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I Know the Barter Secret: It's a Rip-off

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A) Nobody, but nobody is charging their normal retail price, they inflate their prices because they already know BBs aren't worth a $1 each.

B) Nobody, save the fresh meat, will accept BBs for material cost or anything else they have to buy for the job, they'll want U.S. $$$ for that part of the purchase.

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C) Most of what is available is crap nobody wants. Time shares, both sublets and sales. Ugly jewelry. Website design. Limited legal service offerings like cleaning up your credit report. Overstock clothes. Same day seats at professional sports events, run, run, run. Designer watches with prices between 1700 to 2500 BBs. Seats at kiddy shows. Advertising space nobody wants. Gift certificates at restaurants that aren't accepted for drinks, tax or tip. Cars that are lemons. Tanning, facial, and message salons that want to sell you cosmetic products for U.S. $$$ only. Art framing (labor only). Etcetera.

Oh, and that new roof? Forget it, that's not happening. You see, our roofer has by now realized he had to pay $300 US when he got his 6000 BBs, and he's going to be charged $300 US more when he goes to spend them. I've been trying to spend my last 2000 BB for at least three years. I can't find anything that's worth the $200 US in transaction charges.]

"Please take action today to save yourself some money...

[Another good idea! I've got to call tomorrow and tell them to stick their BBs up their butt. I just keep hoping I can turn them in for something, anything half worthwhile.]

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"...and help new members join our dynamic Marketplace.

[Dynamic in that they've got to keep finding new blood or the entire scam crashes and burns. Why did he capitalize marketplace? Oh, I get it. It's a proper name not a reality.]

"Thank you, Chairman and CEO, BARTER BROKER CORP"

[P.S. If you thought there was a tax advantage to barter there isn't. The states and feds got wise years ago. Full sales & use tax, no break on income or any other tax. Go Bogus Bucks!]

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)

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