Member-owned PartnersOne and the trade exchanges developed by TradeAuthority, to our knowledge, are the first and only group of member-owned barter exchanges in the world. This is a critical distinction. The health and success of a barter exchange is based upon the value of its currency. There are many reasons why a currency would lose value in a network, but ultimately it is based upon trust. Members must trust that its value is equal to the US Currency and thus equally satisfied to use that barter currency. Trust is most easily lost when the management of the exchange allows transactions and activity that lowers that value. In individually owned barter exchanges, the management often allows certain activities that cause that devaluing of their barter dollar... although it may temporarily provide the results of a transaction fee. Inflating barter prices, unauthorized part cash-part trade purchases, allowing the accumulation of barter credits, and other activities all have the end result of devaluing the currency. With TradeAuthority member exchanges, the members own the network and control the guidelines for operating the network. They hire employees to staff the operations of the exchange and who are paid to look out for the health of the network first... not any personal gain. Although these exchanges are "for-profit", they essentially often act as a "non-profit"... often returning any excess transaction fees earned back to the membership at the end of the year's accounting.
Select Businesses Membership is constantly scrutinized to determine how many businesses from each category should be allowed and to find the very best participants to fill those needs. Every member's application is put before the current members for approval. The board of directors of the local exchange sets guidelines and practices to ensure the health of the exchange first and to which all should follow. Any member that falls outside of those guidelines and practices is subject to removal from the exchange. As the members of a certain business category begin to take on all the trade business that they can reasonably spend on their own reoccurring expenses, this is an indication that another business of that same category can be added to supply the needs of the exchange.
Community / Social Network Exchanges are kept to a relatively small size... generally from 250 to 600 maximum members. One of the ingredients of a successful exchange is the community of relationships involved. Members should know each other, build trust among each other, develop lifelong business and personal relationships. Although the activity of trade business is not stimulated with forced social events, social events are scheduled, but more as a result of the relationships already developed.