For people who are unaware of what “barter” is, it’s basically trading vacant advertising space for goods and services available inside the “barter exchange” instead of cash. Can you pay your mortgage with it? No. But if you have vacant space, barter is definitely better than nothing. I have been a heavy user of barter in the past, because I would much prefer $1,000 of barter credits for a vacant sign, as opposed to $0 in cash. You have to be very clever on how to use your barter to make this type of system work. You’ll need to figure out what you already spend money on, and then see if the exchange has those items. Additionally, you can use the credits to make more sales. For example, I have used barter hotel credits as a perk to advertisers to renew an ad lease, or land owners to sign a ground lease. You need to “think outside the box”.
Often, you will have a better chance of renting ad space if you put something up on it. If you leave it blank too long, people associate that sign with failure and you ruin its ad value. I don’t know Green Apple, but I have had good experiences with barter in the past.
You clearly have your head wrapped around the advantage of utilizing a barter network to sell empty billboards.
Green Apple works with all the billboard companies in PIttsburgh and we have partners throughout Ohio and the other side
of Pennsylvania. We began as a start-up company in 1991 and have grown to be the largest barter exchange on the east
coast. We have serviced the buying & selling needs of over 3,000 accounts - last year alone our total trade volume exceeded
Our benefits are two fold. Not only will Green Apple act as a marketing force for your billboard company but the credits you
accrue can be used for: hotel stay across the US, all inclusive vacations, signage, college tuition, commercial roofing, stainless
steel appliances, furniture, telephone systems, material handling equip, web site development & internet marketing, legal needs,
printing, trade show booths, medical benefits, advertising, CAD & 3D renderings, office space, excess inventories (just to name a few)
years ago we had a “business exchange” network in my area that was called BX. i used it to purchase tools when i was first getting started installing signs. i soon found out that the company i was buying my tools from had 2 prices…one price for cash and another one for BX. guess which one was the inflated price? i’m not sure what happened to “BX” in our area, but i got tired of the hassle. cash talks and BX walks in my book. it may be fine for some, especially the company orchestrating the exchange system, but in the end i usually got shafted…
I definitely agree that cash is better than barter – several times better. However, if your sign is vacant, it sure beats nothing. Plus, putting up any live copy on some signs can often make them look more in-demand and attractive. Your point is well taken, and I totally agree. If you can get cash, take it. If you can’t, barter it. Sure, often the product or service on the barter exchange is 100% more than in cash. But that’s like getting 50% off your retail price, and that is 1000% better than -0-. To counter-balance the higher barter exchange conversion rate, you should hold to your full price and not aggressively discount it.
Practical, intelligent use of barter is a plus. But I’ll take cash any day, if I can get it. But sometimes you can’t. Especially in the recession.
I think you might be referring to BXI. There are actually a ton of barter exchanges out there. What separates Green Apple from these exchanges is we have a very aggressive sales force. If I have a client who feels another business inflated a price because it was barter, they call me. I then put a call into that business to address the situation. If they did offer two levels of prices, we get them out of the network. Its that simple. Green Apple is different because we “police” our network and provide our clients with a large level of service. If our clients aren’t happy, we aren’t happy.
I always tell a new client, lets start with a small deal to develop a comfort level & build a relationship from there.
Cash is king, it always will be. We offer a second revenue stream that saves you money on cash expenses ! I can put you in direct contact with several owners of billboard
companies in PIttsburgh who have been Green Apple participants for years. They will give you a glowing recommendation.
frank says, there’s a “higher barter exchange conversion rate” and you say the exchange rate is the same. so which is it? it can’t be both. BXI claimed to “police their network” too. frank knows how it really works and you’re trying to sell something.
Signguy, as i’ve mentioned previously, i have numerous billboard companies as clients who can tell you about their participation in Green Apple. Not to mention numerous
testimonials from restaurant owners to concrete plant owners to the owner of one of the largest furniture retailers in the tri-state area.
What would you rather have, empty billboards or a liquid credit that spends with 1400 companies locally and thousands nationally ?
i am not going to argue back and forth with you on the pros and cons of barter. i simply pointed out that the barter price and the cash price are not the same. i know it, frank knows it and everyone with a hint of intelligence knows it. please don’t insult me by stating otherwise. you can “police the network” until the end of time and it will not change the fact that every barter transaction is encumbered by additional fees, membership dues and monthly service charges. cash transactions are not subject to these fees. the facts cannot be changed, only their perception.