The Walmart Scenario


We hope the following scenario helps shed some light in terms of account management.
Let’s assume that tomorrow you open an e-mail from us titled

“Please Consider New Applicant”.

You discover the new applicant is for a local Walmart. We are confident that this would create a very large stir in the membership! This would be great, right? Well maybe not. Allow me to explain.

Let’s jump ahead. Walmart’s account is open and doing a brisk trade business. In fact, their trade sales are so brisk that over the course of a few months, every member has spent every cent of their JTEX Dollars with Walmart.

Now let’s take this to the next level. Where would Walmart spend their trade dollars? They are headquartered in Bentonville, AR. They have little to no local expenses meaning they would have very little opportunity ever to spend any dollars back into the system. This would mean the JTEX economy would screech to a halt as there would be no funds available to circulate and create commerce for the membership. We would be dead in the water. Unlike the U.S. economy, we have no federal reserve to simply, and dangerously, print more dollars ($19 trillion!) if we run out. Our economy is backed by the goods and services of each other.

We share this doomsday scenario with you for this reason. Management of your trade account is one of our primary duties. When funds are stacked up in a member’s trade account and are not circulating, it tightens the JTEX Dollars for all of the members. The more our JTEX Dollars are being circulated, the more vibrant and healthy our trade economy will be for all of you!

We hope this scenario helps shed a little light as to why we are so proactive in terms of account management. As always, we welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions.
P.S. Walmart is not locally owned and would not qualify for membership even if they did apply!

Best Practices of Barter Account Management

Managing your JTEX account is important. But the rules are different than what you have used with cash. Since JTEX will concentrate on finding you buyers for you to earn trade dollars, concentrate on how you spend. Once you are able to put these Best Practices into place, you’ll find that Barter is a great business strategy that will help grow your business and bottom line.

income outgo

Best Practice #1 – Don’t let your balance get too high! This is not a bank account. You only want as many trade dollars as you can spend. For example: if you spend T$750 per month (T$9,000 annually) you don’t need T$20,000 in your account. If your trade account accumulates too fast, contact the JTEX office to find ways to spend your trade dollars wisely. They have a Business Spending Plan that can help identify how to best use your trade dollars.

budgetBest Practice #2 – Develop a budget and plan what want to spend your trade dollars on. (Use the Business Spending Plan). Be creative, flexible and plan ahead. Here are several categories available in JTEX or reciprocal exchanges – the cash savings can add up fast!

Advertising – (online, direct mail, billboards, promotional items, video production, TV commercial production, local newspapers, and more)

Printing – (business cards, flyers, brochures, menus, and much more)

Health Care – (dental, medical, chiropractor, weight loss, Fitness Centers, optical, for yourself, family and employees)

Vehicle Maintenance – (repairs, oil change, state tags, wash)

Professional Services – (accountants, lawyers)

Travel – (New Orleans Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts, Beach Condo, Fish Camps, and timeshares)

Restaurants – (for business or pleasure – over 140 available in South Louisiana)

Best Practice #3 – Make a long term commitment (12 months) so JTEX and member businesses can work with you and you are committed to their service or products on trade. Pre-Plan your vacations plan your advertising, develop a marketing budget.

fish jumpBest Practice #4 – Change the businesses you do business with if you can get the same product or services on trade. Just think of the cash savings you can make when you switch. Give the businesses you currently work with the opportunity to join JTEX before you switch.

Best Practice  #5 – Be flexible – Don’t get hung up if the price is retail, don’t expect to get the cash discount on trade or for the business to be the cheapest price available – one of the advantages of trade is that you do not have to discount (but some businesses will!) And be flexible if the member business needs to work you into their schedule if you can help it.

Best Practice # 6 Preplan – The more advance notice and time you give other traders the better.

Best Practice # 7 – Take it when it’s there. If you see something good, or want, buy it before the next guy does – grab it first. The best stuff (whether it is a product or a service) moves quickly. Don’t risk letting it get away or having the businesses go on stand-by.

look before smallBest Practice #8 – Always check the directory before you go –

Each businesses works with JTEX to make sure that they are able to use their trade dollars and don’t accumulate an unhealthy balance – this means that they can go on stand-by at any time or be on a wait-list basis – If the business is in a different trade group – check the directory to make sure they are reciprocal. (Not every business in other trade groups is available for trade)Don’t put yourself or the member business, in a difficult position by trying to trade when they are on hold or are not reciprocal.  Just take the time to check the directory online before you attempt to do business!

Best Practice # 9 – Enjoy the barter system and spread the good news!!  Tell everyone you know and help JTEX grow. You will reap the benefits as more members join and trade with you.

Most members of JTEX (other exchanges too) who complain about not being able to spend Trade Dollars, have not followed the above practices. If you can’t spend your trade dollars… give them to us, we will!!!! (Just kidding)


*** If you are interested in creating a Business Spending Plan – contact the JTEX offices to schedule an appointment

Top Traders – How They Spend – The Bugman

Paul Salvant BugmanHow Top Traders Spend

Here’s a good look at how The Bugman uses trade as a business strategy.

Paul Salvant  AKA “The Bugman ” has been involved in trade for over 17 years and is a charter member of  JTEX.  This graph shows how they spend their trade dollars. Ask Paul, you can do that too!  Paul says“I use trade for so many things, I lose track. My staff love it too, they are often paid in trade dollars.”

Using a trade exchange to save CASH in your business.

piggy bank with us currency saving with a piggy bank money and a pink piggy bank saving money putting money away ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizesFor many small businesses struggling with low demand and slow cash flow in the wake of the a tough economy, an age old idea could drive new business: barter. The 200 plus members of Jambalaya Trade Exchange can conserve cash and expand reach by selling their products and services on its exchange for trade dollars accepted by fellow members, says Tim Bergstresser Executive Director of Jambalaya Trade Exchange (JTEX). JTEX was established in 2012 in Ascension Parish, LA ., and is an independent trade exchange that is a part of the Trade Authority network of trade exchanges. Local exchanges are now in  13 cities through the southeast region of the USA. Trade Authority facilitated over $20 million in business-to-business trades last year and it’s member exchanges have over 3200 members..

Barter is an age old idea, and seems to be catching on with businesses  in Ascension Parish. Why?cash-or-barter

The idea of barter of trade,  hasn’t reached anywhere near critical mass. But it’s really catching on.  The main obstacle to organized barter, like JTEX, is a misconception about the word “barter.” People still think about barter like trading a peanut-butter-and-jelly for a salami sandwich at the school lunch table. That’s direct trading.

Barter within an organized exchange network like JTEX,  is not a direct trade between two members; that’s all wrong. It’s a system that allows payment for goods or services in trade dollars that can be spent with anyone else in the system, which opens worlds of possibilities. In our simplest form, we are merely a payment-processing system that aggressively sells for member businesses and promotes those businesses to other members.

How does a barter transaction work?

Let’s say we have a member who needs dental work. Using our member directory they can choose a local Dentist, make and appointment and get their work done. Payment is made using their membership card. When processed, trade dollars are immediately transferred from the buyers account to the Dentists account.  Pretty simple. The Dentist now can use those new trade dollars with any other member business he(or she) chooses.

What are trade dollars?

 That’s the currency we use. A member pays $395 to open an annual membership with us and they start with an interest free line of credit. This allows them to begin trading even before they receive business. Our staff gets to know that business and helps them start earning trade dollars. The Inflatable company  might say that the month of February  is a light time for them, so we begin promoting them and drive customers to them in February  from within our network. When one of our members rents a bounce house they pay with trade dollars. The Inflatable owner puts those dollars into his budget or uses them later for anything else. They get a balance statement every month through our online program. Additionally they can authorize transactions online to make or accept payments, like putting through a credit-card payment.
How does JTEX make money?
Two ways. First is the first years membership fee of $395. This is paid in cash. the subsequent years renew at T$200 , paid in trade dollars. The second way is transaction fees. There is a 10% fee for every purchase made. Each member has a Cash Reserve Account (CRA) where cash is loaded using a credit card. Whenever a member makes a purchases, the 10% fee is drawn from the CRA.

Which businesses take advantage of barter? 

Has your membership been growing?

There’s no question that we have been getting more attention from the local business community in the past few years. Our membership has grown by about 50 a year in the past 4 years. We continue to seek businesses that fit the trade model.

What are the tax implications of barter transactions?

In 1982, the IRS recognized barter as legal tender and barter exchanges as third-party record keepers, like accountants and banks. The exchanges must report barter income to the IRS on form 1099B. We issue these each year in January.

Have you heard about any unusual trades made by members?

One of our members recently got married. His fiancee (now wife) took on the task of using trade to cover as many wedding expanses as possible. She was very successful and used trade to pay for wedding rings, the venue, catering, her wedding dress , presents, photography and the honeymoon trip. Not bad! I’d to say she is a Ninja Trader!

Check out the JTEX website here.


Members of no-cash networks say it’s a great way to market their businesses.

Hugo Flores has paid $2,000 for dental work, $650 for veterinary services and $750 for a weekend a resort condo in Destin — without spending any cash, swiping any cards or writing any checks. He did however, paint a few buildings. Hugo Flores’s painting company Master Hand’s Custom Painting, is a member of Jambalaya Trade Exchange in Ascension Parish, one of over 200 businesses in the Parish that participate in a trade or barter

Companies — everything from restaurants to marketing firms to landscaping companies to auto-repair shops — offer their goods and services to others in the network.
They spend the “trade dollars” they earn from the work at other businesses.

Bartering is hardly new; an age-old way to trade goods and services. It has moved into the mainstream thanks to professional barter exchanges that provide a venue for swapping goods and services, getting rid of excess inventory, turning downtime into revenue and attracting new business.

Here’s how a barter exchange works: A business offers a good or service for trade and in return, receives a trade credit based on the dollar value of that offering. That credit can then be used to “purchase” a product or service from someone else in the barter system. While no money is exchanged, these deals are considered cash transactions and must be reported as income.
“The people who really who really benefit from who really benefit from Trade Exchanges are  people who are looking for new customers and are flexible in their buying habits–they’ll change where they buy their printing and the pest control company they’re going to use,”explains Tim Bergstresser executive director of the Jambalaya Trade Exchange .

Barter was once limited to specific geographic regions, but thanks to the internet, barter exchange members can now trade with members in Ascension Parish, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Slidell, Lake Charles, Memphis and even Birmingham.

“When someone joins an exchange they’re exposed to hundreds of new potential customers locally and thousands around south Louisiana.
“With competition so stiff today, barter helps drive those customers past your competition and into your door.”

For more information check out the JTEX website.

Top Traders – How they Spend – Nooley’s

Jacob and Charmin 1How Top Traders Spend

Here’s a good look at how Nooley’s take advantage of Trade

Charmin and Jacob have been members of  JTEX for over three years. This graph shows how they spend their trade dollars on items they used to spend CASH on! You can do that too!  Jacob says“before we buy anything, we always check the JTEX directory to see if we can trade for it. If we can’t find it on the list , we call Tim and ask him to look for it”