non-exploitative, non-profit, community-based trading
unlocks local human resources and promotes local self-sufficiency
a good way of meeting like-minded local people
builds local community
An example of how trading in LETS works:
For instance, you might fix Member A’s fence for 20 Shell’s, then use those 20 Shell’s to get a massage from Member B. Simple. No cash needed – as long as you’re willing to provide services to other LETS members in return.
Negative balances are an essential feature of the system, so they are not to be viewed as bad and wrong (ie debts). Negative balances simply mean members have received more goods and services that they have given out.
You can buy something with your first trade. If you wait to earn before you spend, you could find it slower to start trading. If everybody had to wait to earn before they could spend, nobody would get started!
The most successful members are those with a high turnover because that means that the system is working for them.
LETS is a concept that is not always easy to understand. The Benefits sheet has been gathered from various sources including Michael Linton (the originator of LETS), economists and LETSystem managers in an attempt to explain the philosophies behind LETS. Please download the Information Booklet for more information.
Visit this local news piece:
And have a look at a video done by a local LETS member explaining how LETS works.
You can also experience how the system works by playing the Open Money Game.
Members receive quarterly newsletters which are available online, click here to read them and members also have access to a full member list of offers and requests available within the group.
There are regular Trade Days and Meetings throughout the Wyong & Gosford regions where members can meet and trade in person.
The first LETSystem was developed by Michael Linton in Canada’s Comox Valley, in 1983, where some people adapted the ‘barter’ network model and turned it into a full scale community system with greater advantages.
LETSystems began to grow worldwide. Since 1987 some 70 LETSystems have been established in New Zealand and almost 200 in Australia. In Britain the number rocketed from 7 systems in early 1991 to 150 by the end of 1993.