There are 500 barter exchanges in the US and 1,000 worldwide. Each exchange has its own currency that the members use in transacting business. The value and marketability of any currency is determined by the availability of products and services in that particular system.
There are barter currencies that are quite valuable and easy to spend and there are some that are virtually worthless. There are many reasons why barter dollars of a specific exchange are “soft” or hard to spend. Examples:
! Exchange members trade in products or services at inflated prices and, as a result, there is a deficit in the system because there is an imbalance between what came into the system and the dollar amount that went out.
! An exchange with an unscrupulous or dishonest owner signs up a new member that has a product in high demand such as cars or RV's and puts a car in the system. The exchange owner takes the car and sell it for cash that he/she keeps. The amount paid in trade dollars becomes part of the exchange's deficit.
! Barter exchanges are very much like banks because they can extend credit to their members and make barter loans. If the exchange owner is more interested in generating fees that in maintaining balance in his/her system, large deficits are sure to follow.
Taking Trade Credits From One Of These Operations Can Be Very Risky
There are also many exchanges that are run by reputable people and their trade dollars are highly marketable and well circulated. These exchanges provide a valuable service to the business community. The problem is that for somebody new to barter it is very difficult to distinguish who runs a legitimate exchange and who doesn't.
Recognizing the problem, four years ago, the principals of the company decided to provide a solution by creating the REOT System. The REOT System:
1. Can be trusted like a traditional bank
2. Allows the dynamics of barter to work to the advantage of the participants
3. Can be used by both the real estate and barter people