Editors note: We are members of our local currency, I am a committee member, and I work on our bi-monthly newsletter. Here is an article I've written for the weekly free papers in Whanganui to increase awareness and interest in REBS, and our market stall.
A Market Stall for the Community
You may have noticed the River Exchange and Barter System (REBS) stall at the Saturday market and said to yourself, “What’s that all about?” Answering what REBS is about is a big task, so I’ll just say that it is form of a ‘local currency’ that allows members to sell and buy goods and services independent of the New Zealand dollar. The aim of local currencies is to maintain wealth within the community, because the ‘money’ earned and spent is only accepted by other members within the network. Whanganui’s REBS programme has been in existence for over two decades.
The REBS market stall provides the opportunity for members to sell items on Saturdays without having to buy their own tent, pay full market fees, and commit five or six hours to the endeavour. Currently, about six REBS members are splitting the stall fees and sharing the workload. The tents have been paid for, and our stall is a well-known fixture – having been at the market every Saturday for years on end! All we need is you!
Actually, we need your: fresh, local fruit and vege; quality art work; pot plants; hand crafts; high quality second-hand goods; and, if you have a valid food handling license, your prepared food items. All items on the stall can be sold part REBS currency and part NZ dollars (NZD). For example: 50% NZD and 50% REBS; 80% NZD and 20% REBS; or 100% REBS.
In order to make the stall economically sustainable, we need everyone who brings items onto the stall to commit one weekend each month and 10% of their takings. Additionally, contributors to the stall must join REBS, which has an annual subscription fee of $15. The top sellers on the REBS stall take in over $50 every weekend, and sometimes have topped $100 in a single Saturday.
For more information, please stop by the REBS stall on a Saturday to inquire. (We are located between the trolley tracks and the river.) Or contact Michael O’Shea on 344 5032. Please don’t just show up at the stall with goods in hand expecting to sell. We need a minimum of two days advance notice.