Does Bartercard Work? YES and It Boosts Business
Lower Hutt and Auckland businesses are the star big-city performers in New Zealand’s cash-free economy, while Selwyn is the top rural region.
Bartercard members in those three areas enjoyed the largest increases in sales in the year to June 2014, with some achieving growth of close to 25%.
Lower Hutt in particular has seen a surge in the volume of bartering businesses with growth that outstripped the Auckland region by over two percentage points.
Data analysed by Dr Paul Bracewell from Wellington-based Dot Loves Data shows the country’s non-cash economy is thriving, with more than $200 million worth of goods and services ‘bought’, ‘sold’ and swapped each year through the Bartercard network.
More than 7,000 businesses belong to Bartercard in New Zealand, with some of them having been in the scheme since it began 23 years ago. Memberships ranges from start-up companies to long-established family businesses and charities, some of which use Bartercard ‘dollars’ to pay for advertising as well as to ‘buy’, ‘sell’ or swap good and services.
Bartercard NZ CEO John Scott says the top five sectors active in Bartercard are professional services, hospitality, automotive, construction and building, and food and drink.
“Meanwhile, provincial areas experienced the greatest improvement in operating cash flow, particularly Bartercard members in Horowhenua, Manawatu, Mid-Canterbury, Southland and North Otago.”
Dr Bracewell’s analysis looked at the performance of more than 3,500 members who have significant sales or spend through Bartercard.
“Two thirds of our members have been bartering on our exchange for more than five years while 31% have been involved for more than 10 years,” says Scott. “They stay in the scheme because they know it works – and works well – for their business.
Top Performing Large Regions (Increased Sales) – Above Average Growth in Sales after 12 months
• Lower Hutt City (16.7%)
• Auckland (14.2%)
• Hamilton City (11.0%)
• Christchurch City (10.1%)
After Two Years:
• Auckland (15.5%)
• New Plymouth District (15.4%)
• Lower Hutt City (12.9%)
• Napier City (10.2%)
• Rotorua District (10.1%)
Top Performing Small Regions (Increased Sales) – Above Average Growth in Sales after 12 months
• Selwyn District (23.0%)
• South Wairarapa District (12.8%)
• Timaru District (12.2%)
• Waikato District (12.1%)
After Two Years:
• Kapiti Coast District (>25%)
• Marlborough District (>25%)
• Far North District (>25%)
• Central Otago District (17.7%)
• Western Bay of Plenty District (11.1%)
• Waipa District (10.3%)
Improved Cash flow: Top 10 areas to experience an improvement in cash flow over a 6-month period:
• Horowhenua District
• Ashburton District
• Southland District
• Waitaki District
• Manawatu District
• Rotorua District
• Dunedin City
• Central Otago District
• Wanganui District
• Nelson City
About Bartercard: Following Bartercard’s creation in Australia in 1991, Bartercard New Zealand became the first international licensee a year later. Since its inception, the Bartercard Trade Exchange has grown to more than 7,000 member businesses across New Zealand who buy, sell or swap over $200 million worth of goods and services outside the cash economy each year. Bartercard operates in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Cyprus.