Your recent article about bartering was very interesting ("Trade Secrets," August). I have been informally trading for quite some time and it seemed at first that formal barter exchanges would be a terrific way of stretching tight dollars just a bit further.
However, it now appears that there are a number of bugs to be worked out. I have heard disturbing reports of barter-club members limiting their trading to just those goods and services that don't sell well. Also, some members inflate the barter value of their goods to as much as double (or more) the cash value. Some members have been known to suspend trading without warning or to drop out altogether, leaving current trades in limbo.
Until problems such as these are worked out, I intend to keep my company out of a formal barter exchange, continuing our past practice of informal trading as the opportunity arises.