Massage therapist Nicole Deitrick came up with the concept of her business, TradeJa, while working on a business course for massage therapists.

“We were discussing how important barter was in the creation of our individual massage practices, and contemplating how we could use our business class to barter for other CEU courses for ourselves,” she explained.

TradeJa ( is a network of wellness businesses, and those who serve them, who connect and trade products and services with each other. The network has just expanded to include day spas, resort spas and retail suppliers for the spa industry.

Many massage therapists barter their work for goods and services; in fact, MASSAGE Magazine reported in early March on an American Massage Therapy Association report which noted that 80 percent of massage therapists barter or trade services, and that therapists barter massage services about 12 times per year.

Barter networks such as TradeJa act as a third-party record keeper, like a bank or a credit card company, that provides accounts to members in which deposits are made with barter credits instead of cash, according to a TradeJa press release.

This system allows members to save up credits for large purchases, split up credits between several different purchases, or even share credits with staff or VIP clients as rewards or incentives. Upon application approval, each member has $250 in credit available to begin purchasing items in the marketplace.

TradeJa is a tool to use to market a business and gain not just new customers, but cash paying customers as well, according to Deitrick. “When someone uses your service or product for the first time through barter, a connection is made,” she says. “They not only become loyal customers, but they send their cash paying peers to you as well.”