Vibrant Australian trading groups 2012

Ahead of the 2013 Australian National LETS/CES conference I was dreading  another round of unstructured debate about 'what works best'. Rather than face another year of people debating based on gut feelings and personal preferences I decided to find out what the most active trading groups are doing. 

I checked the stats and top trading groups (based on number of trades in 2012) were Tablelands, Maleny and Central Coast. Here's how they're being run at the moment:

Tableland Local Exchange Trading System
Trades: 3398  
Turnover: 93,937 $AUD equiv
Value of time: Free market (no hourly cap)
Balance limits:  -1000 / +1000
$ discouraged but up to 50% permitted
Joining fees: $20 to join, unless it's 'sponsorship month'  when $20 is waived in lieu of 20B from an existing member's account
Annual fee: 15B annual fee. No ongoing $ fees.
Levies: No other levies paid by Users
What's working:

Oh, almost everything!  Not without hiccups, but there is so much going on that is worth celebrating and encouraging...

Events, newsletter, area contacts, sponsorship and buddies, workshops and partnering with others in community ... 

Aside from being an amazing coordinator herself, Bel Moore gave away her secret... she has passed on her super coordination skills to a bunch of sub-area coordinators.  

Maleny Local Energy Trading System 
Trades: 3208 
Turnover: 181,253 $AUD equiv
Value of time: Free market  
Balance limits: -3000 / +3000  
$ discouraged but up to 50% permitted
Joining fees:  $10
Annual fee:   $5
Levies: 3%
What's working: 

Upfront club office & weekly dinner for Bunyas

Central Coast LETS 
Trades: 2506  
Turnover: 102,608 $AUD equiv
Value of time: Free market (recently abolished our cap of 40/hr to appease members)
Balance limits: -1000 / +1000  
$ discouraged but up to 50% permitted for services only, max $20 recommended
Joining fees: $15 
Annual fee:  $10
Levies: 5%
What's working: 

Our members embrace the market days as it is a great chance to catch up and establish/reestablish friendships with other traders. Having many members sometimes is a down side to the more personal trading idea, but there seem to be clusters of people who trade with each other.

We are always having work shops during our market days, e.g. pottery, drumming lessons, colour therapy, meditation, gardening advice, nepalese cooking class, where LETS members share their skills with the community.

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