The New York Times is reporting on a growing trend occurring online: the rise of bartering. It seems that small businesses and individuals are finding the trading of good and services to be a suitable alternative to outright purchase in these cash-poor times. The article profiles one growing online bartering site in particular: JoeBarter.com.
From the article:
Thomas Daley had been helping friends swap sports tickets for golf course green fees and concert tickets as a sideline. But on the advice of a friend, he set up an online trading site, Joe Barter L.L.C., two years ago where college students could trade textbooks, small companies could trade equipment and accountants, and plumbers, business consultants and others could advertise their services.
The company is still struggling to make its mark, he acknowledged in an interview, though he said he hoped an upgrade for the Web site, scheduled for August, along with a stepped-up marketing effort would significantly expand the membership.
The site has 2,500 individual members, who pay nothing to join the network, and 400 business-to-business members who pay fees for consultations and referrals in connection with transactions. Last year, the company’s revenue totaled about $80,000.
Whatever its prospects for success, Joe Barter is tapping into one of the largest “little” industries of small companies in America, the barter or trade exchange business.