Let's make a deal: Bartering makes a comeback

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Like many East Texans, Kevin Koonce is catching on to an old trend that is new again.

"I've gotten good responses to the barter offer," said Koonce. "Either they have services they can offer me for it or something I can use."

From his laptop, Koonce searched on Craigslist to test his luck in the bartering world.

"This truck behind us, I've traded it for labor," said Koonce.

He said he's happy to trade his truck for mechanical work.

"I'm not inclined like that," said Koonce.

In this day and age, he doesn't have to be. Websites like Itex enable people to trade for the goods and services they need with minimal cash. Itex members pay a 5% fee to their broker plus the taxes and shipping cost if they purchased a product.

"Any kind of a service is going to be almost always available on Itex," said Shawn Christian, East Texas Barter owner. "Some of the popular services are printing and advertising."

While there are over 130 Itex members in Tyler, we did find one Itex member in Lufkin. They were out of the office on Tuesday, but we did catch the owner on the phone who said he saved $3,500 last week using Itex.

This is a breakdown of how Itex works:

"It's a network, just because you trade with someone, it doesn't have to be a direct trade. You accept those credits and then you can spend those credits with a completely different third party business," said Christian.

Christian also said that even though businesses go through a screening process before they can join the Itex network, people should still do their homework before bartering.

Koonce said he will check out Itex, but for now he will stick with Craigslist. He is in the midst of working out a deal, trading his 2006 black Dodge Ram for a new, underground swimming pool.

"He didn't have the money to buy it out right and he's in the swimming pool business, so I guess the swimming pool would be good for all my dogs to jump in every now and then," said Koonce.

However you choose to trade, even in this economy, there are ways out there to get what you need. For more information about how to get on the bartering bandwagon, click here.