Seen on Saturday morning: August 9th

August 9, 2008 8:47:05 AM PDT
Bartering tips, Refreshing summer, Authentic brandBartering Tips

Cash is tight and prices are soaring and finding bartering for better deals is on the rise.

It allows you to get products or services without spending a dollar or using a credit card.

On Eyewitness News, Saturday morning with more on how it's done was Susan Wilson Solovic, author of Girl's Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business and CEO of www.sbtv.com.

How does bartering work?

Bartering is growing as consumers faced with higher prices, conserve their cash and trade to get the goods and services they need. It is estimated that more than 18 billion dollars in goods and services were bartered in the United States last year. There are barter clubs or barter exchanges in cities across the country, and around the world, that allow individuals and companies to exchange goods & services for barter credits that can be cashed in on an item or service. These exchanges usually charge a fee of between 10% to 15% to operate as the middleman on trades in addition to a yearly membership fee. Some barter organizations have brick and mortar showrooms where members use barter credits like they would cash. Many have websites and allow cross-country or international trades.

What about barter options without joining a group or going to a local showroom?

Bartering has gone high tech. There are a number of online sites dedicated just to barter deals. One of the most popular online barter options is www.SwapTree.com that works much like eBay, except no money exchanges hands. Consumers can use SwapTree to bargain and trade for something they want, even allowing for three or four-way trades between users who want different things. Another online barter option is www.tradeaway.com. Tradeaway charges a small fee, less than ten dollars for unlimited trade or barter listings for 180 days. I checked online before I came down and they have everything from real estate to livestock online.

What are some of the most popular categories?

It varies regionally and even seasonally, however, nationally there are some top barter categories. The top five areas for business bartering are: advertising, hospitality, support services such as landscaping or maintenance, equipment and retail purchases. Almost everyone has something they can trade- from small home-based businesses to giant manufacturing companies.

Are there some specifics to keep in mind when bartering rather than buying?

You have to be flexible when bartering for purchases?some brands of equipment might not be available and barter purchases might take a bit longer than traditional ordering processes. Don't forget all barter transactions are recorded as cash transactions for tax purposes. You can find more tips about bartering and some of the tax ramifications on www.sbtv.com.

Refreshing Summer
Keeping cool, while looking hot this summer.

Joining us on Eyewitness News, Saturday morning with some of the best ice cream pops on the market and the best products to keep the oily face away, is Claudia Bloom", Associate Research Editor of Real Simple Magazine.

Ice Cream Pops

In our ice cream pop road test Real Simple gathered a group of junior kids ages five through 12 and their parents to rate their favorite brand of sicles. On a scale of "gross" to "awesome" these frosty treats remained and scored the highest on the taste-o-meter.

  • HÂAGEN-DAZS VANILLA & MILK CHOCOLATE BAR
    TO BUY: $4.20 for three 3.67-ounce bars.

    Best take on classic- Hailed by one tester for its "rich, thick, and buttery" filling, this winner got points for how the "nice, chunky chocolate coating crackled in my mouth and melted into the vanilla."

  • CREAMSICLE POP
    TO BUY: $3.30 for 12 1.65-ounce bars in two flavors.
    Best citrus blast- "Very refreshing," praised a panelist of this old-school icon. Said an eight-year-old: "Tastes like frozen orange juice, but smooth because of the vanilla ice cream."

  • ESKIMO PIE VANILLA NESTLÉ CRUNCH BAR
    TO BUY: $4 for six 3-ounce bars.
    Most decadent-"Crunchy and yumful" is how one grade-schooler rated this treat. "The thin coating gets me to the ice cream fast." Adults praised the pop's "pleasing but not too rich" interior.

  • THE SKINNY COW MINI FUDGE BAR
    TO BUY: $5 for 12 1.5-ounce bars.
    Most virtuous- From the intense flavor-"It tastes super chocolaty," raved an aficionado-you'd never guess this pop packs only 50 calories. "Icy and rich" was the general consensus.

    Cooling off never tasted so good but now that we satisfied the heat in our bodies, how about keeping the gloss from the heat off of your face?

    Oil-Control Products

    Especially on these hot days your skin seems to give off more shine than the sun! Real Simple staffers tested over 80 absorbent products and these are the shine stoppers that came to the rescue by leaving the face looking cool, calm, and oil free!

  • LANCÔME PURE FOCUS T-ZONE POWDER GEL, $27 TO BUY: www.lancome-usa.com
    Best overall- Apply under or over makeup, this gel morphs into an oil-trapping powder. "It's smooth and light," said a tester.
  • TARTE T-ZONE TRAVEL, $32
    TO BUY: www.tartecosmetics.com.
    Best for sweltering days- When the heat index climbs, this dual compact is double trouble for oil. Use the colorless powder in the morning, then blot any afternoon shine with the papers.
  • URBAN DECAY DE-SLICK MATTIFYING POWDER & BRONZER, $28
    TO BUY: www.urbandecay.com
    Best for makeup-phobes- If you want to stay out the sun and but looked liked you've been playing on the beach use with a bronzer to give off a little glow. Testers who prefer to wear little on their faces favored this featherweight powder. Its translucent formula cuts shine without caking up on the skin.
  • PROACTIV SOLUTION OIL BLOTTER SHEETS, $11
    TO BUY: 800-950-4695
    Best for on-the-go control- Alas, all blotting papers are not created equal. These excelled at giving skin a matte finish that wasn't too powdery, and they didn't disturb makeup. Bonus: the slim size.
  • BECCA MATTIFYING PRIMER BASE, $39
    TO BUY: www.beccacosmetics.com.
    Best for foundation fans-The primer keeps foundation in place and soaks up oil before it shines through makeup. "It made my base last longer," reported one tester.

    www.realsimple.com

    Authentic Brand
    With the job market on the decline, some people are choosing to start their own companies, deciding to be their own boss.

    Joining us on Eyewitness News, Sunday morning with tips for success was Christopher Rosica, CEO of Rosica Strategic Public Relations and author of The Authentic Brand.

    Tips from Christopher Rosica and Lessons from his book - The Authentic Brand www.TheAuthenticBrand.com

    The founder of Cliff Bars, Gary Erickson, started the company in the middle of a recession -- and didn't even realize it. By the time the product hit store shelves, the recession was over.

    David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue, started his airline when the industry was saturated with discount carriers, many of which went out of business in the months leading up to Jet Blue's launch.

    So, how can a company succeed in this market and how can it stand apart from the competition? Chris Rosica's new book - The Authentic Brand - reveals insights into how this can be accomplished?

  • Develop a concise, authentic and emotionally-stimulating story. Wally "Famous" Amos, Ben & Jerry, Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg, Roxanne Quimby from Burt's Bees - and most of the entrepreneurs in The Authentic Brand - based their marketing strategy on their story. They created real-life, compelling stories that emotionalized their stories and focused on the customer and why they committed to making the best possible product. They then told their stories wherever possible -- on their packaging, websites, through public relations, etc.
  • With increased competition, it's more important now than ever before for companies to stand (apart) and be noticed. David Neeleman's Jet Blue is all about their customers and providing an experience they can't get elsewhere. Jeff Taylor from Monster.com, another entrepreneur I interviewed for The Authentic Brand, was all about being different - from his name to the fantastic publicity stunts he executed to get the company and brand noticed. He used these events to get the media opportunities so he could tell the real story about people and finding jobs.
  • Be a highly-visible spokesperson for your company. (This builds trust and helps you connect with your customers. It can also help you develop a "personal brand.") David Orek - the vacuum cleaner maker - shoots all his own commercials and completely stands behind his product. This is reminiscent of Lee Iacocca, Famous Amos, Ben & Jerry and many other successful entrepreneurs.
  • Get involved with a charity and advocate the cause. This lets people know your commitment to the community and helps spread the word about a cause in need. Ben and Jerry's has always been heavily involved with supporting charities. They've focused on children and families, the environment and sustainable agriculture on family farms. Sometimes they even created a special flavor for a cause. Wally Amos and Gary Hirshberg are also big on community and charitable giving
  • The time to do marketing is now -when others cut their budgets (because of economic pressures). There are deals to be had for marketing services and ad rates are competitive. You can do marketing without spending a fortune. For consumer products companies - sampling is an affordable and effective tool. For professional services or business to business companies, PR and Internet PR/ marketing, particularly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online news release posting work well.
  • Don't fly under the radar. Rather be bold and tell the world about your product, service or company. This can help a business grow and create widespread brand awareness as many of the entrepreneurs in The Authentic Brand experienced. David Neeleman from Jet Blue openly discusses his plans for the future and how he'll continue to wow his customers. He says he's open about this few can execute. He also started the company in a down economy when experts said there wasn't room for yet another airline.

    Jeff Taylor of www.monster.com has done crop circles outside of O'Hare airport, put blimps in the sky, and when they were corporate sponsors of the winter Olympics, they built the world's largest snowman in the Olympic Village.

  • It's all about the customer. Authentic companies are about more than just profits. They look to fill a void in the marketplace, provide exceptional quality and back their product up like few others do. Orek provides unequalled customer service, Stonyfield Farm, Burt's Bees, Kate Spade, Sam Adams and others I interviewed are ALL about quality. Jim Koch from Sam Adams tastes every batch of Beer; Jet Blue's David Neeleman flew every route. Both wanted to experience what the customer experie ----
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