Home – New Forums Find the help you need Bartercard – worth it for solo graphic designer?

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  • #987332
    Flik
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    I’m thinking of joining Bartercard as a means of generating some extra work when I’m having a quite week. I really like the concept, but the joining fee seems VERY expensive. Has anyone had any experience with Bartercard? Is it worth it?

    #1162168
    Tony Manto
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    In a word…NO. Barter card is good if you want to do a lot of unpaid work. Sure you get barter dollars but that doesn’t pay the bills. I would recommend you attend some more network meetings and do some free work in these circles. This way if they like you, it may generate some paid work.

    #1162169
    arrowwise
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    Its a closed loop of often forced buying / selling. Businesses need to mark up their products / services to allow for the commission going back to them. Imagine feeling forced to spend your Batercard surpluses through suppliers you wouldn’t normally choose, however it’s the only way to expel your funds. This is a downside for some and the clincher for it to be not that attractive at the end of the day.

    Yes you might get some more business, but equally you need to spend that money out through suppliers which may not match your preferred way of doing business.

    You want to build customers who buy on who you are and what you do, and not based on customers wanting to go with you because they have card credits to burn. This isn’t how you build a loyal customer I wouldn’t think?

    These types of systems just complicate things and give some other party a cut of the action.

    Nothing beats being paid in real money from real end customers.

    #1162170
    redleaftea
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    I used to work for a company that would accept part payment in Bartercard and essentially they gave the Bartercard ‘dollars’ a value of zero and would just give them out to staff to avoid the tax liability.

    #1162171
    Past-Member
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    Something to remember is that the ATO treats Bartercard dollars as income – any GST or tax obligations will apply regardless.

    There’s an old thread from 2011 here. Some of it would not be out of date, but still worth a read.
    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/other-discussions/11545-bartercard.html

    #1162172
    Flik
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Karen, that’s for letting me know about the tax implications. I had assumed that tax would not apply, since you’re not using ‘real’ money.

    After factoring in the huge joining fee, the ongoing fees and the tax implications, I’ve decided against signing up. I can see how it might be of value to someone that is already spending a lot of money on things like massages, hairdressing, etc. But for me, I don’t think I would get much benefit out of it.

    Like Tony said, I think going to networking meetings is a better use of time. Although I’m not sure if I would do free design work for businesses, I’m happy to offer advice, or work for trade. And I do free work for charities and community groups.

    I still like the idea of working for trade, but I think it’s probably better to make private arrangements. That way there are no take implications and no fees going to a third party!

    #1162173
    smurf1
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    Tony Manto, post: 187882 wrote:
    In a word…NO. Barter card is good if you want to do a lot of unpaid work. Sure you get barter dollars but that doesn’t pay the bills. I would recommend you attend some more network meetings and do some free work in these circles. This way if they like you, it may generate some paid work.

    Absolutely true in regards being only suitable for unpaid work. One of the Accounting Firms I know around here done something like $50k in barter dollars. I think it would be tough to hold on for us smaller operators. Yes the “zero dollar” invoice can build that bridge of trust a lot quicker.

    #1162174
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi All,

    Sorry for the late chime in.

    A place I used to work traded with Bartercard. As everyone else has mentioned, the ‘real’ money cost can be prohibitive. We did find some useful suppliers (office stationery; telco and a couple of others) but was still a big outlay.

    Back then we were members also of “ebanc” (which a quick Google tells me is now Empire Trading)… whilst you still have fees etc, you could transact in part trade dollars/part cash, rather than having to accept 100% trade dollars. Not sure how large their membership is compared to Bartercard, but, can sometimes be a worthwhile option to help cover some of the cash fees whilst generating additional customers.

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