Barter barons

Imagine having your own printing press in the basement.  And you can print money – at will.  Well, you already have one. Let me explain.  I go out for breakfast every morning.  It doesn't cost me a penny!  I pay with pizza.  I go out for a nice dinner every week.  Again, I pay with pizza.  And you can pay with whatever you serve at your restaurant. Imagine – buying thousands of dollars worth of services and lifestyle for 25 cents on the dollar. Plus, you can do this without sacrificing one cent of your existing business.  All it takes is a little ambition on your part. Starting today you can create all the money you want – out of thin air.  And, as much as you like.

Hustle down to your printer (or print them yourself) and get "free pizza" cards or gift certificates printed up.  See if your printer will take trade for the cards. Always put an expiration date.  I recommend one or two years.  Why expiration dates? Let me tell you a secret.  Come closer, I need to whisper –  20 percent to 35 percent of all trade – will never be used.  That means your real "hard cost" in the deal is about 83 percent OFF retail.

What happens is that people will put the certificates away to use some other time.  Then they totally forget about them.  I always honor them no matter what the expiration date, but a lot of them simply never get used. You will be amazed at how easy it is to trade restaurant meals for just about anything you want.  Everybody likes to eat out.

Barter is simple.  You are trading your goods for the goods or services of another.  Multi-national corporations do it all the time. You can even triangulate.  You trade for 10 oil changes.  Then you trade some of the oil changes for yard work, or whatever.

The opportunities are limitless.  It's the next best thing to being on "Let's Make a Deal." Only here, there's never a booby prize, just stuff that you want. And, one of the many benefits to trading is that the certificates will trickle in over time. So, you'll essentially be getting what you want now and paying (interest free) over time as the certificates are redeemed.  It doesn't get any better than that.

I've traded for airline tickets, oil changes, car repair, expensive meals, car stereos, concert tickets, basketball tickets, radio ads, TV ads, magazine ads, bug spraying, yard maintenance, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, hotel rooms, artwork, equipment repairs, computers, maid service, coffee, movie rentals, movie passes, car washes, contact lenses, dental work, groceries, windshield repair and a ton more.

So, theres a partial list of trading opportunities.  And, I'm sure I'm forgetting just as many as I've listed.

How to get started

Print up your certificates or cards.  You can have "FREE" cards, "Complimentary" cards, or "VIP" cards.  VIP cards will make the user feel a little more special.  Each card needs to have a value on it.  Either a hard number such as $20 (always use a $ dollar sign on these cards) or, "Good Up To $20." Include address, phone number, a place to put an expiration date, and a place for your signature. I ask anybody and everybody about trading.  In essence, I'm insisting that if I do business with them – they must do business with me. Start with an oil change.  Just see how giddy you get when you trade $3 worth of food-cost for a $25 oil change.  Then trade for some hamburgers.  Then, go from there. Here are some other excellent leads for bartering:

Radio stations almost always trade "mentions" or spots in exchange for restaurant credits so they can wine and dine clients.  Treat the sales manager to a free lunch or dinner and let them know you are interested in trading should the opportunity arise.

Try calling the nearest oil change place and ask if they'd be interested in trading an oil change for a couple of lunches for the crew.  Call right before lunchtime.

Most car dealers get pizza, chicken, Chinese or sandwiches for their sales staff on Saturday.  Call the sales manager and offer to trade for car repairs.

It may take two or three phone calls, but call your local exterminator and you'll find someone who will spray your store in exchange for meals. Go to the manager of the nearest video rental store or movie theatre. The radio stations will trade tickets for meals.  And, so will the concert promoters. Go to a couple of the small "Mom and Pop" places. They're usually going to be specialty stores.  Approach the owner or manager.

Just imagine – never paying cash for landscaping, oil changes, dinners, movies, pool service, window washing, bug spraying – you name it – again. You can easily gain over $10,000 per year in added lifestyle – for only $300 per month in "food-cost."

You can easily trade your way up to a better lifestyle with barter.  You can keep thousands of dollars IN your pocket.  Plus, you'll have more customers that can tell their friends about your place.

Why do others want to trade with you?  For the same reason you want to trade with them.  They save paying retail by trading with you.  Don't start trading with someone who already spends a ton of money with you.  Find someone else to trade with.

Let's say your bug sprayer charges you $30 per month to spray your store.  Let's also say the bug sprayer orders a pizza every month.  You pay him $30 in cash.  And he pays you $15 in cash. If you trade the bug sprayer two pizzas instead of paying $30, here's the math: You'll be out the profit on the one pizza he buys – say, $11.50.  Plus you'll be out $7 food cost on two pizzas.  Total cost to you – $18.50.  But, you're ahead $11.50 on the deal because you just traded $18.50 for $30 dollars. Hey, I'll trade someone $20 for $30 any day, and as often as I can.

I have always allowed my managers to trade, within reason.  But, I insist they call and ask for permission – each time (or they're fired!) You'll also find that your crew will get pretty giddy when you hand out FREE lunches to McDonald's (that you've traded for).  Your star delivery drivers will light up when you hand them a FREE oil change certificate, or a car wash. I spiffed my crew with: Airline tickets, movie passes, oil changes, McDonald's meals, FREE coffee cards, restaurant meals, concert tickets, and car washes.

Like I said, I've also fired people for trading.  I'm not interested in footing my managers bar-tab, or car repairs.  Especially when they don't clear it with me first.

Trading opportunities are all around you.  You can trade for things, and then trade those things to others. You can get goods or services from someone in exchange for catering to their customers.  I got my teeth cleaned a few times in exchange for delivering pizza to my dentist's new clients. The only limit is your imagination.

Anyway, I wanted to cover barter because in a way, it is marketing. You are reaching out and talking to people about your product,  and generating new customers.

So, find all those various everyday expenditures, car washes, movies, yard care, oil changes, etc., and set them up on continuing trade.  You will save a bundle of cash!

Tips For Trading

Negotiate the lowest price you can.  Then talk about doing a trade.  That way you get the best possible price and pay with non-discounted pizza.  Most trade is done "retail for retail."  But I've done lots of trades where I'm getting something for 75 cents on the dollar in exchange for pizza valued at full price.

Always start with the manager.  If the manager of an oil change business fills my car with oil in exchange for lunch for the crew – I'm happy.  If the manager refers you to the owner, then move up the ladder and talk to them. 

Keep your "free" cards with you at all times.  I've worked trades in the most unlikely places.  I stopped into a windshield repair place to get a bull's-eye in my windshield fixed.  It was about 11 o'clock in the morning.  They quoted me $20, I suggested that I hook them up with lunch instead and – viola, a trade was done!

Like I said, everybody likes a good restaurant meal.  It's not like you're trying to trade gravel, or air fresheners for something. You can instantly ramp up your lifestyle with trade.  In fact, I traded for maid service one time. So, start creating money out of "thin air" and spend it with wild abandonment! Start trading – today!