From the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur

Almost every start-up expert tells you to barter to save money-but very few actually tell you how to realistically use bartering to reduce costs. We went to Bob Meyer, publisher of BarterNews Magazine, to get the skinny on this oft-mentioned start-up strategy.

  • Know the difference between direct barter and exchange barter. Direct barter means to swap your product or service for the product or service of your vendor. Exchange barter is when you're part of a barter group with other businesses, and each business earns "trade dollars" that can be exchanged for needed items.
  • Don't believe the misconception that you'll somehow get shady products or services in barter.
  • Do your homework on any barter exchange you plan to join. Check out www.barternews.com for information on exchanges in your area.
  • Realize that what you barter away has value to you, says Meyer.
  • Check out these other barter resources for more details: the International Reciprocal Trade Association (www.irta.com) or the National Association of Trade Exchanges (www.nate.org).