Getting Rid of Cash in the Digital Economy

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WESTON, MA – April 11, 2000 today announced the launch of its innovative e-marketplace which enables global businesses and entrepreneurs to create new sales channels, reduce surpluses and overstocks, and conserve cash while bartering existing unsold inventory and capacity. The site also provides users the opportunity to exchange equity and stock in startups for advertising space and marketing needs.

As an online model of the offline barter exchanges, BarterItOnline is positioning itself as a key tool for small- and medium-sized businesses to market themselves, expand, open new sales markets, and acquire the products they need to thrive in the New Economy.

“Barter has always been used by business as an efficient way of increasing sales and decreasing cash expenditures,” said Richard L. Cravatts, CEO and Founder of “But without the Internet, traders were generally limited geographically, as was access to up-to-the-minute information of the availability of trade opportunities.”

Even so, the demand for barter marketplaces is high: The Wall Street Journal, for instance, recently noted that ‘officially reported barter totals anestimated $16 billion a year, or 0.2% of the total U.S. economy,’ and those numbers do not even reflect the appearance of online trading. “Doing business in the New Economy has itself opened up new opportunities for strategic bartering,” said Cravatts. “Dot com startups can effectively use barter to minimize cash outlays for web site development, marketing and public relations expertise, advertising, banner and other new media services, as well as legal, financial, and other personnel costs–all of which are normally paid for with expensive, borrowed cash in the early years of a business.”

“In fact,” Cravatts said, “the very nature of launching an Internet business, with its rapid and steep upfront marketing costs for acquiring visitors, means that barter is an especially necessary tool for dot com startups. is convinced that by enabling startupsto trade part of their equity and future earnings for what normally would be current cash outlays, we offer great flexibility to entrepreneurs, as well as a comfort level for the venture capital community who find so much of its early-stage investment being consumed by expensive marketing and advertising costs.”

BarterItOnline facilitates trading between businesses and professionals by creating a common currency, ‘E-dollars,’ which members use to buy and sell at the site. The great benefit of a common currency for the e-marketplace, of course, is that it offers great flexibility to the buyers and sellers by enabling them to trade with any member of the BarterItOnline community. Purchases and sales are recorded by the exchange, which receives a transaction fee from the Buyer at the time of the purchase. Existing online barter sites are generally comprised of random listings of available products, little more than virtual catalogues of goods and services available on trade. BarterItOnline takes the unique step of creating a user-friendly business ‘portal,’ with tools and resources for doing business more effectively–in this instance, however, all the tools are related to strengthening one’s business through barter.

“In a time when a whole new industry is being creating online, it seemed logical that options for bartering be applied to the New Economy,” said Cravatts. “ For that reason we’ve included some innovative services on to help businesses ramp up quickly, competitively, and in a way that conserves the sometimes limited infusions of venture capital.”

The Barter Talent program, for example, makes a broad range of professional expertise–web designers, copywriters, business plan consultants, lawyers, accountants– available on trade to entrepreneurs launching their new enterprises or businesses expanding their activities.

The Barter RFP program enables users to broadcast to a whole universe of sellers a specific project need they have that they would like to fulfill by bartering. Sellers can respond anonymously and choose to enter the transaction on a barter basis just once, as opposed to registering permanently on a barter site.

The Barter Rewards program enables companies to trade surplus or excess product or services for non-cash incentives with which to reward key employees, vendors, and clients.

The Online Learning and Executive Education program will allow companies to improve the quality of their workforces with a broad range of professional skills and development courses. BarterItOnline members can purchase the courses on barter, either for their personal use or as part of a company-wide benefits program.

The Media Buyer department of the site facilitates the buying and selling of advertising space, including banner ads, portal advertising, and co-branded marketing programs between web sites.


Founded in September 1999, is a privately-held Boston-based e-marketplace for barter. Its management team, with members from top financial, advertising, cultural, and high-tech posts, has been active in using bartered media to leverage the growth of regional businesses, while helping them to conserve cash and optimize sales. BarterItOnline is located at:


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