How To Start And Operate Your Own Bartering Club. Free Report.
Bartering Club


Bartering is not negotiating! Bartering is "trading" for a service, or for the goods you want. In essence, bartering is simply buying or paying for goods or services using something other than money.

Thus defined, bartering has been around much longer than money as we know it today. Many companies use the principles of bartering as standard business practice.

The reason bartering enjoys renewed popularity in times of tight money is simply that it is the "bottom line" method of survival with little or no cash. In times of high interest rates, cash in anyone's pocket is indeed a very precious commodity and bartering is even more popular. Bartering affords both the individual and established business a way to hold onto cash while continuing to get needed goods and services.

In addition to saving a business borrowing costs, bartering can improve its cash flow and liquidity. For anyone trying to operate a successful business, this is vitally important, and for individual families in these times, it makes possible the saving of cash funds for those purchases where cash is necessary.

To start and successfully operating a bartering club, you must think in terms of a banker. After all, that's precisely the reason for your business - to receive and keep track of people's deposits while lending and bringing together other people wanting or needing these deposits.

So your first task is to round up depositors. As a one-man operation, you can start from your home with nothing more than your telephone and kitchen table, but until you get helpers you'll either be very small or very busy (probably both).

You can run a small display ad in your local newspaper. A good ad would include the following ideas:

Trade your expertise and/or time for the merchandise or services you need. We have the traders ready - merchandise, specialised skills, buyers too!
Call now and register
(1234) 5678

When respondents to this ad call, you handle them just as a banker handles someone opening a new account. You explain how your club works: everyone pays a membership fee, could be between £50 - £100. The depositor tells you what he wants to deposit, perhaps £150 worth of printing services, and what he's looking for in return - storage space for his boat for a three month period. If you have a depositor with garage space for rent, who might need printing services, you have a transaction.

But let's say you have no "perfect match" for this deposit. On your list of depositors you have a dentist who's offering £300 worth of dental work for someone to paint his house. A woman with a garage to rent in exchange for dental work for her children. An unemployed painter willing to paint houses in exchange for a side of beef, and a butcher who wants to trade a side of beef for advertising circulars.

Remember, when a new member joins your club, he makes a deposit and states his wants or needs. In the above example, you have a typical bartering club situation. Your service is to spend or line up those deposits to match the wants or needs of the club members.

An affinity for people and a good memory are vital to this kind of business, especially if you're running a one man business. Generally, when you have a buyer for one of your depositors, you notify him or her right away with a phone call. You simply tell her that Club Member A wants to rent your garage. She tells you fine, but she doesn't want any printing services. You simply tell her to hang on because you are currently in the process of contacting the dentist who'll do the work on her kid's teeth. And so it goes in the operation of a bartering club.

Some of the larger bartering clubs (with several thousand members) simply list the deposits and wants or needs on a computer, and then invite their members to come in and check out the availabilities for themselves. Others maintain merchandise stores where the members come in to first look at the computer listing, and then to shop, using credit against their deposits. The smaller clubs usually publish a weekly "traders wanted" sheet and let is go at that.

These methods all work, but we've found that instead of leaving your members to fend for themselves or make their own trades, the most profitable system is to hire commission sales people to recruit new members, specifically with deposits to match the wants and needs of your present members. These sales people should get 20% of the membership fee from each new member they sign, plus 3 to 5% of the total value of each trade they arrange and close. This percentage, of course, to be paid in club credits, spendable on merchandise or services offered by the club.

You'll need a membership booklet, explaining the rules, and possibly a contract for each member to sign. Also a membership card would be a good idea, with identification numbers.

Two things are important to the make up of the membership package you exchange for membership fees:

1. It must be as impressive as you can make it
2. It must be legal, while serving your needs almost exclusively

Basically, you should have at least 100 members before you start concentrating on arranging trades. As stated earlier in this report, the easiest way to recruit new members is to run an ad in your newspapers, and perhaps even on your local radio stations as well.

Follow up these enquiries with a direct mail package, which would typically consist of a brochure explaining the beauty and benefits of being a member of your bartering club, a sales letter, and a return reply order form.

A bit more expensive, but just as certain of success are free seminars. Rent a large meeting room, advertise in your local papers, and then put on a hard-sell recruiting show. Such a plan is very similar to the party plan idea, but on a larger scale. An inside tip: Whenever you stage a recruiting seminar, always "pad the audience" with your own people, who will of course lead the way for those you're trying to recruit.

As stated earlier, you can start operations out of your home, but working at home has a number of growth inhibiting factors. After a certain period of time, the growth of almost any kind of business is retarded when it's operated out of a home. So just as soon as you possibly can afford to, move into an office of some sort. Keep your eyes open and consider the feasibility of sharing an office with an insurance broker, or estate agent. Read the newspaper classifieds for businesses willing to share office space or to rent desks or other office amenities.

This is the kind of business that demands an image of success. You just can't keep people from "dropping in" when you're operating strictly on a local basis. And when you attempt to hire sales people, a place of business to work out of is just as important to them as how much commission they're going to receive. Image is super important, so don't neglect it.

Should you or should you not accept instalment payments from new members? Yes, by all means. But only when you've got their signature on a contract drawn up for your benefit and deemed legally binding by your solicitor. What about credit cards? Yes, if you can get accepted onto Visa or Access, you'll find that your ability to accept these cards will double or even triple your sales.

Precisely how much are you going to need in actual start-up costs? We would estimate at least £300 for printing and legal fees, unless you can trade charter memberships in your club for these services.

Reputation and success in matching offers to wants will be just as important as your image, so give it your all. Don't give up; stand behind the implied as well as the real promises you make to your members.

A couple of final notes: Should you offer a guarantee of satisfaction? Only so long as it makes money for you, and you can back it up. There's not a person in business anywhere who enjoys refunding a customer's money. But don't forget that the existence of your business depends on service. The more you project an image of a "people pleaser", the greater success you're going to achieve. This is definitely not a business for someone who doesn't enjoy "waiting on" people. You've got to like people, and want the inner satisfaction that comes from selling new ideas. Actually, no experience or special training is required. The operation of a Bartering Club is equally suited to women or men. Both do equally well as salespeople. It's a business that fills a need, and a kind of membership programme people will stand in line to be a part of, once they've been introduced to the benefits.

This is the plan. It's going to take your time and effort to get organised, but after your initial work to establish this business, you can become quite wealthy in a relatively short time. Read over this plan again; determine if this is "the one" for you, and then go all out. It's up to you, and all it takes now is action on your part.

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