Online Barter Markets
The online barter market
From the book: "We are Smarter than Me" (MIT Press)
"Consumer-to-consumer sites are just beginning to take off -- experts say their market value will hit $150 million in 2006.
Business-to-business barter Web sites are expected to swap $10 billion in goods and services in that same time frame, with more than 400,000 companies participating. The sites, like their pre-Internet predecessors, are essentially associations of businesses that serve as neutral third parties in the exchange of goods and services among their members. Sellers receive Barter Trade Credits (BTCs), which are valued at the equivalent of local currency dollars for accounting and tax purposes, and can use them to buy goods or services from other members. That tends to happen sooner rather than later since BTCs don't earn interest.
The size of a company's barter account will depend upon many factors, including the size of its inventory, but more and more businesses of every kind are discovering the financial benefits of swapping. The Icelandic clothing manufacturer Kapusalan, for instance, distributes more than 30 percent of its annual production on a local barter site."