Frequently asked questions

Is Sharebay a barter site?

No. You have no obligation to reciprocate with the person you transact with, and in fact we advise against it. Sharebay uses an implicit trade system where acts are not necessarily reciprocated by the same person or to the same value. If you give something away today, tomorrow you may find something that you need from someone who gives it to you. Think of it as a ‘walled community’ of sharers where favours are reciprocated over time.

Do I have to offer something to be a member?

Yes. Sharebay is a community-powered library and relies on its members to provide useful items and services for other members.

But I don't have anything to offer...

Everyone has some item or service they could offer another person. It could be as basic as offering to move boxes or just lending a listening ear. Check out our templates page for some inspiration on easy offers.

Why should I give my stuff away for free?

Sharebay seeks to facilitate alternative ways of doing business and getting resources outside the traditional trade model. Trade demands that you exchange like for like with the person you trade with. This is not always easy and can be limiting. Sharebay employs an ‘implicit trading’ model, where, because you are part of a larger community of sharers, your acts of generosity will be reciprocated later and by someone else.

What if someone profits from my generosity?

The vast majority of users on Sharebay are people who genuinely want to help or who need help. Also, we have various safeguards in place to ensure that members adhere to their original registration pledge. Suspicious users and listings can be reported by anyone. When numerous reports are received their data is take down immediately.

However, it’s always advisable to check any user’s profile and transaction record before you choose to deal with them.

What is the Transaction Record and why is it important?

Sharebay operates on reputation. Every time you complete a transaction, it gets added to the Public Transaction Record. The transaction record just shows who gave, who got, what they got and when they got it. This record is important to help users gain site reputation, and help users make informed decisions about who they deal with on the site. You can see the Public Transaction Record of a specific user by clicking on the green/red arrow scores displayed under the name in their profile or listing.

Every user also has a Personal Transaction Record where they can see the status of all their previous transactions, including pending and cancelled transactions. This record only visible to you.

The item I want is in another country. How can I arrange delivery?

Where collection is not possible, it is the responsibility of the recipient to organise and pay for collection / delivery of the item. Most givers will happily package and send the item if you agree to pay the delivery costs. We recommend using Paypal to send money internationally.

Under no circumstances should you expect the giver to pay shipping costs.

The giver has not responded to my request. What can I do?

When you request an item, we notify the giver straight away. If they don't responded, we send them up to three reminders. There is no need for you to send reminder messages. If the giver does not respond within 60 days, the transaction is automatically cancelled.

My gave/got/trust score went down. Why?

The stripes and bar rankings visible on the site are relative to the site average which is always changing. For example, if there is a significant increase in the number of transactions this will affect the site average and may cause your score to reduce. This is normal. The purpose of the scores is not to show 'who is the best', but to give an idea how any member performs compared to actions on the site generally.

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Sharebay.org is a trade-free site