Trading Guidelines and FAQ's
• START TRADING straight away — don’t wait until you’re in credit
- if everyone did this we’d never have got started!!
• ASK FOR HELP if you need it when navigating the website
• STATE CLEARLY what you want when leaving answerphone
or text messages .... and always RETURN calls or texts promptly
• NEGOTIATE your terms and conditions clearly before trading
• ALWAYS RECORD A TRANSACTION (even if it's a swap)
- this gives confidence and impetus to other members
• BE PROACTIVE — respond to ‘WANTS’ as well as ‘OFFERS’
• BE REALISTIC — only offer what you can honour
• Keep your 'PROFILE' and ‘OFFERS’ and ‘WANTS’ up to date
- when posting Offers & Wants, use the "end date" facility where relevant.
• COME to Trading Socials to stay in touch — bring home-made
food/crafts, items to sell, and any relevant leaflets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much should I charge?
With reference to the Rate field in the Create Offer page, there is no set rule, but over a period of time, members have adopted 10 Harmonies as the standard Hourly Rate for when members want to trade on an equal basis. This may not be appropriate in all cases, eg house-sitting and babysitting would be much less, and professional therapy would be more. You can of course adjust your stated rate according to the response, and if you are really unsure beforehand, you can put "neg" in the Rate Field.
Q. What if I need sterling?
Harrow LETS is, by definition, a place for trading in a complementary currency called Harmonies. However, on some occasions what you trade might involve sterling expenses. A clear examples of this would be if you were asked to put up some shelves for someone and you had to buy them, it would be fair to ask for reimbursement in sterling, in which case you would present a receipt in the normal way. However if you were using up leftover stock from another job, this would not apply. The same might apply if you were giving someone a lift - but not necessarily, if you can afford to fill up your tank. Similarly when cooking a dish, you will have had bought the ingredients. In all cases, make sure the deal is clear before you arrive to do the job, and remember that the original reason for creating complementary currencies was to help people who don't have much money.
Q. Can I charge a higher rate?
In the sterling economy, hourly rates for some trades, eg therapy and manual trades, are much higher than you would expect to pay for domestic help eg babysitting, and in these cases people would also expect to pay more than the standard hourly rate in Harmonies. There is space in the Create Offers form to state your rate per hour.
Q. Can we go half & half?
It's established in some professions, eg therapy, that there is a concessionary rate for those who are of low income, which need not apply when paying in Harmonies. However, some therapists are working in hired spaces where they have to rent a room, and/or may need to pay someone in sterling to do cleaning and laundry. In these situations it may be fair, to charge a set fee in Harmonies but with small proportion of the fee in sterling, so that the trade is still affordable for people on a low income. In all cases, what you are charging in sterling and Harmonies needs to be made clear when you state your rates, and agreed when someone calls you to make an appointment.
Q. What about Bring & Share Events?
The essence of the deal here is the everyone brings some food items to share, and no Harmonies or Cash changes hands. In Covid times members might be cautious about handling food so there could be an agreement for members to bring their own sandwiches plus some sweet bites to share. However, if this is also a Trading Event, with stalls, members would charge Harmonies for craft items or vegetable produce they are selling, or onsite Therapy Tasters in the normal way.