Merchants Barter Continues Assault on ITEX


Eric Wood and Merchants Barter Exchange are pulling out all the stops in order to smear and provide negative press for ITEX, even going as far as digging up ITEX member complaints.

The article, entitled, “Why the health of ITEX is the most important factor in the barter world”, Eric outlines his concerns with ITEX’s reputation, and insinuates that ITEX is willfully ignorning the problems in their system. In the same article published this morning Wood insinuates that ITEX’s reputation may be hurting that of Merchants Barter.

“As a proponent for barter, I’m very concerned that the actions of some ITEX members can spoil the entire industry.”

Never mind that the entire industry is doing business with less than 1% of the businesses that exist in the United States. Never mind that similar complaints in similar proportions could be found about any barter exchange in the world. Never mind that being the biggest also means you get the lion’s share of complaints.

We respectfully suggest to Mr. Wood that he stop writing about ITEX and the industry and focus his time and attention on generating some goodwill for his own company, Merchants Barter Exchange. After all, his Linkedin profile says that he is, “President at Merchants Barter Exchange”.

Mr. Wood, the most important factor for your company is your ability to acquire and provide service to your clients. Your company’s success does not hinge on ITEX or any other barter company.


  1. dear sirs: if you are refering to Merchants Barter Exchange a/k/a MBE of Mt. Pocono. and or an Anthony Donnelly who claims to be a license holder for MBE. according to Dunn & Brad he does not.and Mr. Woods most likely is not the president of MBE. Mr. Bolles is . Mr. Woods may own a license to an area some where in the U.S but not the creator of MBE

    • Merchants Barter Exchange – A Fraud that is too good to be true? I found the below at RIPOFFREPORTDOTCOM along with a lot more complaints about this sophisticated scam. According to the below links the owner Steve Bolles spends most of his time in court or hiding from the police and angry clients. I too am a victim of MBE but the police told me not to talk about my case in detail so I will just post the below from another victim…

      “Merchants Barter Exchange & Steve Bolles are a FRAUD and IDENTITY THEFT operation. They conned me into joining their bogus barter exchange and less than two months later my bank account ballance went from $38,740 to $42.70 and my credit card was being refused. When I checked why I discovered that someone at MBE had sold my information to a guy who assumed my identity. Over $10,000 was charged on my credit card by the thieves! I then learned from Anthony Donnelly (a former MBE employee) and another victim, that over 400 people who signed up with MBE had the same problem since 2006. I then started to Google the owner (Steve Bolles) and MBE and discovered that all the great stuff you see on the web about MBE was created or outright fabricated by MBE. I then found this on the internet as well – apparently from yet another victim:

      “These are professional con artists (convicted in 2006 according to below links) who rely on a beautiful web site, phony press releases, and scripted talk shows to lure desperate business owners into a web of barter deceit, where membership fees are charged and then within 90 days, the new MBE members become victims of identity theft. I joined and did not get $1 dollar of any benefits but within 3 months $12,652.88 was removed from my bank account and $9,765 of fraudulent purchases were made on my credit card. Steve Bolles also tried to sell me a “lucrative MBE franchise opportunity” for $150,000 and promised me an “exclusive territory”. When I offered to come meet him at his office, he would not give me an address and insisted I meet him at a coffee shop instead. He also would not give me any phone number other that the toll-free 800 number which the phone company security people and police told me is frequently “forwarded to disposable cell phones”. I was also given 3 referrals to call and all three gave me great reports of satisfaction, but after I was swindled, all three referral telephone numbers were disconnected. Don’t take my word for it, just check out the report at FRAUDWATCHERS dot org, all these link, or Google their company name with key words of fraud, investigation, litigation, scam, etc.–25-000-Reward

      It is true that a tiger never changes it stripes and people need to be warned about these smooth-talking scammers that are very good at what they do – steal your money!

      Please warn anyone you know who owns a business because the MBE telemarketing people will be targeting them just like they did to me.

      Kelly Burke
      AAA Exports”

    • ATTN: If you are a member of the media interested in doing a story, I will provide documentation from several Itex members of Itex’s abuses.

      Hey, I have first-hand knowledge of abuses by Itex Corporation.

      Firstly, the SEC has prosecuted Itex several times for filing fraudulent documents, defrauding stockholders, and selling goods through its exchange at inflated values (search “Itex Corporation” on the SEC’s website).

      Secondly, John Castoro, Itex broker for NY and NJ, was able to embezzle $56,650 from my trading account because of Itex’s lax procedures. I twice asked Steven White, Itex’s CEO, for help. Guess what? Steven White aided John Castoro’s theft by doing nothing.

      I currently have a lawsuit pending against Itex, John Castoro, et al.

      I subsequently emailed Itex members to warn them that, like me, barter dollars can be stolen from their account. Itex members responded by advising that, they too, had barter dollars improperly withdrawn from their account.

      It speaks volumes about the ethics of Itex if Steven White, its CEO, encourages thefts from members’ trading accounts by “turning a blind eye.”

  2. My last words on itex make the best resume possible about them : bad !
    it took me 10 years and 10000 hours to come to the conclusion, for 2 good transactions, I recall 1000 Bad one !


  3. Itex Mo screwed me out of $10k. Poor book keeping, charges from merchants I had never dealt with, double itex fee for no reason. These people are all thieves. The ex cop that runs the Mo office tries to intimidate you with threats of harassment. Buyer beware, do not have anything to do with Itex.


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