How to trade with remote CES users


It is possible to trade with users of remote CES exchanges. This means that the list of offerings includes those of all users in all exchanges and the 'market' for selling your own goods and services includes all users in all exchanges.

Not only does this mean that the CES operates globally, it also means that new and smaller exchanges have a great range of offerings available.

While many offerings will be meaningless to remote users (e.g. you can't give a massage to someone a thousand kilometres away!), remote trading means that new kinds of services can be put on offer, such as accommodation and lifts to and from distant places.

How it works

The problem with remote trading in the CES is that each exchange operates as a closed entity, as a mini-economy on its own. Every sale within the exchange represents a credit for the seller and an equal debit for the buyer. The sum of all credits must always equal the sum of all debits and the balance of all credits and debits must always equal zero.

Any direct trade with another exchange would mean a 'gain' or a 'loss' and this would upset the zero balance.

The solution is 'virtual members'. These operate as would a single human member with an account in each exchange. This member could buy and sell within a exchange and then 'carry over' the goods or services to another exchange and buy and sell them there. Instead of using humans we use 'virtual members', who for all intents and purposes operate the same as human members!

How to buy from a remote seller

First of all you need to know what is on offer. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Go to the Offerings List by clicking on the [Offerings] button at the top. The list defaults to your exchange. To see what other exchanges have to offer select an exchange from the drop-down lists on the grey bar (to select an exchange in another country select the country first). This changes the Offerings List to that of the exchange selected. Either do a search or look through the categories to find what you want.

  2. Another way to see the remote offerings is to go to the Members List by clicking on the [Members] button at the top (ensure that you do not have a sub-area selected when you do this). On the Members page click on the [Remote] button at the bottom right. This lists all the virtual members of your exchange. The offerings of these 'members' are the offerings of the remote exchanges that they represent. Click on the name of the virtual member and you will see the member's details. Click on the [Offerings] button at the bottom of the member's details. This will bring up the Offerings page for the exchange represented by the virtual member.

Having decided what you want to buy, click on the remote seller's name to obtain his or her contact details. Contact the remote seller and perform the trade in the normal way. In the case of long-distance trades this might involve shipping costs.

When you are satisfied with your purchase send the remote seller a Trading Slip. You can either send a paper one by post or, more conveniently, an online one. If you want a signed counterfoil to your paper Trading Slip, you will have to request the remote seller to sign it and return it to you.

When the remote seller enters the transaction information into his or her account, you will actually be debited against the local virtual member that represents the group of the remote seller. This will not be reflected in your statement of account, however, which will show your trade with the actual seller.

How to sell to a remote buyer

If a remote buyer contacts you to provide or sell something (because they have seen your offerings or otherwise), perform the trade in the same way as if the buyer were local. If your goods or service have to be delivered using the post or some other delivery service, you will need to make prior arrangements for the payment of that if there are costs in the national currency.

Request the remote buyer's contact and account details. If you want to check the details to make sure the buyer is genuine, go to the Offerings page of your account and type the remote buyer's first name or surname (not both together as the names are held separately in the database) in the 'Search Groups' line at the top right of the green box. Press the 'Go' button and you should see a listing of the remote buyer's offerings, from where you can click on the name to obtain the account details.

You may have to make some arrangement about the time you will wait for a Trading Slip after delivery before assuming satisfaction and crediting yourself without one.

When you obtain the Trading Slip for the goods or service delivered to the remote buyer, go to the home page of your account and select one of the four ways to enter transactions.

If you chose '1. Enter Single Transaction (list)' you will be taken to the Enter Transaction page. Select the group that the remote buyer belongs to from the Group drop-down list. After the page reloads, select the remote buyer from the Buyer drop-down list. Fill in all the other details as usual (Amount, Description, Donation) and press the [Submit] button.

If your chose one of the other options enter the buyer's full account number in the 'Buyer' textbox. Then fill in all the other details as usual (Amount, Description, Donation) and press the [Submit] button.

If the details are correct on the Confirmation Page press the 'Confirm' button, or else press the 'Cancel' button.

You will be credited for the amount entered and this will be reflected in your statement of account as a sale to the actual remote buyer. The buyer's statement of account will reflect a purchase from you.

Notes on remote trading

Remote trading may be a little difficult to grasp at first, what with virtual members and remote buyers and sellers. However, if you think of remote trading as local trading with the virtual member representing the remote trader, then it simplifies the matter.

Remote trading is pretty much the same as trading locally, but several issues need to be taken into account: transportation costs for the shipping of goods to remote places, confirming the veracity of remote traders, lack of face-to-face contact etc. These are not major issues but need to be considered before engaging in remote trade.