As I mentioned in my earlier post, for the next month or so I’ll be looking at ways to turn your barter habit into cash. The most basic form of cash conversion is simply to buy things on barter that you would have purchased with cash. The cash that you would have spent on that product or service is your effective conversion from barter to cash.
This is simple enough to do in theory, however I’ve found in practice that the vast majority of traders are really bad at this. Here are my tips to help make sure that you take advantage of every possible barter purchase possible so you can hang on to your cash:
- For EVERY purchase, product or service, business or personal, ALWAYS see if you can buy it on barter FIRST.
- Make sure that everyone in your family or office that has the authority to make purchases is fully informed about how and why to make purchases on barter. I doesn’t do any good for you to know all the ins and outs of barter if someone else who doesn’t understand barter makes most of the buying decisions.
- Keep an up-to date wish list of products/services that you want to purchase on barter. Make sure that your barter exchange broker has a copy of the list and keep an eye out on CraigsList.org for these items. Approach vendors that sell the items on your list and ask them if they are interested in bartering.
- Stay informed about new members of your barter exchange.
- Stay informed about what is available for purchase through your exchange’s online marketplace
More to come soon about other ways to earn cash through the use of barter.
My family got back today from a fantastic 100% barter micro-vacation! These things take a little planning but they are really worth it. We left yesterday morning, drove an hour north and stopped for lunch at a great Mexican restaurant, then proceeded north to Vichy Springs. It’s a resort that dates back to the 1800s centered around a naturally occurring soda (carbonated) mineral spring. We swam in their big pool (that we had almost to ourselves in the middle of the week), soaked in the hot tubs, played basketball, Frisbee and catch with a football. We brought food with us for a BBQ last night. This morning we enjoyed the resorts continental breakfast, then hiked to a waterfall and came back for one more swim before we hit the road. On the way home we hit yet another restaurant for lunch. What a great way to wrap up the summer with school starting for our kids next week. The whole trip was 100% barter (meals and lodging) other than taxes and tips. Every bit if it was just a little sweeter because it was purchased on barter.
As much as I love barter, I’d always rather have cash. Of course I’m not the only person that feels this way. As such, the art and science of turning barter credit into hard cash represents the holy grail of success in the barter world. Within the industry this alchemy is known as “cash conversion.”
In the coming weeks I’m planning on writing a number of articles about cash conversion using this post to over-view the topic and whet your appetite. Here are a few of the many ways that you can turn barter credit into cash. Of course some methods are better than others and some people are more suited to a particular method.
- Buy items on barter that you then sell (on ebay, craigslist, etc.) for cash.
- Purchase items on barter that you would have spent cash on, and keep the cash.
- Purchase items on barter that your friends/relatives would have paid cash for and have them pay you in cash.
- Purchase services/products on barter that you can sell to your regular clients for cash.
- Purchase items on barter that you anticipate will appreciate in cash value like real estate, collectibles, commodities, etc.
- Refunds or reimbursements in cash for purchases that were made on barter.
- Purchase marketing services through barter that will attract cash clients.
I’ll post my thoughts on these different approaches in coming weeks. In the mean time, I’m quite sure I’ve left some other approaches off my list here. Please use the comment area below to share some other ideas.
I have found yet another side-advantage of barter. It makes me a better salesperson.
When you talk to seasoned salespeople or sales coaches, they will all tell you that good sales from a REAL salesperson boils down to caring about your clients. Rather than try to sell them something, you need to try to solve their problems. You have to actaully want to help them. The second it’s about the money you’re done. Plenty of salespeople make a living pushing whatever they have to sell down their client’s throats, but those aren’t REAL salespeople and they will never reach their true potential.
So what does this have to do with barter? Simple. Barter helps take the pressure off the money aspect of the sale and concentrate on helping the client. Every good salesperson that is honest with you will admit that their desire to help people and their desire to earn a commission battle against each other on a regular basis. The beautiful thing is that when I’m bartering it takes the pressure off me to make the sale. Business that I do on barter is extra business that by definition I don’t HAVE to HAVE to make it on a day to day basis. What that means is that it makes it easier for me to let go of any self-imposed pressure to close a sale and simply concentrate on helping the client. If I get the job…great! If I don’t…no big deal. Additionally from the client’s point of view the pressure is off too. Although we all know that purchases on barter are not free, they are definitely cheaper than paying cash. Because of that the client’s first question in a barter deal isn’t always “what will it cost?” They can settle down and think about what is the BEST way to solve the problem rather than what is the cheapest way.