2nd Annual Million-Dollar Ideas

Online Bartering

What's really old is suddenly new again. Remember in history class, reading how pioneers would trade a deerskin for a musket? Literally, by trading a buck, somebody would get a buck. It was called bartering. Today, the concept is back in a big way-online bartering is hot. The companies are everywhere on the Net: ExchangeAnything.com, BarterItOnline.com, Bigvine.com, BarterTrust.com, Barter.com, BarterNet Corp., Mr.Swap.com, WebSwap.com . . . need we say more?

Online bartering companies-for the occasional registration fee and always a transaction fee-provide a safe trading environment for businesses and individuals. You can trade services for products, or visa versa, or services for services, and so on. Nearly half a million businesses engage in online bartering today, but the National Association of Trade Exchanges predicts 1.2 million companies will join in the fun within the next 10 years. With all those processing fees, you could buy a lot of deerskin.

 

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This article was originally published in the January 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 2nd Annual Million-Dollar Ideas.

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