Merchants Barter Exchange Is Growing - Again

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Expansion continues on West Coast and throughout Midwest.

Less than a month after announcing the opening of seven new offices in Miami, Indianapolis, Raleigh, Atlanta, Nashville, Buffalo, and Oakland, MBE Allocations Director Dominic Russo today confirmed that three more MBE locations are opening in Los Angeles, Detroit, and San Francisco by the end of November with Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Denver, Rochester, Boston and Houston slated for December.

“We are on track to hit our goal of having 36 locations up and running across North America by the end of the year” Company growth plans call for an additional 12 locations for 2006 and another 12 in 2007. “Currently we are growing at a rate of 112% per annum which is better than all but a handful of Fortune 500 companies” added Russo. MBE, which started as a family business back in 1998 incorporated in 2000 and began licensing its operations only six months ago. “Controlled growth is crucial to our expansion since we obviously have to service what we sell” added MBE President Steve Bolles. Unfortunately the New Orleans grand opening has been post-poned until January thanks to Hurricane Katrina.

Merchants Barter Exchange is the only nation-wide commercial barter exchange that operates on a pure barter – no cash basis. MBE is not yet the largest barter exchange in the world but now ranks within the top five. “Biggest doesn’t automatically equate to quality, and our goal is to be the best, not necessarily the biggest” remarked Russo. MBE’s distinction within the industry is being the barter exchange with the fewest complaints, highest fulfillment rate, and best customer service. And unlike other barter exchanges which only provide introductory services to buyers and sellers, MBE actually transacts the trade and protects merchants against price gougers. “We have the most diverse database of merchants in North America and since 86% of them automatically renewed with us in 2005, I’d have to assume we’re doing something right” beamed Bolles.

Merchants who barter enjoy higher cash flows and almost never need to worry about unsold inventories. Barter also preserves their asset base and helps companies both large and small get much higher credit lines. The barter business is growing at a phenomonal pace that rocketed skyward after 9/11. Why? "Every merchant wants to save money and have an edge on the competition. And 9/11 just proved how vulnerable and unpredictable our economy can be. Just one single event can spell disaster for a business, and barter is absolutely recession-proof" explains Bolles. According to the North American Barter Association, over 60% of Fortune 500 companies barter on a regular basis, as does the United Nations, the media, and governments around the world. Barter is now catching on big with small businesses. The public perception that barter is only for consumer items is a myth that MBE is exploiting to the fullest. Indeed, of the some 500 plus barter exchanges operating in America only three, including MBE focus on commercial trade, while most exchanges offer nothing more than discount deals on local restaurants, timeshares, home repairs, etc. "One day we will be the E-Bay for corporate America". Russo predicts.

MBE now processes an average of 1,600 trades per day from its operation center in Morristown, New Jersey. The company is currently negotiating the acquisition of it’s own 28,000 square foot office building right across the Jersey border in Pennsylvania for it’s new headquarters slated to open by June of 2006. "New tax incentives from Pennsylvania along with lower wages and less traffic make the move irresistable" Bolles stated.

MBE offers turn-key business opportunities throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Canada and even provides financing. Anyone wanting information on opening an exclusive MBE operation in their city should call Ian Phillips or Nick Russo at 212-572-6316.


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Henry Romano