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21 Jun 2014

Details about the conference and application form can be found here: 2014 conference information and the Facebook event here: 2014 conference facebook event

If you have any trouble with the links please send us a Facebook message or email to admin@centralcoastlets.org

Thank you for your interest in LETS :)

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8 Jun 2014

Trading with other LETS groups

Did you know that there are LETS groups around Australia and around the world?

If you find that your choices are a bit limited in your local group, try looking at the LETS offers in neighbouring groups.

Not sure where there are LETS groups? The ones which use the same software to keep track of trades as we do are listed here : https://communityexchange.net.au/joinexchange.asp?country=AU

There are many more LETS and local currency groups who use their own software (or who don’t use software and stick with physical book-keeping), some have the philosophy that their group should only be for local trading (the ultimate in “buy local”).

So, if you do find neighbouring groups who you can trade with, keep a few things in mind
- Trading with another group opens up the range of offers you can take up, but the trading shouldn’t all go in one direction. If you only ever take and give nothing back, you are taking advantage of the other group. So try to sell to them as well as buy from them. The CES (our software system) will block trades between the groups if they get too out of balance.
- Many LETS members have never traded outside their own group and may be hesitant to do so (not only due to unfamiliarity but also because they worry that the trading may be too one-sided as the previous point addresses). You may need to contact the admin of the other exchange for their help, and offer to show the member you are wishing to trade with how to process the transaction.
- Accommodation can be found in other LETS groups, which is wonderful if you are planning to travel. If you wish to do a LETS-stay, plan well in advance and make sure they are able to accommodate you with no last-minute surprises (some offers are only for one or two people and a large family lobbing up on their doorstep would cause just a bit of stress). Also, try to trade while you are in the area - take some goodies or offer a few hours help, if doesn’t have to be for the person you are staying with it could be another member who lives nearby. Again, try to arrange this well in advance it can be difficult to do last-minute
- Going along to another group’s trading event (many groups have a morning/afternoon tea meet-ups, or a market-style trading day, Hunter LETS are even having a “trading trail” – a series of mini-meetups one after the other along a trail) is a great way to build your network of LETS friends and open up many more trading opportunities. It may inspire you to host your own!
- If you see a trading event that you can’t attend but can arrange to leave a box of goodies (and a trading sheet), make arrangements ahead of time and see if the host of the event would be happy for you to trade in absentia. You’ll need to have a plan for collection of any unsold goods and either have the filled-in trading sheet posted to you (or technology can make it really easy – just ask for a photo to be taken and SMS’ed/emailed to you)

Some of my best trades with other groups
- Accommodation in Sydney to go to an art workshop, I simply couldn’t have afforded to go otherwise at the time.
- Accommodation in Hinton to meet up with a friend from Dubbo to go to the Morpeth Teapot Festival. It was a lovely weekend and resulted in my friend being so impressed that Dubbo now has a LETS group (albeit with only one member).
- Accommodation in Melbourne in a lovely federation era house with fresh-picked figs for breakfast.
- An original painting bought from a LETS group in Ireland (I paid cash for the postage costs and LETS for the painting time), sadly the Irish group has now closed.

Happy trading :)

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27 Apr 2014

This was shared via South Burnett Community Exchange (I suspect from some of the content that the originator was probably a Gympie LETS member)

1. Get to know your fellow LETS members: Most members prefer to trade with people they know and trust. Meeting people, socializing at the markets, etc., is a good start to stimulate trading activity. If arriving at an event or market for the first time is a little frightening your system Co-ordinator or another helper would be happy to meet you on the day, introduce you and help get you started.

2. Have a Market Stall: Selling a few wares (no matter how small or ‘unwanted’ you might think them to be – it may just be what another member is looking for!) is another way to get yourself known and meet other members.

3. Pass the Word Around: The on-line Offers and Wants list from members may not be a clear indication of everything on ‘offer’ or ‘want’. Sometimes what you are offering or requesting can be located just by word of mouth. So ask around, ask other members and advertise in the GYMPLETS Offerings List or with other systems – if the item or service is important enough people will make the effort to contact you and travel to your home.

4. Keep your Listings Up-to-date and Informative: If your listings remain the same for some time or appear out of date other members get the impression you are not interested in trading or are unreliable – so change/update your listings on-line regularly. Having concise and clear information about what you are offering or requesting will aid trading and save on wasted time and phone calls.

5. Incentives: If you are having difficulty getting your request met – sometimes a small cash incentive (say, for petrol and other outlay costs) is a good idea. If the member is on your property for an hour or all day, a cuppa or even lunch can be an incentive especially when they are doing a good job.

6. Try, Try, Try Again!: LETS can be very rewarding if effort is put into making the most of what it offers. Don’t be disheartened if your offers are not responded to or some members seem disinterested or difficult to contact. Unfortunately this sometimes happens. Keep trying - once your momentum of trading has begun you will find yourself pleasantly pulled along by the fun of sharing and support.

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20 Jan 2014

The potential of LETS for vintage/upcycling

I have had conversations about LETS in the past week with a couple of vintage upcyclers/sellers, and thought to myself how LETS could open up so many possibilities for them…

The first was a lady who upcycles vintage furniture (shabby chic style), I have been a fan of her facebook page for a while and her work is gorgeous. It is obviously doing well too as she has expanded into doing market stalls. I saw a post on her page about having spent quite a bit on buying vintage furniture for upcycling and thought to myself how much being a LETS member could save her! So I managed to get to one of the markets where she was selling and gave her a LETS flyer, and suggested she could pick up vintage furniture pieces cash-free for upcycling, and perhaps offer workshops in how to upcycle furniture to earn LETS credits… 

The second conversation was with a friend who has started a small business selling vintage and quirky (often handmade) items from a renovated vintage caravan. She had a few household items she was planning to either sell or give away if she couldn’t find a buyer to collect them. Again, I could see so much potential for LETS… She could sell her unwanted items for LETS credits and pick up interesting vintage items for her business…

From the perspective of the LETS sellers, they are trying to keep items out of landfill, earn credits to spend on items/services they want and keep the LETS energy flowing by trading…

So in the circle of LETS, items would be recycled/upcycled, the vintage sellers would have a greater pool to fish in for goodies, LETS sellers would be earning more credits… So many wins… Hopefully those conversations will start something LETS’y and beautiful for those vintage sellers