I’ve used plenty of hotels in my time, and don’t recall ever being asked whether I wanted to pay by
providing the owner with a service. I suspect I’d have been a little unnerved if I had, but the Italians, it seems,
are a little more open minded.
Last week, the Italian Bed and Breakfast Association held their second annual barter week – as the name suggests, a
period during which customers are encouraged to offer services in exchange for accommodation. According to the
organisers, the most common swaps offered last year were accommodation swaps, live music and translation
It’s an interesting idea, and I don’t think the chosen week (the third week in November) is entirely insignificant.
I can’t imagine many hotel owners being forced to dust off the ‘No Vacancies’ sign under normal circumstances, that
A couple of things to think about here:
- Might a similar scheme work here in the UK?
- Would your business lend itself to a barter scheme during
otherwise quiet business periods?
We often introduce members to share tips provided by our friends at
t1ps.com and are currently doing our sums to see if 2010's tips have outperformed those of 2009. More to come
Meantime, Bengt Saelensminde in Money Week offers some really sound advice for when it comes to doing your due
diligence on companies. 'Look for simple accounts. Make sure you can see what's going on straight off. Look for
companies with directors that speak in a normal and candid way.'
As Bengt says, 'When it comes to investment, I don't want to be a super-sleuth..' In effect, what you are looking
for is a 'what you see is what you get' company. If you are interested in shares but haven't invested before, drop
us a line for a how to piece.
EON has a new fixed price energy plan which appears to be the cheapest available from the main energy suppliers.
EON Fix Online 9 fixes energy prices until 1 March 2012.
But you need to do the maths! Emma Bush at uSwitch.com has a warning. "A fixed energy plan protects budgets over
the months ahead but this peace of mind can come at a premium with fixed price plans averaging out at £104 or 11
per cent more than the average online plan as well as carrying early exit penalties."
Bottom line? Check out the different plans at uSwitch.com and make sure you know what you are getting; as ever,
read the small print.
I was standing in a queue in a department store the other day when a man in front of me took up the offer of the
salesperson's '10 per cent off if you take out a store card today' deal. (Of course, with interest at more than 25
per cent per annum, it's a duff credit deal but more on that another time).
Having taken up the offer, the salesperson duly made a phone call and then rejected the man there and then. That
was the trigger for all sorts of fun and games and argy-bargy. But - and I am getting to the point eventually - it
made me think about others maybe applying for credit in similar circumstances in the run-up to Christmas and
then being turned down.
Before you go out and about, do check what is in your credit records. The man in the queue seemed to think he had a
perfect credit record. Obviously, the store knew something he didn't. You can see what would-be lenders are seeing
by getting hold of your report from Equifax.co.uk, CallCredit.co.uk or Experian.co.uk; you can access your online
report for £2 a time. It may well be £2 well spent.