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Notes from the barter trenches
Notes from the barter trenches

Gary Maples, owner of London Clocks in Brattleboro, Vt., trades his high-end clocks for things like warehouse space for his business.

He cautions business owners looking to get into barter against using their trade dollars for things like vacations or household expenses. "The biggest mistake people make is they use it for their own personal wishes," he said.

His advice for newbie barterers: Make sure you trade for something that has the same cash value. For example, restaurant meals will cost the same if bartered or paid for in cash. Business services -- like newspaper ad space -- could cost more through barter than if you negotiated a cash rate.

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LAST UPDATE: Nov 13 2009 | 2:28 PM ET
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