There are a couple of models for online barter. A few sites charge substantial fees for member merchants to join and advertise. Their membership figures number in the tens of thousands. There are also sites that provide free access to people and merchants who wish to barter. Each site has a method of establishing value for the members' goods or services, and each member has an account with the service based on what has been sold or bought. The host site takes a piece of each transaction, generally five to eight percent.
www.ctebarter.com is now known as international monetary exchange. Membership costs $595.00 and the fee structure is 7.5% buy or sell commission. In addition there is a $12.00 monthly fee. The site claims 15,000 members and advertises that base as an extension of your business advertising and account sources, should you join.
www.internetbarterexchange.net was established by a web hosting company ostensibly to assist its clients in expanding their business transactions. The host company, config.com claims to advertise the bartering service - and member clients – through the purchase of keywords on Google and Yahoo. For clients who do not use the config.com web hosting service there is a $199.00 membership fee, a $14.95 monthly maintenance fee and a 5% buy or sell commission.
The service available at www.trashbank.com is a general trading site with no evidence of fee structures at all. They are heavily engaged in selling advertising. www.u-exchange.com is also a fee-free site that has international aspirations, providing a search tool by country. Their financial model is also adverting-based.
At www.travelforbarter.com you will find the World Barter Banc which seems to have started as a travel barter service and has now expanded into the general marketplace. They claim 41,000 merchant members and have a specific and detailed index of product categories - eBooks, cosmetic surgery, costume jewelry, etc. The page has featured products which presumably cost the merchant for prominent placement, as well as a product search feature. www.barterbucks.com is a site with a different look and a "founder" who came to the barter business through participating with her own online company. However it has the same product index and is clearly the same operator.
www.frugalreader.com is a book exchange that works on non-monetary credits - one for a paperback, two for a hardbound book. The service is free, but provides a premium level for a monthly fee that gives members the first shot at new listings, the ability to limit listings, and so forth. www.bookins.com provides a similar service, with a more sophisticated point system and a centralized shipping system which presumably provides the site with a source of revenue.
www.bigvine.com is a well organized directory of barter sites. You can choose from general barter, B2B, travel, and a number of straight commercial options such as services that provide apartment listings and, in fact, vine vendors. Bigvine is a lead generation site, not a barter site.
www.barteritonline.com is a general bartering service with no membership fee. Their home page divides your search options into B2B, media buying (read ad-swapping on the Internet), travel, human resources, office equipment, real estate and more. This service has gone for wide distribution as opposed to a paying membership base; it is a pass-through service that advises its members to nail down shipping costs before closing a deal.
Madison Lockwood is a customer relations associate, specializing in small business development, for Apollo Hosting. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.