"Business owners enjoy restaurants for personal use, as well as for entertainment. They will bypass a competitor to dine here."
"Scheduling a barter client in an open slot makes a difference in my bottom line."
"Unsold media space results in time and money lost. By bartering this space, we can create profit rather than experience loss."
Welcome to Gulf Coast Trade Exchange
Save your cash. Find new customers or clients.
When you barter with Gulf Coast Trade Exchange, you can turn inventory or staff time directly into Trade Dollars, which you can use throughout the network--instead of spending cash. In the process, you can boost sales, acquire important assets or travel perks for your family and your staff while improving the bottom line. (G.C.T.E. based in Pensacola, Florida, primarily services businesses along the Gulf Coast of Florida and South Alabama.)
The procedure of operation is very simple. The members sell their products and services through the Exchange to earn trade dollars credited to their account; after "banking" their dollars, they can now spend their "credit" to buy from other exchange members. This system is very similar to using a checking account at the bank; however, GCTE also provides new business, new customers, new sales, and greater profits for its members.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the advantages of trading?
First, trade produces new business. . . and allows you to expand your market beyond your cash paying customers. Secondly, trade conserves cash. Instead of spending cash to purchase goods and services, you can trade for them. Finally, trade stimulates idle resources. (Excess Time, inventory, and capacity can be converted.)
How does trade work with the Association?
Clients of a trade association use trade credit, instead of cash, to handle their transactions. If a client trades one thousand dollars worth of products to another client, he will receive that amount in trade credit which can be used for purchases from other trade members, hotel rooms in most major cities, restaurant meals, office supplies, as well as thousands of other products and services obtained with trade credit. We are simply a third party record keeper, that sends statements to all clients showing their purchases and sales as well as the the current trade balances monthly.
What major companies are involved in barter?
Nationally, over 100,000 businesses are involved. Major corporations include Xerox, Wilson Sporting Goods, Mattel, IBM, Pan AM, National Semiconductor, Chrysler, Hilton Hotels, Shell Oil, and countless others. Approximately seventy-five percent of the Fortune 500 companies engage in barter.
I already trade on my own. Why join the Association?
The problem with one-on-one trading is that each business must want what the other has to offers. In our Association, however, each can deal with others because of the round-robin benefit of trading with over four hundred merchants. Trade credit, thus, can be spent just like money.
What if I cannot spend my trade credit on the things I need?
When the Association does not have an item a client needs, our job is to find it for him whenever possible. As new businesses are solicited to join the Association, only those who can fill the needs of our current clients are approached. To receive the most benefit from our Association, please give us a list as large as possible of your current and future needs. Trading can never fill every need, but a list will usually focus on targeted areas to assist in spending allow you to spend your trade credit wisely and budgeting efficiently.
What if I earn more trade credit than I can spend?
Clients should trade only in proportion to their ability to spend the trade credit earned. If someone sells products or services that are high in demand, he may need to limit his trade activity. The best way is to have the Association manage the flow of trade business. When you reach your limit, GCTE will stop referring new customers until you are ready to resume trading.
What if I do not get any business through the Association?
This problem should only be temporary if your products or services are marketable. The amount of business, however, will depend on your particular type along with normal supply and demand factors. If you are not receiving as much business as you desire, the Association may also be able to help you by promoting your products and services.
Can I pay my employees with trade credit and expect that their needs can be filled by the Association?
Yes. Many clients use trade credit to pay employee bonuses. Some even pay employees a portion of their regular salaries in trade credit. At your request, we will set up employee sub-accounts and will assist your employees in spending their trade credit as advantageously as possible. The employees, of course, will not pay the ten percent broker fee; it must be paid by the member when credit is transferred to an employee’s sub- account.
I am looking for a new IBM computer. If I save my trade credit, can I purchase it through the association?
Saving trade credit to purchase a very specific high demand item can only frustrate and discourage a client. To receive the most benefit from the Association, each client should provide our staff with a diverse list of his needs. Everyone usually spends his trade credit as he earns it, rather than saving for an item that may or may not become available.
Is it possible to pay some of my bills with trade credit?
Of course. We will help your creditors spend their credit on the goods and services they need just as we would help your employees. Paying bills with trade is just one more creative way to use your credit!
Can the Association lend trade credit to clients?
Trade credit lines can be set up for clients just as banks give credit lines to qualified customers. All trade credit loans are backed by acceptable collateral under guidelines established by the National Association of Trade Exchanges.
What if I quit the Association? What happens to my trade credit?
According to our trade rules, any client who quits the Association must pay cash fees in advance and should spend the remaining credit in a reasonable time.
Are there any tax advantages to trading?
Trade income is the same as cash income for tax purposes. There are no inherent tax advantages nor disadvantages. Trading should be considered a marketing tool, not a tax tool. Trade purchases that are business-related, however, are tax deductible just like cash transactions.
How do I know how much trade income to include on my return?
At the end of the year, the Association will total your trade sales and will submit this information to the IRS (mandated since 1982) on Form 1099B. The Association will also give you a copy of this form for your records.
How will I keep track of my account?
All clients are provided with a three-part GCTE sales receipt. The seller calls the GCTE office for an authorization number and enters it in the provided space on the GCTE form. The purchasers receive the pink copy, the seller retains the yellow copy, and the white copy is mailed to GCTE. A detailed statement recapping all purchases and sales will be mailed monthly.
What are GCTE's credentials?
Launched in 1977, GCTE spans from Gulf Shores, Alabama to Destin, Florida. Currently over 400 members enjoy the benefits of increasing sales and purchasing power — not only locally — but also nationally with other professionals across the USA.
GCTE is affiliated with Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Perdido Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and NATE (National Association of Trade Exchanges) as well as the BANC (Barter Association National Currency). (Founders Bob and Fran Crumpton have both served as Board of Directors of NATE; Bob also was President in 1987-88; Fran was Vice-President in 2000-01.)
Increased Customer Base
Our office refers new clients to our GCTE members.
Increased Cash Flow
Since our members can now use "barter dollars" for their business and personal expenditures, they're saving cash.
Increased Buying Power
With barter, one doesn't buy at wholesale prices, but he does purchase at his own wholesale cost.
GCTE clients will refer your company to their friends and associates, thus, creating additional cash business.
Signs & Banners
Air Duct Cleaning & Flitration
Air Quality Control
Alcohol & Drug Counseling
Asphalt Repair & Stripping
Beer Making Kits
Birthday Yard Signs
Carpet Fire & Water Restoration
Ceramic Tile Installation
Health & Beauty Aids
Health & Fitness
Health & Wellness
Home Care Products
Hurricane Window Protection
Clothing & Accessories
Disc Jockey Service
Drywall Installation & Repair
Ink Cartridge Refill
Jet Ski Rental
Jewelry & Accessories
Logos & Letterheads
Office Equipment & Service
Residential & Commercial
Gifts & Accessories
Real Estate Agents
Trade Shows & Expos
Vehicle Lettering & Wraps
Watch our 10 minute video on Barter featuring actual Gulf Coast Trade Exchange member testimonials. (Free Quicktime player is required.)
"A barter exchange - for those who haven't used one - combines the functions of classified advertising and a bank. Customers sign up to sell anything from drywall to dentistry, the exchange compiles the listings in a directory, and buyers contact sellers directly or through a broker employed by the exchange."
"Small business owners tend to be the biggest beneficiaries of barter because they can trade goods based on their own wholesale cost."
"Think of barter as a supplement to your regular cash business, not a replacement for it. For most businesses, producing a 6-8% of sales per year by barter is a reasonable ceiling."
" The key to successful bartering is know how to use the system. Learn to be flexible in your buying habits. Give your trade broker time to find what you want, and be willing to help by giving referrals."
"There's no tax advantage or disadvantage to bartering. Cash sales and trade sales are treated identical under the tax law."
Kiplinger Personal Financial Magazine
"Businesses are bartering for many reasons. Most important, perhaps, is that it gives them the ability to leverage their cash reserves into more purchasing power while increasing cash flow and lowering overhead expenses."
"Businesses are discovering that barter not only has financial advantages but it has marketing benefits as well. Barter brings in new business that could never be acquired in any other way."
"It's best to work through a barter exchange network, which acts as a broker for its clients' goods and services. Such networks have thousands of clients, making them a viable source for many business needs, such as office equipment and supplies, printing, advertising, cleaning and maintenance services, professional services and travel and entertainment."
Journal of Accountancy
"As things become more and more competitive, and as more people start their own businesses, trading is likely to become more popular. It makes sense. Businesses will discover that barter can become an integral part of their business plans, enabling them to see higher profits, meet like-minded business owners and improve the quality of their business and personal lives."
Print & Graphics
"Bartering turns empty rooms into valuable commodities. Trading room nights brings hotels new customers to feed other profit centers - such as food and beverage, telephone, laundry and parking -- with opportunity to return as a cash customer and even refer a few friends."
Hotel & Motel Management
"Barter exchanges help cash-strapped entrepreneurs stimulate sales, develop new clients, convert excess capacity or inventory into revenue, and acquire goods and services needed to conduct a business. The most important benefit of barter is cash conservation: keeping cash in the bank while using barter revenue to offset normal operating costs."
Nation's Restaurant News
"Bartering is an age-old practice that has always been particularly common among businesses in small communities. But it has exploded in recent years into a sophisticated undertaking backed by a huge network of third party players. Perhaps imbedded with the spirit of trade-savvy school kids, meanwhile, many business owners and executives have thrust bartering into a multi-billion dollar industry that spans the globe. To its champions, bartering has become a vitally important tool for maximizing a company's return on its assets while building a network of potential cash customers as well as trading partners."
"Companies are starting to understand how they can use their products and services as a form of capital to buy things they need."
"The types of connections offered by bartering are virtually unlimited. To name just a sampling; Hotels unlock their rooms for advertising space in newspapers and magazines; printers roll their presses in exchange for legal services; manufacturers trade widgets for share of another company's stock; accountants offer tax preparation services for seats on airplanes; and employees of various kinds barter to provide incentives for employees, such as vacations at exotic resorts."
The Practical Accountant
GENERAL TRADING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Trading through the GCTE network is easy, productive, and profitable -- provided GCTE guidelines are followed by all members. Please review the following:
When you are ready for business with a fellow Gulf Coast Trade Exchange member, please call GCTE to verify that the buyer's account is in good standing. At the completion of the sale - when the buyer is ready to pay, the seller then contacts GCTE for authorization. (Credit card companies use a system of checks and balances; a trade exchange works in a similar fashion.) When issuing an authorization number, a broker checks the member's account to clear the purchase and credits the seller's account. (The authorization process gives the green or red light for each transaction.)
Who is responsible for the authorization number?
It is the seller's responsibility to phone GCTE for approval to ensure the purchaser's current status, prior to providing the service or delivery of products. Again, this practice is for your protection. (DO NOT wait until you're ready to deliver the order to call for the authorization.)
When should the buyer sign the GCTE transaction slip?
For every trade, there is always a transaction form that must be completed by the seller, signed by the buyer, and then mailed to GCTE for confirmation of the transaction. The buyer should not sign off on a transaction form until the product or the service has been completed by the seller. Once the form is signed, the funds are then permanently transferred to the seller's account for payment.
Delivery commitments should be the same as dealing on a cash basis. We all know that promising but not delivering is a poor business practice. Thus, please respond, for example, by saying, "I'm sorry, but I am booked now, I cannot tackle your job until next month. Can you wait?" At least you will be remembered favorably. (Please don't say "I'll try" if you know you can't.)
Each business lists a primary contact person. To avoid any problems, always be certain to speak specifically with the designated person.
Retail vs. Wholesale
Traders "buying at their wholesale cost" . . . should not be confused with "buying wholesale." With barter, you don't buy at wholesale prices, but you do purchase at your own wholesale cost. For example, you are in a service business; you sell $500 worth of services which cost $250.00 to produce. In exchange, you purchase $500 worth of advertising. You are purchasing at your own wholesale cost, thus you have actually received retail for wholesale cost.
Travel on Trade
GCTE has worldwide accommodations available for your trading convenience; however, we are not a travel agency and cannot operate as one. Please review the following travel procedures:
(1) There is a $10 cash fee charged for each travel arrangement made through GCTE.
(2) Once a GCTE travel reservation is confirmed, it is non-cancelable and non-refundable (Please be certain of plans before making a commitment.)
As a convenience, all cash fees are billed on your GCTE monthly statement. Payments are due by the 25th of each month. (Late charges are incurred after the billing date.)
Dealing with GCTE Members
If you encounter a conflict with a fellow GCTE member, please handle in the same fashion as with a cash client or vendor. While we do like to be made aware of problems, they can often be resolved with simple communication between the two parties. When there is a problem that warrants our intervention, we ask that you complete a GCTE complaint form. We will follow up and advise you of the results.
Remember --- live better without spending more! Barter is Smarter!
Join Our Exchange
You can download the *application form from this website, here. Simply print the application and complete by faxing or mailing in the form to us.
Or, you can call, write, fax, or e-mail us to request further information.
Email: Click here
*The application form is in Adobe® Acrobat™ portable document format (PDF) and requires that the Acrobat Reader program is installed on your system.