The Better Ways to Barter

Barter has been used as a currency for exchange for eons… rural doctors exchange services for their patient’s chickens and other farm produce,  the promoter exchanges tickets for advertising, early western furriers traded furs for food and staples… today businesses exchange their products and services with other businesses and everyone gets what they want and need, right?  Let’s take a look. 

When two people or two businesses exchange with each other it’s called direct barter and it does work.  It works well if two people or two businesses have similar value products or services and have a need for the other one in a similar time frame.  But what if the doctor has too many chickens or the farmer has excess livestock and produce but doesn’t need the doc this week?  This is one of the challenges with direct barter, you may not find the value in the other person/businesses exchange and they may not want your products or services when you have them available.   One side of the transaction may end up with items they don’t need, may feel the exchange was less valuable or may not be able to find the product or service needed when you have excess inventory or time to offer.  Or the worst case scenario, the other person/business doesn’t come through with their end of the bargain…  we’ve probably all had that happen too many times.

So what is the answer?   How do you move excess inventory, share your products and services with new clients that want what you have when you have it and know that you’re getting all your value.  Join an organized Barter Network.  It removes the direct barter element and allows you to trade when and with what you want to and allows you to spend when you have a need.  Typically barter “dollars” are tracked through accounting software and there is a small fee for the network to oversee and manage the accounts.

For example…I sell $1000 of wedding services to a bride that owns a furniture store.  They earned their trade dollars selling 10 bar stools to a new restaurant in town.  The restaurant earned their trade dollars offering 20 $50 gift certificates to the network.  20 different businesses bought those certificates with trade dollars they earned in 20 different industries.  The cycle is endless as the networks grow and everyone uses the offers that are a fit for them.  As for Barter Networks there are several all across the nation and even several within major metropolitan areas and all may have slightly different guidelines and businesses they represent so as always you’ll want to do your due diligence.  I’ve been involved with a barter network here in Atlanta for the past 5 years and had a great experience.   Nearly $200K in business I’ve traded in that time.

I’ve traded my catering services, wedding and event planning, our gourmet healthy coffee, our decadent fudge, my husband’s plumbing services, some excess linens and other catering equipment, rented Chocolate Fountains, business consulting services, wedding cakes, vendor and sponsor opportunities and more, whatever is ours to offer and the time is right to offer on barter.  In exchange we have used our barter dollars to pay for our kids’ afterschool program, dental work, vacations, jewelry, sponsorships, advertising, holiday gifts, massages, printing, signage, hair styling, circus and show tickets and so much more.   In addition every time I performing a service for a barter client, I’m probably getting exposure to new clients including cash clients – It’s a Win-Win-Win!

Barter is better than allowing excess inventory to sit on the shelf or become an unsalable commodity and time spent idle that could generate income on barter is a great way to grow your business.  I definitely recommend participating with a quality based, reputable barter network where your products and services are promoted and exchanged at the correct value and monies are exchanged using software that is easily tracked and transacted.

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Dannella Burnett

Owner of Encore Elite

Dannella’s company, Encore Elite, work on 10-15 National Level Events every year – sometimes producing the entire event “Brainstorming to the Bank” or for some larger events we may be part of a larger event team and focus on Speakers, Sponsors, Logistics, Back of Room Sales etc…

Right now, they have supported 6 clients in taking their events virtual and planning a 3 day Virtual Experience July 16th-18th, 2020 with an additional 4 clients planning fall events. Encore Elite will also be hosting their 3rd Annual Lanier Lantern Festival – an event that raises money for Dannella’s non-project PROJECT RePURSE and other community organizations.

Some of the largest events include Simon Properties Mall of GA July 4th with 150-175K participants and we bring in the outside food trucks, vendors and alcohol services etc…Getting things done with a staff of 5 and a long list of volunteers they help support Seminars, Expos, Festivals, Parades, Workshops, Weddings and Corporate Events.

If you want to learn how you can hire Dannella and get results for you next event then visit

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