Let me start out by saying that this particular article is specifically for barter exchange members. If you don’t already belong to an exchange, I suggest you check it out. You can learn more about what barter exchanges are in my Barter Basics article. OK, with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let’s proceed.
Are you aware that there is a significantly larger number of members in your barter exchange than is listed on their website? There are also more members than your broker can refer you to. Intrigued? Good. Here’s the deal; when an exchange member isn’t especially good at spending their credits (don’t get me started), they will sometimes go into “stealth mode.” What that means is that the exchange takes them off their “active” list which removes them from the exchange’s website and flags their account for brokers that they are not currently accepting barter credits as payment. The ARE STILL MEMBERS though. They usually have credits that they want to spend so they continue to maintain their membership.
How does this help you? Often even members that are in “stealth mode” will actually still accept credits if you contact them directly. This is especially true if you’ve traded with them in the past and have maintained a good relationship. With that in mind I would encourage you to maintain good contacts with all of your barter partners. If they do need to reduce the amount of barter credits they are accepting, your relationship will make the difference when they are choosing which barter partners they keep. For example, if you are known to be a good tipper at a local restaurant that takes barter and the restaurant makes their account inactive, it’s very likely they might still accept barter credits from you. All you have to do is ask. The worst thing they can do is say “no.” AND…. do what you can to help council these folks on how to spend barter credits wisely. Usually the whole reason for going on hold is that they are not good at spending barter credits. I certainly wouldn’t mind if you send them to this blog! :)