Monday, 09 January 2017 11:15

How I used extra ad space and $90 to get almost $1000 in professional work done

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I'm guessing many homeowners can relate to my dilemma: I had a troublesome tree that needed to be taken down for several years. It had attracted a colony of Asian woolly hackberry aphids that dropped black sludge on everything in sight, but was too big to spray effectively, so taking it down or living with the sludge were the two main options.

As luck would have it, a neighbor was having a local tree service do some work on their property. I ambled over and asked them for a quote on taking down my troublesome hackberry. They gladly obliged and told me it would be about $1000 to remove the tree.  I about choked, since I was thinking it would probably be a couple hundred bucks or so.

After fairly extensive research, it became apparent that, despite being a fairly avid DIYer, taking it down myself was not going to be a safe or viable option, and that the $1000 price tag was a decent deal. I did try some "home remedies" to try and kill it so I might take it down piece-by-piece, but I only succeeded in finding out that hackberries are TOUGH. My efforts actually seemed to make it grow even faster, if anything.

So, I wanted to find a third option, which meant I waited and lived with the sludge for a while. And my wait was eventually rewarded, in the form of a new advertiser with Druid City Living.

Nate Park, with Trade Partner Exchange (, was introduced to me by my CPA, and after much discussion, we decided to enroll in the program. Nate enlisted our help in introducing the program to Tuscaloosa and expanding it in Birmingham. Trade Partner Exchange allows us to sell otherwise unused inventory that will likely go to waste each month to members in exchange for trade credit that we can use with other members via TradeX for a 10 percent processing fee. And shortly following our enrollment, I noticed that one of the other members was Gray's Roofing and Tree Service ( whom I had heard good things about from several friends and neighbors. I gave Gil Gray a call about my hackberry problem.

Gil came out and took a look and said he could do it for $900, but since I was a Trade Partner member, we could use trade credit and it would just cost me the $90 processing fee. That was a deal I couldn't turn down and a couple of weeks later, after scheduling with his office, the guys came out and finally brought the long- troublesome tree to the ground.

I couldn't be happier, the open space was soon to be replaced by an outdoor movie screen, so instead of cleaning off sludge during the fall we were watching football and grilling instead.

So, if you are a business owner or executive with a business that occasionally has excess inventory or slow times, I can heartily recommend the Trade Partner model and am happy to answer questions if you are interested.  


**P.S. our Tuscaloosa group is starting to have monthly networking events and those are a great way to meet the other members.

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