expenses.

When you use barter, instead of cash, to purchase needed goods and services, you reduce your cash costs by paying for them with revenue generated by incremental barter sales. This means that new sales are made by bartering which help reduce cash outlays for overhead costs. Obtaining these overhead services through barter rather than writing out a cheque saves you cash.
Bartering can also allow you to move excess inventory and improve inventory management by converting excess products into valuable goods and services. If you barter, you avoid having to liquidate excess inventory through drastic discounting.

So the art of bartering and negotiating can help companies enhance productivity and put inventory, equipment and employees to good use, creating new revenue that would not have been available otherwise. That new revenue can be used to finance the purchase of new equipment, raw materials or services to support the business. Essentially, a company can move less productive assets and exchange them for more valuable goods or services through the help of a barter exchange.

Bartering benefits your company and your clients with a mutual benefit in exchanging goods and services rather than cash, and it also enables those who are lacking hard currency to obtain your goods and services.

In the last year I have recommended some of my clients to join “Trade Exchange” a local Kelowna company to help expand and grow their business. Using a trade organization helps foster new relationships, markets your products to new range of potential clients and helps you to Build your Business.

For more information on trading in Kelowna you can visit our website or by calling our office: 250 717 0026

David Melse
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Peachland Home available for Cash / Trade Blend
An opportunity has become available to purchase a new single family residence in Peachland.
Located at 6267 Lipsett Avenue, Peachland, BC. The property is to be constructed and when completed has an appraised value of $605,000 and is available for a cash trade blend of:

$500,000 Cash and $100,000 Trade.
With a total living space of 3312 sq ft. and situated on 0.20 Acre in a quiet new culdesac development. Peachland is served with public transportation, shopping, elementary schools, community centre & parks/beaches. Peachland offers a naturally treed hillside setting with view lots overlooking Okanagan Lake.

The property is to be constructed by a registered new home builder and carries a 2/5/10 Year Home Warranty through Travelers Guarantee Company.

Features of the property include:

·         Full finished basement
·         Stunning lake views
·         Kitchen island and heat pump
·         5-pce ensuite bathroom
·         Hardwood flooring and travertine tile
·         "Roughed-in" home theatre room
·         Hardi-Plank and cultured stone exterior
·         Crown mouldings

Additional site information can be viewed at: 

If you are not currently a Trade Exchange Canada Member and are interested in the property please contact me, especially if you are a business owner who can take on new customers or a property owner who has another property to trade.

Concept Sketch
For more specific information and details on financing please contact David at the TEC Office.
David Melse
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trade and Barter Kelowna - Barter 2.0: Money Reinvented

Barter 2.0: Money Reinvented

This Practice Gives New Meaning to the Phrase ‘Trade Policy’


The term ‘business barter’ may sound like an oxymoron. The ancient form of making exchanges without money in our high-speed world of commerce doesn’t seem to be a natural fit.

That’s because barter in its most basic form relies on two people having equally valued needs that the other can fulfill. Economists call that a dual coincidence of wants, and say that they’re rare — which, in turn, makes barter an impractical and sticky method of transacting business.

However, barter is alive, well, flourishing, and, in one particular form, has transformed itself into an $8 billion industry.

Third-party bartering networks act as a central clearing or brokerage house. They enable parties to split the trade up into two parts, the purchase and the sale. Once a sale is made, an electronic currency is credited to the seller’s account for the corresponding amount. The seller can then use that currency (usually called ‘trade dollars’) to buy anything else for sale in the network. In essence, the barter exchange network acts as a private market brokerage and monetary system. Barter exchange networks make their money off membership and transaction fees.

Driving Factors

Ron Whitney of International Reciprocal Trade Assoc. says the engine that drives barter is the unused capacity that every business has. “Think of a hotel,” he explained. “In good times they have maybe a 90% occupancy rate. In a down economy they drop to a 50% occupancy rate. What they’re bartering is the unsold hotel rooms.”

Excess capacity, whether in the form of empty rooms, seats, space, or open appointments still costs businesses money to maintain. Barter exchange networks enable sellers to turn what could have gone to waste into an asset by giving them a chance to sell and earn trade dollars for them instead. Once earned, those trade dollars can then be used to buy anything anyone else offered for sale in the network. In fact, most barter exchange networks also have reciprocal agreements with other networks that allow them to sell and buy from each other’s networks.

Similarly, James Varano, owner of the barbecue-and-blues eatery Black Eyed Sally’s in Hartford, employs a strategic approach to spending his trade dollars.

“You need to be creative, flexible, and have a plan,” he said. “Some people buy luxury items like vacations and hot tubs. I prefer to apply mine to business purchases. My strategy is to look for cash business expenses and replace them with trade-dollar purchases. They’re still tax-deductible no matter which kind of dollars you buy them with.”

In most cases, the IRS sees both trade dollars and regular dollars as simply income or money (though they only accept U.S. federal dollars for payment of taxes). Therefore, barter has no inherent advantage or disadvantage tax-wise. What that means is that a sale within an exchange network for trade dollars has to be reported the same as a sale made for cash. It also means that a business purchase made with trade dollars can be written off just like one bought with cash

Shopping on Trade

Once they understand how it works, the first question most people ask is, ‘what can I buy?’ Debbie Lombardi of Bristol, Conn.-based Barter Business Unlimited (BBU), says the answer really depends on what you want, and your timeframe.

“Ultimately,” she continued, “it comes down to your network and the expertise of your trade broker.”

Like a good travel agent, trade brokers play a constant game of matchmaker. They help members promote what they have to sell and help them spend their trade dollars by locating items on clients’ wish lists.The range of what can be bought is quite impressive.

Jeffrey Cohen of ImageWorksLLC, a Web and e-commerce design company in Vernon, Conn. uses his trade-dollar currency for clients, networking, and keeping his employees happy. “I do seven business meals a week between clients and other business associates. We’ve had company events catered as well.”

On the entertainment side, vacations, hotel rooms, banquets, catering, music, and sporting events are always popular.

Van Houten of Advanced Air Quality, a commercial air duct and kitchen exhaust cleaning firm in Springfield, offered how he used barter exchange to curb costs. “One special celebration back in October would have cost $7,000 if I had to pay cash, but I just used trade dollars instead.”

There are a lot of surprising trades, too, said Cohen. “My favorite buy on trade dollars was a bright blue 1976 vintage Corvette.”

Varano has even bought love on barter exchange — puppy love, that is. The newest member of his family, a black cocker spaniel named Lucy, was purchased through his network along with her shots and initial vet exam, an invisible fence for the yard, as well as collars, leashes, treats, and toys.

“The girls wanted a puppy for Christmas, but I knew it could all add up pretty quickly. I just told my trade broker, and they set it all up. It doesn’t matter if Lucy was bought for cash or trade; my daughters love her just the same.”

Todd Demers, owner of Family Wireless cell phone retailers in Wilbraham, says he’s bought everything from bottles of wine to carpeting, mountain bikes, dental work, and even fine teak wood furniture. His most prized trade, however, took 10 year to find: a brand-new Fender 52 Telecaster Hot Rod electric guitar. “I wasn’t going to pay cash or full price for it. The retail was $2,800. I got it for $2,300 and paid in trade dollars.”

And growth is certainly happening. Although the last official industry study in 2007 showed a steady 10% growth pattern, IRTA reports barter exchange networks are seeing record growth in the last year with some networks doubling their trading levels and new members at previously unheard of percentages.

Barter exchange networks also claim another surprising benefit — more cash-paying customers from their trade-dollar customers.

Cohen says his Web design firm leverages its exchange network clients in multiple ways. “There are two ways that barter pays off in cash terms,” he said. “One is that we only do design work on trade. If a customer likes us and adds on more services that we don’t trade, like hosting, they become cash customers, too. Also, our barter exchange customers give us cash referrals on a pretty consistent basis.

read more at:

Posted by:

David Melse
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BARTERING It's a booming business in Kelowna and BC

BARTERING: It's a booming business

John Klockow, owner of The Pen Cafe in New West, sits in his restaurant Thursday afternoon where he has used bartering to renovate in exchange for gift certificates to his restaurant.
Colleen Flanagan/NewsLeader

By Wanda Chow - Burnaby NewsLeader
Published: June 06, 2009 9:00 AM
Updated: June 06, 2009 10:46 PM

If there’s a wheeler-dealer in the local world of bartering, it might be New Westminster’s John Klockow.

In 2005, when he had to sell his Richmond condo, Klockow skipped the traditional step of calling a realtor. Instead, he turned to Trade Exchange Canada (TEC) where he’d been a client for years.

The company found him a buyer through its membership. The condo sold for $250,000, of which $40,000 was paid in TEC “barter dollars” or credits.

Klockow then used those barter dollars to buy plumbing services, new uniforms and furniture from TEC members for the renovations he was completing at The Pen Cafe, which he owns in the Fraserview neighbourhood.

On top of that, he saved about $10,000 in realtors’ commissions.

He’s also used barter dollars to pay for dry-cleaning of restaurant linens, computer services, flowers for the cafe patio and alarm monitoring. The cafe’s food supplier accepts barter dollars for 25 per cent of the payment.

Klockow earns his barter dollars by selling gift certificates to his restaurant. The beauty of it is his overhead for staff, heat and power is the same whatever form of payment people use. So all the gift certificates really cost him is the price of the food itself—about 26 per cent of the bill.

“I know right away if I were to stop using barter, right away my food costs would go up two to three per cent,” Klockow said, of having to pay his suppliers all in cash.

With $500,000 in sales a year, that would add $10,000 to his business expenses, no small sum.

But using the trade service doesn’t just save him money, he stressed. It creates a revenue source, and is a great way of marketing to customers, particularly as his restaurant is tucked away on the former B.C. Penitentiary site.

“It helps increase your cash flow. It brings people into my restaurant that probably wouldn’t come in but because of the gift certificates, they’re specifically coming to my restaurant.”

And he’s gained a number of repeat customers as a result.

A way to network, too

Many businesses are looking for a boost to keep their heads above water during the current economic downturn. Some are turning to Burnaby-based Trade Exchange Canada and other bartering services.

In the first five months of 2009, TEC saw a 40 per cent increase in transactions over the same period last year. It’s also seen almost twice as many new clients join up in that period as in 2008, said Scott Berg, TEC managing partner.

Berg and fellow managing partner Wayne Edgar started TEC in 2002 after years in the barter services business with other companies. It now has 1,200 members in B.C. and handles $10 million to $12 million a year in transactions, for which it charges a six per cent cash transaction fee (for the barter portion) to both the buyer and seller. It essentially matches up buyers and sellers and maintains accounts for clients.

He stressed that barter makes a whole lot of sense when it’s used for .......Ckick here for the full article

David Melse
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529
Email: David

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tricks of the Trade - Kelowna Trade Exchange

These are tough times to drum up new business, especially when your bank account is looking a little lean and it's increasingly tough to get credit. So, you might want to look into trade as an option.

David Melse
Trade Exchange Canada,
748 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6P5
Office: (250) 717-0026 Mobile: (250) 864-0529