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Bartering is the New AMEX

With the economy struggling and your checkbook tightening, it might be time to put that 500+ DVD collection or your ability to reupholster a muscle car to use at the bargaining table.

By Kenyon Boltz

It’s time for the return of bartering, and the practice has been growing rapidly in the past years, especially in the past 18 months. This conventional method, brought upon us during our historical years of cultural expansion and civilization, is an alternative that shows its luster when credit, cash, and services are at a slogging pace.

Dentist appointments, house renovations, car repairs, furniture — these are products that are not wants but needs and must be placed on hold when cash is tight. Not anymore.

With the Internet, bartering has blossomed into a legitimate opportunity for people and businesses to grow in tough market conditions. The ability to free cash and/or extend credit is a principle of economic growth and bartering has its natural placement.

There are numerous local and national sites that register thousands of businesses and clients into a network using units as bucks, currency to replace the all-essential greenback. For people who need their dentist appointments or their house painted, they can offer their services amongst the other registered members in a two-way transaction offering the elusive win-win.

The great advantages for the people, who have the capability to extend their professional services, (i.e. resume writing, proof-reading, medical, commercial repairs) can option their skills in place of another client desire for these services. This isn’t new or revolutionary, this is simple comparative advantage.

With the expansion of national/international sites such as the International Monetary Systems in Barter, the IMEX, U-exchange , and of course Craigslist, people are jumping on board for their business needs or for their personal wants. Want to go on that vacation?  Find a person that can offer vacation packages looking for your old entertainment center and equipment.

What makes the sites as prosperous (with a substantial increase in memberships as posted on their sites since October) is the bounty of someone else’s junk turning into the elusive treasure for the next person.

Not only do some companies use the site for excess inventory but some will trade your debt as opposed to hiring a collector. Since there may not be any need or want at the time, each barter site works in units that can be used, amassed, or traded: a rude form of currency.

I perused around the site and did see how some particular users only want to trade in equitable services on a fair suggested retail price. And when cash is low, referrals can make up the difference for a business or an individual expressing talent and skills in demand on the various sites. Form 1099-B is the appropriate place on Schedule C of your taxes. There are new rules and plenty of exceptions to filing… such as one stated exception is a business not inferring more than 100 transactions using credit units will have to file. Because of the depth of tax regulations, please refer to IRS publication for all detailed exceptions and all tax withholding amounts once engaged.

The amount of time searching the site is no different from any other search engine format. The more you use it, the more benefits you find and ultimately, whether for your business reach or for your personal reasons, bartering on the internet seems to be the next adaptive quality for securing cash, purchasing, or for being frugal in times of cash strain.

 

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