Indian Times: Global slowdown is fueling the barter trade


Just received this article from SueM, from a friend of hers, who adds,

“Was just searching for something else when I came across this very interesting article that I have not seen anywhere else. Granted, this does not work for everything we need and do in life, but just imagine if just 10% of all transactions were done this way. What would happen? Banks would be in one heck of a pickle. Banking profits come at the margins. Cut out 10% of their business, game over for them.”


While Greece may be returning to old-fashioned, person-to-person bartering, in the case of internet bartering, the rebuilding of our trust and reliance on community is much more abstract. Personally, I prefer the Greek way, so that, even if the internet goes down, or online bartering is restricted, we’ve still got each other.

Riding internet, barter biz growing fast

November 7, 2011, New Delhi,


Businesses are increasingly resorting to barter, the oldest form of trade, as one of the ways to deal with the global slowdown with the help of internet, according to a study on India’s Foreign Trade.

“Barter…where goods are exchanged for goods without bringing in money, is being revived,” a comprehensive study on the country’s foreign trade published in the form of a book, said.

The book ‘India’s Foreign Trade- from Antiquity to Date’, authored by veteran journalist Mahesh Prasad, said the global slowdown fuelled the barter trade and the trend is gaining momentum in India as well.

“In today’s internet economy, barter is being promoted by the B2B portal,” the book said.

There are portals like Net4Barter which allow companies to trade excess stocks and capacities with goods and services.

Likewise, has launched a platform named India Barter Exchange (IBX). It offers membership to businesses, including professionals like lawyers, doctors and chartered accountants.

IBX also offers membership to those offering services like recruitment, house-keeping, transportation, security, IT hardware. Restaurants and traders can also join the exchange.

“Barter has developed into a sophisticated tool to help businesses increase their efficiency by monetising their unused capacities and excess inventories. The world-wide organised barter exchange has grown to a USD eight billion a year industry,” it said.

The book which studies evolution of India’s foreign trade from ancient times, said the organised barter has grown throughout the world and every country has formalised it.

“Complex business models based on the concept of barter are today possible since the advent of Web 2.0 technologies,” it pointed out.

Over 350,000 businesses in the United States are estimated to be involved in barter exchange activities. There are approximately 400 commercial and corporate barter companies serving all over the world.

Besides, there are industry groups like the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) and International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), both offering trading and promoting ethical standards among the members. Each has its own currency, Banc in the NATE and UC or Universal Currency for IRTA.

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