Smart Bartering to Boost Your Business

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2-8-2013-8-15-04-PM-9594933Are you looking for a new way to jump start your business? Maybe you’ve established your business, but are seeking a fresh, innovative take to your current marketing strategies. ITEX provides a new way to grow your business, supplementing present business tactics. Business bartering is not a new concept, but a fresh take to providing practical business solutions with a modern perspective. “There are 300 barter exchange groups in North America,” offered Arthur Kaliel, marketing agent for ITEX’s San Diego sector.

ITEX is the largest and leading barter exchange in North America. The history of bartering among businesses goes back to 1934 where a small group of businesses in Switzerland gathered and created the first system. ITEX began in 1960 as BXI, or Business Exchange International, and has since swelled to include many small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs. In 2005 BXI was bought out by ITEX.

Bartering through ITEX works simply. Businesses offer their products and use proceeds towards other participating ITEX businesses. “You can take a trade dollar and spend it anywhere in North America. If you’re a dentist here, and I’m a member and I go to your dental office and you charge me $500, I can give you a $500 barter check out of my account. You then deposit it into your barter account and now you can write checks against your balance with other members,” offered Kaliel.

The types of services and purchases your business can make through ITEX are endless. As long as a business participates with ITEX, your dollars are valid. Members in San Diego are not locked in to only using services within San Diego, as ITEX is nationwide as well as in Canada.

“In a barter system, it’s closer to the cash world than the trade world because it is currency between businesses, rather than my item for your item,” said Kaliel. There is no contract to sign and members are free to join and resign their memberships at any point. Though the organization is open to everyone, it is heavily used by small to medium-sized businesses. “We do have some corporate industries and entities, but for the most part, you might see the individual franchisee,” said Kaliel. He added that there are many national businesses that participate with ITEX, but not necessarily the corporate entity.

Participating businesses include TV stations, radio stations, dentists and hotels, among a host of other types of industries. “It’s a lot of things that you normally wouldn’t pay cash for because you can’t afford it, but if you can trade for it – you’re going to do it.” Also, you don’t have to be a business to participate with ITEX, but you can be an individual with excess inventories. Many members appreciate the flexibility that ITEX offers, making it stand out from other business barter systems.

Kaliel explained that through a mixture of outreach, ITEX attracts new clients and grows its base at a consistent rate. “It’s pretty fifty-fifty, half are referrals and half are companies we go after because we need those industries.”

“It’s like anything else,” offered Kaliel in measuring the benefits of joining ITEX. “When you join something that’s a little foreign to you, you’re a little nervous. But then when you figure it out, it kind of evens itself out.” Kaliel stated that even he at first was skeptical to the idea and quit after one month, but soon after learning of the immense benefits, decided to rejoin and has been with the company for 23 years. “You have to give it a chance,” he asserted.

“Some people I’ve spoken with have experienced a 10-15 percent increase in their sales,” offered Mark Shapiro, a member with ITEX for three months. Kaliel gave Shapiro high praise for his work and efforts towards ITEX and its members. In three short months, Shapiro has tripled his business through ITEX and expressed the flexibility it has offered to his business and his lifestyle. “It sounds really complicated at first, but once you figure it out, you realize it’s just another way to do business. There’s a whole community marketing aspect to it,” said Shapiro.

Out of 30,000 members nationwide, 2000 reside in Southern California as organized barter began in Los Angeles in 1960. “It’s something that you just have to try. And you have to give it a chance,” expressed Kaliel. For more information on joining ITEX, contact Art Kaliel at 760.613.6412 and visit www.itexinsandiego.com.

Kimetha Hill

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