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Trade association ~~~ Barter for business

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by twins_lawn_care, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    Just wondred if anyone has had any experience with one of these trade associations where you barter your services with any of the other member companies? I've been contacted by one who received my business name, and am going to talk to them tonight a bit. I like the fact of the exposure, but wanted to know if anyone has done this, and if it was worth it?
    Basically, instead of getting paid cash, you get paid credits to use as cash at any of the other member companies, for anything they offer. So you could get your trucks repaired at an automotive shop, or advertising printed up, and so on.

    Anyone have any comments or experience with these?
  2. googleplex

    googleplex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I looked at it for a previous business. It seems to attract LOTS of service businesses - lawyers, dentists, LCO's.
    The reason I decided against it is the 'commission' that the barter company wanted. 10% on each side of the trade. Which I thought was WAY too much.
    The barter co. also offered cheap advertizing - I think they traded with radio stations and other media for it.
    hope this helps !
  3. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    keep in mind that for tax purposes, both parties are required to report fair market value of services. For you that would mean that doing maint for an attorney in return for legal services, you would need to report the value of his services as income.
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi Twins_lawn_care,

    A positive point is that you will be meeting other business owners in your area and that could be helpful.
  5. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    Gopher, that is exactly one of my main reasons for considering it. I have been browsing through the available products and services availbe to me, and it seems endless. The particular association I am considering is the largest in the nation. And as googleplex mentioned some are 10% on each side of the trade, this is a straight 12% ONLY if you are the buyer. So all services I am "paid" for, I have no percentage to pay.
    The amount of advertising that they provide is unreal, and I feel I will be getting 10 times the exposure, to the exact people I need to for the price. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Still going to think about it for a few days, then decide though. Always have to think things through, so as not to leap before looking.
  6. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I've never done it with a trade association, but I have done a trade for services with the radio station I service. Worked out fine for me.
  7. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    I had to stand back for a while, and think this thing through. First off, it seemed too good to be true, and usually those things are. So what I did, was started calling some current members of it, and they don't seem to be as happy as the "salesman" seemed to convey.
    Don't think I am going to do this now, but am not ruling it out completely in the future. Thanks for the input guys.
    What set me off, was the suspicions of name changes seemingly every few years mentioned by a local member who I talked to.

    One tip here for new guys:

    The guy had me all worked up, and ready to sign the contract when I talked to him. I told him, there's no way I'll sign it now, my policy to discuss it at home first. He seemed a little bothered I said this. At that point I felt like I brought the power back to me. Glad I waited, because either decision I made, I knew I would have thought it through. Try to not jump to any major decisions without thinking. If it's a true value, it will be there in the morning, if not, they'll be moving on to the next guy.

    I'm learning every day, that's what life's all about.
  8. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    I Strongly Suggest againist it!! My Boss over the summer did that with his garden center. He got scr*wed so much. People were coming in and taking tons of plants, mulch, all sorts of stuff from him, getting free delivery all sorts of stuff from him, taking up his time and taking away his stuff. He has tons of "points/money" built up in this barter assoc. but they have nothing he wants or need hence he is losing big time. I would do it, seems like a bad deal.
  9. Zito

    Zito LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Here in the south, cash is king. I could get more with $20 in cash than I could with $30 in credits.
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    That's the thing about salesmen. The depend on working you up and getting you excited about the sale, and then getting you to sign right away. I always try to take a day to think about the deal or purchase. I've avoided a lot of wasted time and money that way.

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