Before you spend your cash, consider a trade

Published 10:22 am Monday, June 18, 2012

By MOLLIE BROWN / Business Columnist

Need business? Willing to barter?

Before you begin your usual search process when you need a new item or service, consider a cashless transaction.

I’m talking barter, a legal form of currency recognized by the IRS — swapping one service for another service.

ITEX broker Charmaine Dye helps people save money by bartering. (contributed)

Charmaine Dye has bartered since 1993. Since June 2010, she has brokered for ITEX, the leading marketplace for cashless business transactions in the United States. ITEX is a trade exchange, which allows you to buy and sell products and services using ITEX credit dollars, instead of cash dollars.

“Organized barter began in the ‘60s,” Dye said. “Accounts are opened much like a bank account. You place a dollar value for a service or product for people to purchase with credits they’ve accumulated. For instance, you cut someone’s lawn and receive credits to your account instead of cash dollars. With those credits you purchase something you want, like a trip or pest control service. The greatest benefit in the barter industry is your service is always sold at market price, it’s never discounted.”

Because bartering is legal tender, it doesn’t escape taxes. Clients receive a 1099 form to report earned income to the IRS. Dye emphasizes it is important to offset earnings with expenses incurred with the transaction.

ITEX’s vision is to establish the ITEX dollar as a widely accepted currency and the ITEX marketplace as the hub for cashless transactions. It advertises with companies such as Highlands Digital Media, which has digital signage in every American Family Care practice. Patients watch ads on a TV screen while waiting to see a doctor and ITEX pays 50 percent of ads that have their logo.

Dye received the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Month in April. She is excited bartering has become increasingly popular as a form of saving money while earning income.

“I train my clients to think trade first. I’m available 24/7 to them. I take care of my people. They’re my friends, my family. I rely on their referrals and feedback to keep integrity in the system.”

ITEX, located in 44 states and other countries, is 24,000 clients strong. The company generates $15 million in trade volume in a four-week cycle. Contact Dye at 314-5797 to open an ITEX account at no cost.


Molly Brown is a business columnist for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at