Lewes Pound: don't spend it, sell it.

No primary category set

In these times of economic doom and gloom, it’s good to be able to report a currency success story. Lewes, the county town of East Sussex well known for annual extravagant Guy Fawkes celebrations on November 5th, launched its own currency last week. Intended to support the local economy and small traders in the town, the Lewes Pound was launched last week to a blaze of publicity.

The attractive note featuring the South Downs, Lewes Castle and former Lewes citizen, radical philosopher Thomas Paine, is only available in £1 denominations and has parity with the British Pound. 10,000 notes have been printed and most have already been snapped up by residents and collectors.

Step in eBay. Entrepreneurial locals have done the common sense thing and put the notes up for sale on the site. The Lewes Pounds have been trading briskly on the international currency market (otherwise none as the Banknotes category) with some notes getting as much as 21 times face value. Making it a much better bet than Lehman Brother shares.

In terms of supporting the local economy, this won’t help. However, it’s a useful lesson to the organisers of ‘transition’ currencies everywhere. Your currency will cost money to create and administer. There are collectors out there who want to get their hands on your finest folding. Why not support your endeavour by selling a ‘Collector’s Set’, so everyone’s a winner?

6 Responses

  1. “Why not support your endeavour by selling a ‘Collector’s Set’, so everyone’s a winner?”

    then they end up like stamps
    royal mail have churned so many out,
    no bugger wants to collect them anymore

  2. These pound notes were produced to help the towns economy!!!! Get rid of the local expensive parking scheme and people may come back and spend their money in the local shops like they used to!!!!!!!

  3. Norf: I’d say a one off would have attracted interest. Even from wizened old pros like you. Two Lewes POOOOnds just sold for 43 sterling notes today. I think there would have been interest.

    Geoff: They were indeed produced for local purposes. I used to live in Lewes. I have been there recently. I live in Brighton now. There is plenty of cheap (free?) parking in Lewes but you might have to walk a few yards. And I haven’t used a single exclaimation mark. You didn’t use a single apostrophe.

  4. Well done to the entrepreneurial lewis residents.

    I would note however that these ‘pounds’ appear to have no security details and anyone could knock em out on a half decent (sub 300 quid) colour laser printer.

    Also that like any ebay novelty auction most people are NPB’s and if who every issued em is smart and puts in a VERO claim they can stop it quickly.

    North: erm, isn’t your main ebay ID all about selling collectibles. be they made of paper. china, or metal I would have though you’d be up for a quick profit.

  5. max.
    this aint our main id. jewellery is our main thing though
    we will sell anything thats legal and does not grunt.
    of course we would sell those notes and be delighted to

    what were saying is that these things only have a short life, then their over produced , every village hamlet, and bus stop will have a version soon,

  6. Just a less substantial form of the souvenir dollars that are produced in large variety in Canada.



eBay and News UK team up to push targeted content


Overstock.com takes $1m Bitcoin payments in 2 months


London 2012 Paralympic Torch for sale on eBay


38 Tips to help you make more money on eBay


London 2012 Olympic Torches attract £100k bids on eBay

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars