E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Business bartering is practically as old as dirt. Now barter advocates
expect the Internet to slingshot cashless trading worldwide.
However, plans to build the slingshot have been slowed by the
dot-com crash. Slowed, but not stopped. And barter's global reach
could have a major effect on Mom-and-Pops that have populated the
traditional barter clubs, which like to call themselves trade exchanges.
Computer mediated barter is just dumb. We invented money for a reason,
so we could all share a common unit of exchange instead of having to hunt up
someone who had what I want and was willing to trade it for what I have.
The primary reason people barter these days is to escape taxation on the transaction.
However, barter is legally taxable and by doing it through a computer mediated
service one gets all the pain of barter and none of the benefit of dodging the greedy
hand of government.
My former employer was a member of a barter group and we were required to pay sales tax on each transaction in cash on top of the trade credits - we also paid Uncle Sam tax every year on all our barter "sales" so I don't quite see how we were escaping taxation...