(Photo By Brandi A. Cimmino)
Connie Zavala and Paul Avner work for Club Rec at the ITEX trade expo. Businesses sold excess inventory at retail price.

Christmas is right around the corner, and some shoppers are out buying presents, while some found gifts at the International Trade Exchange holiday barter expo at the Weber County Fairgrounds on Thursday. Different local companies were able to sell equipment at cheaper prices.

The expo is a yearly event provided by ITEX, giving companies a way to sell equipment for trade checks. As equipment was sold, the companies were then able to use the money for other expenditures.

“People can get rid of excess inventory,” said Tinamarie Fowler, director of the Northern Utah branch of ITEX. “All these people here have excess equipment here that they can sell faster for trade than they would be able to sell in cash.”

As money is spent to buy equipment, it goes into trade checks, which are transferred into the company’s account. Fowler said people use the money to increase the quality of life and do what they want to do with trade.

“It’s a way for businesses to get a lot of business,” she said.

The expo was for anyone with a business, whether run out of a home or in an official location. Fowler said anybody who has something to offer on a continual basis can join ITEX. Once they join, ITEX will help with advertising them.

Any company that is part of ITEX can ask for help with expenditures such as airfare and hotel placement. Fowler said ITEX can’t provide everything, but will do what it can to help companies with what they need.

Vendors at the expo sold equipment at retail value. Businesses ranged from clothing sales, salon care and restaurant businesses to artists selling equipment.

“Mostly what we have is mom-and-pop-owned businesses and other locally owned businesses,” Marie said. “The people here are all gift-focused; they’re buying for Christmas.”

Club Rec, a company at the expo, sold winter equipment for outdoor sports. Levi Melehes, a managing member for the company, said it helps to have cash to pay for the printing and other things they can put back toward their business and also for trips.

“We have excess inventory and stuff that we’ve had for a few years,” Melehes said.

Club Rec has been with ITEX for about five years. It has gone all over the country doing things for ITEX.

“This is a lot bigger than last year,” Melehes said. “We do a decent amount of cash business from being in the trade organization.”

Packer Global, an out-of-home company, was in its first year at the expo. John Packer, an entrepreneur for the company, recently moved to Utah a month ago and has been trading with companies like ITEX for 30 years. The company sells cookies in different department stores, such as Walmart, Target, Kmart and Smith’s.

“The is the first expo I’ve ever done, and I’m trying to figure it all out,” Packer said. “I’m here just trying to meet people and understand what they do.”

ITEX hosts a holiday barter expo each year. More information on ITEX is available at www.itex.com.

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