The term bartering may bring to mind days in the lunchroom when you swapped your tuna sandwich for a peanut butter and jelly, but with the advent of companies like TradeWorks, that ante just got upped.
Kings Park native Domenic Casillo recently launched , an online bartering company. The office operates out of a small office located in Village Plaza,by the Kings Park train station. The idea of bartering certainly isn’t new, but it has gone hi-tech.
“It’s been around forever,” said Casillo. “I just fell into it. It’s a great business and a lot of fun.”
Casillo says bartering keeps cash in a business owners pocket to use towards future costs.
“You are leveraging off goods and services,” he said. “You talk to any business owner and they do some sort of bartering, usually one on one. The nice thing here is now you are involved in this network so you don’t have to trade directly. If I am a restaurant owner and I need linen services I can get linen services but they don’t have to use my restaurant. They can store their credits in the system and use them with another business.”
Joe Refano, owner of production company Media Mechanix and a client of TradeWorks, said he likes not having to spend cash in tough times.
“It’s a good alternative to taking cash out of your pocket,” said Refano.
Bartering has its advantages. Businesses are able to pay for goods and services without having to use cash. According to Casillo, a cash transaction ends when payment is made, while a bartered transaction allows the buyer to experience the business longer.
Barter services aren’t discounted, members charge regular prices and fees. The government also has their hand in trade, bartered transactions must be claimed on taxes.
Bartering companies like TradeWorks make their money through membership and transaction fees. Casillo said he charges a small membership fee up front and a 10 percent transaction fee.
Refano, who has been in business since 1988, estimates that he completes about $15,000 in barter transactions yearly and has bartered for everything from lawyer services to car repairs and dinners out.
“My accountant is on barter,” said Refano.
Casillo also counts , Concierge Spa and Skin Services and Premium Shopping Guide as clients.
“I compete in service, not price,” said Casillo, a graduate of Kings Park High School who spends much of his day on the road meeting people, which he enjoys most. His wife Danielle, along with assistant Rosey Treacy, handle most of the day-to-day office work.
“I believe in the concept and I really love it,” said Casillo. “I am doing what I am supposed to do.”