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?
I've learned that good will with law enforcement goes a very long way.
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Series: How to handle difficult run-ins with law enforcement over a limousine.
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Driving Gem: Lifting and handling luggage is never good for the back.