Bartering goes online with new business
EAGLE – Need your teeth fixed, carpet cleaned or a new floor for your home, don’t want to spend the cash andcan offer goods or services in return?That’s the concept behind a new business in Eagle called the Mountain Trade Association. It’s a network of members that “buy” and “sell” goods and service without spending money. It’s like a line of credit that your repay with goods and services.”It can be a real cash savings,” said LaVina Beveridge, one of the owners of the company. “You are getting things for your cost of doing business. It’s retail price.””Not only can you get carpet cleaning, you can get a trip to Alaska,” added owner Cindy Ramunno. “You can trade anything.”Bartering is as old as the hills. It was the method of exchange prior to the invention of currency, she said. The only thing she hasn’t seen on the network is airline tickets, she said.
Members of the association pay $299 to join and $12 a month, and in return, the association keeps track of the trading debits and credits of individual accounts. The membership fee is being waived on selected businesses.Members use their accounts for everything from employee bonuses to getting rid of excess inventory, said Ramunno.Because it’s a national network, members are connected to 450,000 businesses nationwide, Beveridge said.”By being in the association directory you’re getting from very cheap to free advertising,” she said. The network also uses an electronic bulletin board system where member can post what goods and services they provide or need.
Network owners Beveridge, Ramunno and Debbie Beard, who also own Alpine Laser Clinic, said their membership in the trade and barter network has driven new business to their clinic. “I couldn’t believe now many new customers we got for the clinic,” Ramunno said.Ramunno said she learned about the network from a friend. One thing led to another and the trio decided to start their own group. They spent less than $50,000 getting going, Beveridge said. Members are charged a 6 percent fee to buy and sell.Members receive a regular statement of their trades and purchases and a 1099 for tax purposes at the end of the year, Beveridge said.
Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado