While working on a recent story for an upcoming print edition, I got into a lively discussion with several operators about the use of trade. While the conversation was specific to trading for advertising, I trade all sorts of products and services and view it as a very good investment — one where I am literally paying pennies on the dollar for the value received. Perhaps I am all washed up in my thinking as some operators flatly refuse to engage in trade.
I trade with vendors directly and I also trade through a broker house (ITEX Corporation) that allows me to purchase a wider variety of goods and services beyond the people we do everyday business with.
In a small example of working through a trade broker, I do all of our oil changes through trade. The total cost for lube, oil and filters is $41.89. I have to pay ITEX a fee of $6.28 (15%) and I have a monthly fee of $10 to be an ITEX member. I had four transactions in the past month. Spread equally, that’s $2.50 per sale. Those cash fees amount to $8.78. Let’s hold on to that number for a minute.
I did a trip for an ITEX member last week that earned $560 ITEX dollars in my trade account. To deliver that service cost me $124.43 in cash payroll expense. I paid $42.18 in cash for fuel. Adding those two expenses plus the $8.78 ITEX fees, the trip cost $175.39 in cash. It cost me $175.39 to earn a value of $560. That $560 will buy me 13 oil changes. That breaks down to $13.49 per oil change. How is this not a fantastic deal? Am I missing something?
Limousines might be good for weddings, but prove troublesome for popping the question.
Driving Gem: Do you know the size of your vehicle's sail area?
Mini-Series Part 1: A trailer park, curses, a tumbler of vodka, and a pack of beauties. Could anything go right about this trip?
Your fleet vehicle electrical systems depend on optimally running alternators. When an alternator fails, you'll be left on the side of the road.
A dangerous five-point U-turn, lack of local knowledge, and requests for directions ruined an evening limo run.