Barter is trading goods and services between two parties without using a monetary system. The two parties involved can be individuals, advertisers, and businesses.


Corporate barter is a valuable marketing strategy to solve financial problems. It helped businesses manage liquidation of excess and obsolete inventory. This enabled businesses to enter new markets without incurring any new investment cost.

The Mesopotamian tribe started bartering in 6000 BC. It was a convenient method of getting food, spices, weapons or anything in exchange for goods. Gradually, through the 18th century, retailers completely ignored the barter trading system.

how barter works
Source: Facebook page Corporate Barter

It still exists in the markets that include business-to-business space and consumer service. This online barter system became popular with small businesses, especially after 2008, when small businesses were finding ways to survive. This system saved the businesses and led to an increase in sales and revenue generation.

Much later, increased competition and pandemic affected small and medium businesses more than it did to the large scale business. They looked for barter to save money yet grow their business.

Barter in marketing related to corporate trade companies that worked with a media buying agency to find the perfect place for media placement. They offered trade credits when products and services were bartered.

Gradually, with this system in modern economies companies can trade for advertising rights. under which they can sell ad space to another company.

How can bartering help increase cash flow?

Barter in today’s time can happen on online platforms amongst individuals as well as with Fortune 500 companies. But because economies are under shock due to the war and the pandemic, bartering is confirmed to make a comeback.

For some other reasons, bartering can be accepted widely due to the sudden dip in the financial market situations and the rise in the price of commodities at the global level.

And there is nothing unacceptable about the situation because that is the way economies will be able to survive and make a comeback.

Things to Keep in Mind for Barter

Barter has been rooted in and around the market for ages. And to make it a flawless system, here are a few things you must note if you are entering into this system:

  • Be Transparent: Both parties need to be transparent and inform each other of what they are looking for in their service or product.
  • Know your worth: You should be capable of knowing the worth of the service you want to barter against. It will help you choose exactly what product will help.
  • Approach a potential barter: Approaching a possible barter which has creativity and flexibility to understand the counteroffer.
  • Think about a long-term relationship: You must barter with an individual or a company with which you can stay connected for a long business relationship.

Benefits of bartering in marketing

Bartering is practised in local and international markets to sustain businesses in competitive markets.

The Internet has made several companies efficient in the industry even when the conditions are not favourable. Barter can increase the efficiency of the business’s houses, reduce management costs, and match the demand. These are the benefits of bartering in today’s time:

  • Flexibility: Bartering gives businesses the flexibility to exchange related products. Like it offers an opportunity to trade advertising spaces.
  • Cash Savings: Businesses can get needed products or services without spending money. It allows companies to keep cash in reserve, which is essential for small businesses.
  • Makes business simple: Barter makes complex businesses simple and helps when companies or individuals are low on cash. A watch-making brand and an artificial jewellery-making company can offer each other’s products in their commercial spaces. So rather than money, they give businesses space to sell their products. In addition, it provides each of the brands an opportunity for publicity.


National Textile Corporation (a PSU in India) leveraged media barter in lieu of yarn and grey raw material. They saved about 15-20% on media spending.


Is bartering possible with consumer service?

Yes, bartering is possible with consumer service.

What are some examples of bartering for consumer service?

Some common examples of bartering for consumer service are tax preparations, financial planning, computer repair, medical care, and lodging.

What are the platforms for modern advertising services?
Modern advertising bartering can be available on the Internet, billboards, radio rights, and television.

What is barter marketing?

Barter marketing works with media buying agencies to find apt media placements and fund the ad order without cash.

What are barter agencies?

Barter agencies buy media from sellers willing to sell it in exchange for some services. These agencies buy media from suppliers who are lesser-known publishers who are looking to increase their revenue. The barter agency sells media that it has already purchased.

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