Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that as this website comes into full use, the detailed methods described here will vary, with members being able to update their own profiles, and do online transactions, but the basic principles of operation will continue as before:.
HOW DOES THE LETS SYSTEM WORK?
Members are given a copy of the Sheffield LETS Directory and a special LETS cheque book. The Directory lists the addresses and phone numbers of all the other members along with details of the skills and services they are offering. We also have a Yahoo Group where members can advertise events, offers and requests within the group. Members contact each other directly when they want to make use of one of these services, and pay each other in local currency (ĎStonesí), using the special cheques.
The cheques are then sent to the LETS office, where all the Stones transactions are recorded on a computer. Members receive regular account statements, updated Directories and newsletters. There is an accounting system to keep track of all the credits and debits, members donít need to make a straight swap with anyone. One member pays another member in Stones and does some work for someone else at a later date to restore the balance. LETS is much more flexible then a traditional barter system.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE ANY SKILLS TO OFFER?
Many individuals feel they donít have any skills to offer, but the LETS scheme values the kinds of skills that sometimes arenít recognised elsewhere. Everyone has something to offer: gardening, shopping, lending out equipment, cleaning, cooking, child minding, house sitting, painting/decorating, teaching, fixing and repairing, driving, DIY, doing accounts, looking after pets. To find out what your skills are, ask yourself what you enjoy doing.
HOW MANY STONES MUST I EARN BEFORE I START SPENDING?
New members are given a donation of 10 stones to start them off, so members do not need to earn any Stones before they start spending. You can start spending straight away and earn credits to balance your account when you are able. A debt is known as a Ďcommitmentí (to the LETS system). No interest is ever charged or earned in LETS, and each of the memberís accounts is open to inspection at any time by other members.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I CHARGE?
A LETS Stone is roughly equivalent to a pound, but itís up to the individual to charge what they think is fair for a particular job. They could charge an hourly rate, a fixed fee for a piece of work, or simply negotiate each case. However, LETS recommends a minimum fee of 5 Stones per hour.


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