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Thread: Barter Trade

  1. #1
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Punggol, Singapore

    Default Barter Trade

    I was asked for my opinions in a private message, on the subject of a spa business seeking for photography services of their center in exchange for spa services.

    I think it will help others by posting part of my reply here.

    speaking of barter trade, is in term of exchange of services or products instead of cash.

    for an instant, you can do a barter trade with a bakery, an accountant, or other any other trades with some mature understanding, let say the service you provided to them is worth $500 in value, than the other party will provide you products or services in similar value.
    this is especially useful if we can exchange for some services which we don't really afford, example like you need some help from a lawyer, the bill come out to be $1000, and his is taking an offer by you for a family portrait worth $1000.
    and in fact, both of you are spending much lesser on the cost but yet still get what you want, so this is a good deal for both parties.

    so for this spa center case;
    do you think the spa services will be useful to you?
    what kind of business opportunities, network can this spa centre bring to you?
    is interior photography is one of your core expertise?
    or do you want to expend into interior photography?

    do remember the value some of the things can not be measure by dollar and cents, like portfolio of interior shots, network, business opportunities etc.
    if you can maximize the potential of these things, by getting more jobs, expending your business, than this will be a good deal to you.
    but if you won't able to maximize the potential of these things, it worth noting to you.

    so you have to ask yourself, it is worthwhile for you to take up the offer?
    or you want to negotiate for more tangible things?

    after I have replied, I also like to add on a few things.

    I notice there are many spa center are using stock photos, so if this spa center buy most of the photos from stock agencies, only need some shots to be taken by photographers, eg,
    shop front, front counter, staffs, do remember stock photos won't cost much, and unlikely they will pay much for the shots need to be taken.
    if photographers think can sell their photos for stock photos, do take not such photos are not so generic, photographers will need to obtain model release and property release for using it as stock photos, and FYI, the last I check, there are 86k of photos with the keyword of "spa" from just one agency, so thinking of earning some royalty with the spa photos is just a wishful thinking.

    and also remember we can not live by "
    Barter Trade",
    you can't pay your doctor with spa vouchers, buy your food with pedicure vouchers, take bus using florist vouchers,
    our economy need money to flow, when money is not flowing, customers will cut down on spending further and the economy will collapse, and all these vouchers will become "banana note" one day.

    Please feel free to post your comments on this topic.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot | iStock portfolio

  2. #2

    Default Re: Barter Trade

    A straight no if ask me.

    Do you need the spa services?

    Do you want it?

    Are you really getting your value back?

    Will they treat you seriously or as second class customer?

    Will they talk behind your back and make a joke out of you?

    "Aiyah! That guy not customer lah, but a cheapskate who help take photo to get free spa only lah! Ignore him!"

    You can barter trade, but I find barter trade works better within the creative industry, ie designer with photogr, where mutual parties really appreciate and respect your work. With commercial bodies, please pay money.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Barter Trade

    Do it if you want, don't do it if you don't lar...

    Why so complicated?

    If it is a spa outlet that I believe in, I am happy to do the barter.

    Just relax a bit and be happy...



  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Punggol, Singapore

    Default Re: Barter Trade

    also want to highlight that if you do a barter trade with a new business, do take note on some certain risks,
    the benefits you received in return favour is only good with this current business owner,
    if this business exchange hands a few months later, the new business owner don't have any obligation to honour the deals, even this owner takeover everything including your photos.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot | iStock portfolio

  5. #5


    Cash is king .. its always been this way.

    Simple as that ...


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