By ED SALVAS
The practice of trading a service with another person or business for his product or service – called bartering – has been around for hundreds of years. In 1993, Faye Alba opened Barter Pays! in Howell Township and created a business that remains strong after 25 years in both up and down economies.
“Barter is good in all business climates,” Alba said, for the simple reason that “everyone wants more business.”
Barter Pays! is the original barter system in Monmouth County and has a roster of 800 businesses with more than 2,500 individual card holders, mostly in Monmouth and Ocean counties, although there are members throughout New Jersey and also Staten Island. Alba said Barter Pays! operates as a network of businesses and professionals and it is free to join. The biggest benefit is being able to barter with every other trader in the network for a broad range of products or services.
Purchasing goods and services through the Barter Pays! Network is simple. During a typical transaction, a buyer presents his Barter Pays! account card and pays with Barter Pays! barter dollars, the Barter Pays! unit of exchange. Sales tax and gratuity, if any, are paid in U.S. funds.
The Barter Pays! membership includes restaurants, plumbing contractors, spas, jewelers and dentists and also children’s camps which Alba says has become a popular category in recent years. The dynamic growth of social media has created new categories of business, including website designers. In fact, Barter Pays! has hired a Digital Marketing Director to handle these accounts.
Alba heads a staff of eight full time employees, including her daughter Lisa Vitale who is director of business development, but currently on maternity leave, and daughter Susan Vitale who is the director of strategic marketing. It’s an all-female staff at Barter Pays! which Alba attributes to the flexible hours that make the job attractive to working mothers.
Barter Pays! offers additional benefits to its members, including an interactive members-only website, live help during business hours and 24-hour on-line authorization. There is more information available at www.BarterPays.com.