In most cases, they're actually not. The trade price almost always costs you less--even if the cash price appears lower. Let us explain...The actual cost to you of an item is actually a fraction of the amount charged since it may cost you only 55 cents on the dollar to earn a trade dollar.
There's a simple formula to find the actual cash cost to you of something purchased with trade dollars: Your actual cash cost is:

(Costs for you to earn a trade dollar) X (the cost of the goods you wish to purchase) + (12%).Let me give an example. You normally sell goods on the network with a 45% cost of goods (i.e. each trade dollar earned costs you 45 cents). Now lets say you saw two identical items one available through a barter member for $1,000 trade and other available on sale at $799 cash. Buying through barter costs you 45% X $1,000 + $120 = $570 cash -- a savings of $229 over buying the item with cash!

If you are providing a service to your trade customers, then often much of the trade costs will be your time, thus making barter even more attractive. And remember, when you pay for an item in trade dollars it represents income that you would not have earned if you were not a member of the exchange -- trading brings you new customers. Rests assured that BoA will not permit firms to remain in the Exchange which provide poor service, or overpriced or poor quality goods, or which otherwise do not honor their commitments or obligations.