If you’ve borrowed something through Comoodle recently you may have been charged a small deposit by the lender. Because deposits and charges are fairly new to the Comoodle project we thought we’d tell you a bit about them and how they work.
Comoodle is a place where groups, businesses and individuals can share their underused assets to help make great things happen. Over the last couple of years some fantastic community activities have taken place because people were willing to lend their stuff, space and skills to others who needed them. As money gets tighter everywhere we think that more can be achieved with less if people share so we’ve made Comoodle free to join and where possible, free to use.
So far we’ve managed over 400 trades so we’ve got a good idea about the practical side of sharing – we’ve designed our online platform with this learning in mind. We’ve also listened to feedback from both borrowers and lenders and this told us that we needed to put in place a simple system of deposits and charges.
Whilst our borrowers are the people who deliver activities in their communities, our lenders are the folk who make it all possible by offering their equipment, opening up their underused spaces or giving their time and skills. We value our Comoodlers and we want their sharing experience to be as straightforward as possible.
There is big demand for some of the things that are lent out through our project. In many cases an item is due to be lent out again as soon as you bring it back. That’s why it’s so important that items are returned on time, and in a suitable condition to be lent again immediately. Some lenders charge a small deposit to encourage this because if there is a problem with getting the kit back from one group, the next group will lose out.
In most cases our lenders offer their services and their assets for free. Our rule is that no person or business should profit from Comoodle but we don’t want anyone to be out of pocket as a result of supporting their community.
So if you borrow the use of a space or someone’s time and skills, you may be asked to pay a small fee to offset the lender’s expenses. This might include a contribution to the cost of lighting, heating or opening up a venue, or it might be a case of reimbursing someone’s petrol so they can come and deliver free training at your site. We think this is reasonable and it will certainly be much cheaper than if you had paid the normal hire fee or hourly rate for someone’s expertise.
Remember that many lenders are doing worthwhile things in their community just like you. They may ask for a donation or invite you to ‘pay as you feel’, to help support their own activities. Comoodle allows for this and if you like what the lender is doing you might decide to make a contribution to their cause. It’s worth bearing in mind that people are more likely to donate if you have a good Comoodle profile which explains what you do and what you are trying to achieve.
If you have any queries about charges or deposits the Comoodle team will be happy to help – contact us on 01484 456844 or at [email protected].