From the President...July 2017

Written by Byron Lester on .

In trade exchanges around the globe, there are many similarities - both positive and negative. As trade exchange owners, we often choose to extol the virtues of barter, but sometimes we can’t get away from periodic questions that are awkward at best to answer. I’d like to address the 3 biggest concerns heard from members.

First, there are inevitably a few members who accrue trade dollars quickly but don’t spend very well. Their common question is “Where can I spend my trade dollars?” My initial impulse is often to say something sarcastic like “The options are right there in front of you if you would simply take the time to look at the information we send you”, but I control myself and don’t actually say this. I understand that a member like this usually has good cash flow so the acceptance of a trade isn’t the concern. They simply require a bit more “hand holding” than other members and are looking for assurances that the spending options in the system are legitimate.

Another commonly asked question focuses on specifics that are not available in MerchanTrade’s exchange. In those instances, I simply acknowledge we don’t currently have that requested service or product but would appreciate the member’s help in bringing in that type of business. Often, if a local business owner is aware that a sale will be lost if they don’t barter, they may participate in a deal since trade dollars at retail for existing product or idle time is a better option than not making the sale at all. Creativity is the key here.

Finally, some members want to constantly be reassured about the strength of the exchange. Generally, I defer that question to the members themselves. Since member businesses make up each exchange, they are an essential part of where the exchange is as well as where it’s going. Staying in good communication with fellow members about their experiences, feelings about the ownership, members coming in as well as leaving the exchange, fairness of trading terms of other members, trade dollar values, etc. all add up to a level of confidence which contributes to the level of growth of each exchange.

We encourage open communication and honest constructive criticism within our exchange. If we all continue to do our part, we'll continue to grow in the proper way. Thank you for your trust and commitment to our program.