By Scott Jones
INDIANAPOLIS There is a great way for local businesses to save money, and it is a way that has been around for years. However, most people do not know about it. It is called Tradebank.
Becky Homko owns “Today’s Virtual Services.”
“We’ve all bartered from the beginning,” said Homko. “I’ll give you this if you give me this. It’s a basic concept. Now that concept is a reality helping local businesses.”
We give our book keeping services to one car company called “My Car Doc” and then keep our vehicles maintained. It’s just one of the places where we use our “trade dollars.”
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Charlene Lawrence is a broker at Tradebank.
“We have so many different businesses, from caterers, mechanics and lawyers,” said Lawrence. “So it just depends on what your needs are. Our company brings all the bartering businesses together, even though we’ve been around since 1987. We don’t want to be the best kept secret anymore!”
Tradebank saves all parties the trouble and process of collection, exchange of goods, or matching the needs exactly with those of another party. In return, they get a small transaction fee. It is well worth it according to business owners like Anthony Ziegler of Credit Card Processing Indiana.
“I had a customer that I traded him $199 in Tradebank dollars,” said Ziegler. “He gave me that. What I did for him, is I gave him credit card processing right above cost and that’s something for a small business they wouldn’t normally be able to get.”
Here’s how it works: The transactions between companies are actually converted to barter credits or ‘trade dollars.’ They function the same way as cash, but companies don’t have to spend their actual cash. Businesses can trade back and forth or strike out with a one way deal. The key is, it’s all “at cost.”
The businesses are trading away their profit margin to get a specific service or just something fun.
“We’ve gone on vacations and stayed in hotels, and gotten our cars repaired, advertised our business and the list just goes on and on,” said Jerry Stevens, owner of Fishers Mail Post. “We provide a service as well, and a lot of people are using their trade dollars too with us at Fishers Mail Post.”
“You do receive a 10-99B for “barter” so it’s sanctioned as OK by the IRS folks, so it’s definitely above the board,” said Lawrence.