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New World Barter

A creative alternative for cash-strapped entrepreneurs

In need of supplies or services for your business, but don't have a lot of money to spend? Consider bartering with LassoBucks.

A twist on traditional bartering, the system recognizes that, sometimes, the perfect quid pro quo exchange of services may not exist. According to founder Timothy Fong, entrepreneurs are able to use LassoBucks to "purchase" what they need without using up their cash. Here's how the program works:

Entrepreneurs register with LassoBucks at (There are currently 10,000 people participating worldwide.) You'll receive between $25 and $500 in LassoBucks, depending on what seasonal promotion is being offered. You may also earn additional LassoBucks by getting more people to register.

After describing your business and indicating what you want in exchange, you'll be placed in a trading circle. Typically, these circles are geographically homogeneous.

You then look to your trading circle for what you need and negotiate payment with the appropriate entrepreneur. Your payment can be made entirely of LassoBucks, a combination of real cash and LassoBucks, or Lasso-Bucks and an exchange of services.

You are charged a 5 percent transaction fee for every deal, which is paid monthly via credit card. When registering, be prepared to put your credit-card on file.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »