Businesses Keep Cash By Trading

Dallas Morning News
by: Sheryl Jean

Bartering allows companies to use credits to get jobs done

DALLAS — A player piano. A camera. Even accounting services.

Irving, Texas, television producer Joel Stephens has acquired those products and services without paying a dime. He’s among the small-business owners who use the ancient strategy of trading services and products. It’s called bartering. Bartering is the exchange of goods or services without using cash. An estimated 400,000 businesses participate in bartering through third-party exchanges – and more people trade directly with each other. Stephens wouldn’t put a value on his 25 years of bartering, but he acknowledged that he trades for nearly everything for his advertising agency and a TV production company.

“Everybody barters for everything,” Stephens said. “It’s simply a matter of currency.”

Charlotte’s Carolina Trade Exchange, launched in 2010, is closing in on 100 member businesses representing a range of services – from roofing to child activities to restaurants, according to owner and president John Kucera.

Image Caption: TV producer Joel Stephens has been bartering for 25 years and trades for nearly everything he needs for his advertising agency and a production company. “Everybody barters for everything,” he said.