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About LETS - Questions and Answers

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How much must I earn before I can start spending?
Nothing! You can start spending right away, and earn credits to balance your account when it suits you. No interest is charged and there are no debt limits, although to deter misuse of the system, all account balances are available for all members to view.

Do I have to trade with everyone who contacts me?
No - it’s entirely up to you whether you accept or reject an invitation to trade.

How do I price my goods and services?
You could charge an average hourly wage, ‘going rates’ or just negotiate each case.  You’re entitled to ask more for difficult jobs or a high quality service.  You needn’t put your rates in the Directory, and if you do you can alter them later. It is sometimes hard for new members to decide what to charge and advice is always available from long-standing members.

I am on income support. Will local exchange trading affect my benefits?
Check with us on the latest rules. In general, income-support claimants should ensure they are available for work and don’t trade in anything other than ‘social favours’ for more than 16 hours a week.

Should I declare my Cobbles earnings on my tax return?
You only need to do this for Cobbles you earn for skills that you use for your livelihood.  Just translate the Cobbles into an equal number of pounds.

What about cash for materials and so on?
You can charge sterling for part of the transaction, for example when you’ve had to buy in, say, ingredients for a cake you make for someone.  Only the Cobbles should be recorded against your account.

What if I’m not satisfied with someone’s work?
Agree in advance the price, timescale and standard of work required. If in doubt, ask about qualifications and experience and speak to others who have used the service in question - as you would if you traded with anyone outside the system.   LETS cannot take responsibility for the quality of what’s offered, so do your homework first!  If you have a problem you can’t resolve,our Arbitration Group may be able to help.

What if I don’t feel I have anything to offer?
EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO OFFER! Shopping, gardening, house-minding, lending out equipment, cooking, cleaning, child-care, and decorating - one of the advantages of the System is that it helps people to realize what a lot they have to give. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing. Or sit down and talk with a friend about the things you are good at. Look at some of the services we already offer. If you have an idea but you’re not sure whether it will work, discuss it with another member.