As we continue to build MerchanTrade, Inc. into an exchange where more and more members are able to meet their everyday needs through barter, we often get approached by members who are concerned about other local exchanges using our new member and special deals information to profit in their own exchanges.
We appreciate our members’ genuine concern regarding our welfare, but we feel that for the most part, time devoted to preventing certain folks from seeing this type of information is usually wasted time. There are always those in any exchange who will gladly make any information available to competitors for personal gain. Consequently, we choose not to worry about this sharing process. Our focus at MerchanTrade is more on educating members about what to expect from our competitors so they can make good decisions regarding participation in any exchange.
First, when prospects are approached by any exchange, they should first verify the spending options available in the areas that best benefit them – whether they are local or national. This is very important because many exchanges can send you business, but it’s the VALUE of what you receive that usually separates exchanges. Do your homework when it comes to spending options because you just may wind up with quite a few trade dollars but very few viable options on which to spend them.
Second, assess the trade dollar value within your spending options. If you receive cash comparable prices for what you choose to buy, and the trade price options are twice the cash price consistently, beware of participating! Ultimately, you may find that the fees paid to the exchange plus the cash cost of your barter sales may not be savings at all – and are in fact costing you cash in many instances! Don’t be fooled by the promise of business by this type of exchange!!
Finally, resist the temptation to be a part of any exchange which predominately makes one time deals or if the information they have gleaned from others is the source of their information to you. These exchanges are more concerned about the fees to which they are “entitled” rather than your welfare! Look carefully at information received from these exchanges so you can make an educated decision! Is the information provided to you in such a way that the sender is aware of the product and service value, or are they primarily just forwarding information?
Remember, it takes work to make certain that the deals and businesses you see repeatedly in the weekly email and website are real deals on a consistent basis – and backed by real relationships. That just doesn’t happen overnight. MerchanTrade makes you the beneficiaries of relationships we have developed through trust and respect. We ask that you help us continue to build the exchange with like-minded people. We’ll all continue to win if we remember that!