I haven’t caused any trouble recently so now seems like a good time to jump into the fray again! As you should all know I’m a big fan of barter exchanges and I actively recruit trading partners into my exchanges on a regular basis. That being said there are times when it is not to your advantage to do so.
The most common reason to trade directly with someone is simply that they are not a good candidate for an exchange. They may be skittish about barter in general and the baggage (explaining it, the commissions, etc.) that comes with exchanges just isn’t worth it. In those cases I just keep it simple and trade directly. If they want something that is available through my exchange I just buy it for them through the exchange.
A more controversial reason to keep a trader to yourself is that the deal is too good to share with your exchange. I’ve never run into a trade partner who didn’t have some kind of limit as to how much barter they wanted to do. If you work out an ongoing trade with a vendor for something really juicy I have found it advantageous to trade with that vendor to their full capacity directly. For example I trade with both a grocery store and a butcher shop. These relationships are pure gold in the barter industry. I will personally use the full capacity that both of these vendors want to trade so there is no way I want to open them up to trading with others. Even if I didn’t want to use my credit with them myself , I could probably spend gift certificates for these vendors pretty much just like cash.
Additionally I should mention that if you have a vendor that you think would be in high demand and you are on the fence about recruiting them into your exchange, proceed with caution. I personally had a issue where I recruited a vendor that I was pretty hot on into one of my exchanges. Once they were in, the exchange informed me that they were rationing services from the vendor. I was told that I could not necessarily buy as much as I wanted from this vendor even if it was under the vendor’s total barter capacity. Never mind the fact that the only reason anybody in the exchange had a shot at trading with them is because I recruited them in. I ended up sorting it all out but the experience definitely put a damper on my enthusiasm for recruiting for the exchange for a while.