TRADE PRODUCT FOR PRODUCT?

(Continuing a week of TRADE thoughts)
Trading goods and services without the exchange of money has been a primary form of exchange as far back as we can search.

I spent a large chunk of my career trading advertising space and/or time for lunches, event tickets, airfare, automobiles, clothing, flowers and the remainder of Fibber McGee’s closet.

The media property offered free time or space in TRADE for whatever stuff we needed or could be convinced we needed. The practice of trade is a cottage industry of its own.

Check out this website…http://www.itex.com/aboutus/ for a quick view of one “clearing house” earning revenues of $140,000,000 per year in Gross Merchandise Value. And of course, the company sells franchises.  I wonder what I could trade for a franchise territory?

And don’t miss the A&E reality, documentary television series “Barter Kings.” It’s entertaining in a gawker kind of way. After watching one episode, I wasn’t sure if I needed a shower or a product to trade.

BARTER kings

 

And that’s a fairly descriptive view of how I feel about trade in business.

Good: No cash changes hands
Bad: No Cash changes hands
Ugly: Lose-Lose

It seems every trade in media deals ended with both parties feeling a loss of value. Do we trade products based on retail price or wholesale? Do I receive a multiple of trade dollars if my product is more valuable than yours? How do we referee trade value?

Certainly, many companies and business owners have a favorable experience with trade. I’m not that guy. I have far too many memories of good relationships gone South because of fair trade disputes. The problem was…we didn’t know there was a trade dispute.

Take the cash. Buy what you need.

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