BrisLETS, or Brisbane Community Exchange, has been trading continuously for more than 30 years. Over the past three years, a few of us who joined more recently have taken up the baton and brought some new life to the group.

We are gearing up for promotional activities to boost trading and member satisfaction. We are reviewing and streamlining account maintenance in the Terms & Conditions. We want your feedback (please comment below or on the proposed T&Cs post here)!  Ideas include:

  • ensuring we can contact all members efficiently

  • making certain that membership has meaning (shown by at least one account login or one trade every two years)

  • encouraging traders to get their account balance back to zero (be a Zero Hero!)

  • Supporting and budgeting for admin expenditure

We want to foster the upward trend in trader numbers and transaction.

Trading record

See our trading statistics since 2008 here.  After an all-time high last year, 2019 has seen the numbers plateau and fall.

Paradoxically, we have 274 “active” traders, but in that number CES includes 142 who have neither accessed their accounts nor traded in the past two years or more. 

So we really only have about 132 active members!

Thanks to Mailchimp, we know about 80 traders open our NewsLETS emails; in the past, sending out PDFs, we had no idea how many opened them.

Ways to support admin

We’re looking to other exchanges for ideas about “taxation” to support admin. We hope to see a rise in numbers and trades so that the burden can be spread more fairly. To do this, we’ll soon be focusing more thoroughly on the promotion of BrisLETS’ activities.

Unique challenges

As an incorporated association, we have challenges that other exchanges don’t, mainly around issues of trust and formal requirements, because few members want to deal with matters like this. However, new and older members are coming forth with lots of goodwill, so the horizon is sunny.

Recent and forthcoming improvements

  • a new website

  • constitutional reform

  • a stipend-payment budget and system for members who volunteer to run admin

  • a new logo and branding

We’re about to update the T&Cs again to better maintain the membership database.

More and more of us are connecting socially and forming good friendships. Slowly there are signs of local hub meets happening around the city.

Membership area

We have members who live as far afield as NSW and Hervey Bay, but most are in the Brisbane and regional council areas and Ipswich.

There is some talk of merging with nearby exchanges, such as the Condamine and the Gold Coast, to reduce the admin workload ― a bit like Tassie has. We see this as fluctuating depending on what members in various regions want and feel is best.

There are some happy-ending stories where an exchange is so small that everyone gets to know each other, enough to dispense with LETS and do things by gifting.

I intend to see some really good promotional work happening soon.

Please comment below – we want your feedback. Now! (First comment? Great! It’ll appear as soon as it’s approved. Come back soon!) To comment on the proposed new Terms & Conditions, click here.

The above is an edited version of my comment on the LETS Admin Facebook group, in response to a post from Bel Moore in FNQ CES on April 27.

Simon Cole, President BrisLETS

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