BarterFirst International FAQ

 What is the BarterFirst International?

BarterFirst International is an exchange that has incorporated the benefits of an online barter system. Simply put, we bring you new business and allow you to purchase what you need, when you need it for the same price that you would pay for a cash transaction.

BarterFirst International is an Online Barter Exchange that uses Trade Dollars as a medium of exchange which enables BarterFirst International Members to trade directly or indirectly with other BarterFirst International Members 24/7.

Our primary purpose is to help locally owned Small Businesses grow.

 What are the benefits of Joining BarterFirst International?

  • Increase Your Sales & Your Customer Base
  • Improve Your Cash Flow
  • Trade for Products and Services You normally pay cash for
  • Get New Cash Business as a result of Referrals and Word of Mouth Advertising from Your BarterFirst International Customers
  • Advertise and Promote Your Business
  • Gain a Powerful Advantage over Your Competition in the Marketplace
  • Expand Your Marketing area
  • Increase Your Purchasing Power
  • Enhance Your Lifestyle
  • Create a Benefit and/or Incentive Program for Your Employees
  • There are NO accounts receivable for You to collect or bad debts to write off, since You are paid at the time You provide the Products or Services
  • Trade Your Slow Moving or Perishable Inventories, Under Performing Assets and any Excess Capacity for Goods and Services You Want and Need.

 As Member of BarterFirst International You will also receive…

  • Unlimited Transactions when You Trade with other BarterFirst International Members Online
  • Access to National & International Markets through our Affiliates
  • FREE Listings for Your Products and Services
  • A Monthly Newsletter
  • Periodic Updates
  • Timely Bulletins
  • Access to the BarterFirst International Website and Your Account 24/7
  • Online Real Time Authorizations 24/7
  • Invitations to Networking Activities and Special Events

  What are the cash fees to be an BarterFirst International Member?

There is a one time sign-up fee that varies with the size of your company, similar to Chamber of Commerce fee structures.
There is a cash fee of 12.00% of the total Transaction Amount due from the buyer. 

See Terms & Conditions for details.

  Who should Join BarterFirst International?

Any business who would like to significantly increase their sales or improve their cash flow. We have found that businesses which have excess capacity, slow moving inventory or underutilized assets would particularly benefit from a trade exchange.

You should Join the BarterFirst International if You are not selling all the goods and services you would like sell.

If you have a perishable product it would also be very advantagous to join our exchange. Consider how much is that unused hotel room worth, the empty chair at your restauant. How much is a ticket to the big event worth the next day. Nothing. We can get value for your goods. A BarterFirst International Trade Dollar is worth a dollar in buying capability on our trade exchange.

  What if I need to temporarily halt trading?

You may place Your account "On Hold" if You are currently operating at full capacity or if business conditions are such that You cannot accept BarterFirst International Trade Dollars temporarily. You may NOT go "On Hold" if You have a negative balance, ie: You have purchased more than You have sold. See Policies and Procedures for details.

  What if I want to cancel my Membership?

  • Either party may terminate this Agreement upon seven (7) days written notice to the other party. See Terms & Conditions for details.
  • Membership in BarterFirst International may be cancelled at any time with written notice.
  • Members must have a positive account balance prior to cancelling.
  • If transactions are pending, these transactions must be completed before cancellation is final.

     How should I price my Products and Services?

    You should charge the same prices as You would for cash, but may exclude sale & discounted products & services.

    What if I prefer to have a broker to help me with my trades?

    If You prefer more personalized service You can have one of our Independent Trade Brokers help You with Your trades. 

     What about a credit lines?

    As a general rule, we do not offer lines of credit. We may occasionally make exceptions if a situation arises that we feel would be in the best interest of the BarterFirst International Community and it's Members. We believe credit lines are the one of the primary causes of inflation in a Trade Exchange (see next Q & A). We prefer to use other methods of injecting liquidity into the system so that the BarterFirst International Trade Dollars in circulation are backed by high quality, high demand Products & Services

    How can You prevent inflation in BarterFirst International?

     Inflation is a big problem for most Trade Exchanges and left unchecked can ruin the entire pricing structure of the system.

    First, it is important to understand that prices in a Trade Exchange are generally higher because Members are allowed to charge the full retail price for their products and services and are not expected extend sale prices or discounts. For example hotels can charge their full rack rate on Trade but offer Corporate rates and may heavily discount their rooms online for cash.

    What we want to prevent are price gouging and other unfair pricing practices.

    Although we will do our best to prevent this from happening in the BarterFirst International system some situations are out of our control. For example since we are a part of a Network of independent Trade Exchanges we can't control how their Members charge for things.

    While we will attempt to weed out Members who abuse the system, our best line of defense against inflation is You. Here are some things You can do if an BarterFirst International Member is inflating their prices:

    1. Do not proceed with the purchase. Let us know immediately and we will contact the seller and try and rectify the situation.
    2. Look to see if there is another Member who is offering the same product or service.
    3. Ultimately You have the final say. If You cannot get what You want at a fair price, don't buy it. You can always use Your Trade Dollars for something that has true value to You.
    4. Most importantly, don't compromise Your integrity by raising Your prices. 

     Can I charge part cash?

    The seller may collect cash for tips, sales tax and shipping if applicable.

     What if one of my existing cash customers is a Member and wants to trade with me?

    You do not have to accept BarterFirst International Trade Dollars from any of You existing cash customers.

    While we love referrals we do not recommend You invite Your existing cash clients to Join BarterFirst International. An exception to this rule would be if You are about to lose the customer for budgetary reasons anyway, You may want to try and salvage the account by, suggesting they Join BarterFirst International, and accepting all or part of Your selling price, fees, etc. in BarterFirst International Dollars.

    What if I have a problem with another Member?

     If You have a problem with another Member please notify us by e-mail immediately.
    Although we are not responsible for resolving disputes between Members we will, in most cases, try to rectify the situation. See Policies & Procedures.

     What if a Member does not play by the Rules?

    If a Member does not abide by the Terms & Conditions or Policies & Procedures their Membership is subject to suspension or termination. 

     Can Members sell used items on trade?

    Yes. The item(s) should be specified as used, must be in good to excellent condition and priced at the fair market value. 


     What is Barter? Barter is the exchange of goods and services without the use of cash. People can Barter on a one-to-one basis or they may choose to use the services of a Trade Exchange 

     What is a Trade Exchange?

    A Trade Exchange is similar to a bank except that it uses Trade Dollars as a medium of exchange to help facilitate trading between it's Members. In addition, it provides the accounting services and statements that help Members keep track of their balance and trading activity. 

     Why join a Trade Exchange?

    1. A Trade Exchange eliminates the limitations of one-on-one Barter where each business must want what the other business has to offer. When You belong to an exchange You are paid in trade dollars, which You can then spend with any other Member. This way when You are the Seller You do not have to turn away any business because You don't want what the other person is offering. Using Trade Dollars also helps when You want to make a Purchase and the other person doesn't want what You have to offer.
    2. A Trade Exchange will Save You the Time and Effort of having to find compatible Trading Partners.
    3. A Trade Exchange helps You market Your products and services to other Members.
    4. An Exchange acts as a third party record keeper, providing monthly statements to clients, which reflect all trade purchases, sales and a current trade dollar balance.
    5. When You are a Member of a Trade Exchange You do not have accounts receivable to collect or bad debts to write off . You are paid at the time You provide Your product or service. 

     Who can barter?

    Any business owner, professional or individual who has a product or service to offer on trade for which there exists some demand. The higher the demand for Your product or service the more opportunities you will have to trade for the products and services You want and need. 

     Who can benefit from barter?

    Just about any business with excess capacity or surplus or slow moving inventory can benefit from bartering. This is especially true if Your inventory is perishable like radio time, billboards, hotel rooms, airline tickets, empty tables at restaurants, event tickets or Your time if You provide a service. A key consideration is that Trade Dollars have a storable value and Your perishable inventory doesn't. 

     Can I get anything on Barter?

    No. There are some things that you probably won't be able to find on trade, including: utilities, tips, mortgage payments and money payable to local, state and federal governments ( taxes, business licenses, traffic fines) etc. Also items with thin margins are rarely available in a Trade Exchange. You can however, use Barter to "Free Up" cash to pay for the things You can't trade for. (See next two Q &A) 

     Why use trade Dollars instead of cash?

    Maximizing cash flow is a top priority of all businesses, small and large. Using trade dollars, as an alternative to spending cash, helps You conserve cash. 

     How can Barter increase my cash flow?

    There are several ways in which barter can increase Your cash flow:

    1. Business and Personal expenses can be converted from cash to trade transactions, thereby freeing up Your cash.
    2. The New customers You get through Your Trade Exchange are great sources of Referrals and word of mouth advertising to attract New Cash Business.
    3. You can use the Trade Dollars You earn to purchase all forms of media advertising to attract more Cash Business without the out-of-pocket cash costs. 

     What does it cost to Join a Barter Exchange? 

    1. Most Trade Exchanges have an enrollment fee of $495.00 and up.
    2. Check with your Sales Rep to see which fee structure fits your business.
    3. Ongoing services fees are 12.00% of the total Transaction Amount due from the Buyer,  payable in cash. 

     Are Trade Exchanges legal?

    Yes. Under the "Tax Equity and Financial Responsibility Act of 1982", the federal government officially recognizes Trade Exchanges as third-party record keepers-meaning they record barter transactions and report client barter income to the IRS. This puts Trade Exchanges on equal footing with banks, credit unions, securities brokers and others as legitimate custodians in the eyes of the law.

    Are there any tax advantages to barter?

    There are no tax advantages or disadvantages to barter. The tax code treates barter transactions identically to cash transactions. Barter sales are considered taxable income in the year they are credited, barter purchases and related barter expenses are considered tax deductible expenses. 

     What percent of my business can be done in barter?

    Many barter experts recommend that bartering be kept to no more than 10% - 15% of Your total business. I believe there are too many variables that are unique to each business to make a blanket statement. The best thing to do is evaluate Your current business situation and decide how much You can safely trade without adversely affecting Your cash flow. 

     Why do some products and services cost more on Barter than for cash?

    Because the cash economy is so competitive You can always find someone who is willing sell their products and services at steep discounts or even at a loss. In a Trade Exchange, Members sell their products and services at full retail value. On the surface it would seem like You are better off paying cash, however this is only half the story.

    Although on a retail for retail comparison the cash price may be lower on a particular item, You have to take into account the cost of Your Trade Dollars which is the wholesale cost of Your products and services. Since You are effectively buying at Your wholesale cost You may find You are actually better off paying for the item with Trade Dollars.