One of the nicest things about living in a neighborhood is having access to, well, neighbors. Neighbors are the people you need to know when you need to use a post-hole digger, or a ladder, or a camp stove, or what not, and you would rather not buy it because you’re only planning to use it a little.
Like most places, NEN residents often have things we bought but only use once in blue moon, while they mostly sit unused in our garages or closets.
Several NEN board members were talking about this, and even doing a little work towards creating a neighborhood tool sharing service that would let NEN residents share things with each with confidence. Then NeighborGoods.net came along and presto, problem solved! Anyone in NEN with Internet access can sign up (it’s free).
NeighborGoods.net is a free website where you can sign up and share (or even rent) your rarely-used treasures with your neighbors and to see what treasures that they’re offering to lend out as well. NeighborGoods.Net is a secure sharing site that lets lend or even rent their stuff to select other people, letting the site users control everything.
I’ve signed up and offered to lend my electric tiller, ladder, and campstove so far – I’ve got a lot more things that others might want to borrow (wait until I start adding my books!), and I hope other NEN residents will join in too.
Here’s the “Frequently Asked Questions” about NeighborGoods.Net:
- What is NeighborGoods?
NeighborGoods.net is a safe online sharing community where you can save money and resources by sharing stuff with your neighbors. Need a ladder? Borrow it from your neighbor. Have a bike collecting dust in your garage? Earn some extra cash by renting it out! NeighborGoods members can borrow, lend, rent, sell and buy stuff from their neighbors, saving money and getting more value out of the items they already own.
- What should I add to my inventory?
Start off with stuff that you don’t use very often such as party supplies (folding chairs and tables), sporting equipment, and power tools. Once you start using the site more, you’ll find that you can extend the value of all the stuff you own including clothing, books, and household appliances.
- What types of items get borrowed most frequently?
Instead of spending a ton of money buying stuff all the time, it makes more sense to borrow or rent something you only need occasionally for a short period of time. Popular items include bicycles, ladders and sleeping bags.
- Is it safe to share on NeighborGoods?
NeighborGoods is a safe and friendly environment for sharing items. When you add an item to the NeighborGoods inventory, you choose how to share it with the community. For example, you can allow your friends to borrow the item for free and charge others a rental fee. Or you can decide to make the item only available to friends. It’s your stuff, so you set the rules.
- NeighborGoods helps facilitate transactions with a reservation calendar, automated reminders, wishlist alerts, and private messaging between neighbors. NeighborGoods keeps track of all your stuff.
- Neighbors can rate each other and even flag another member’s account if something goes wrong. Through transparency and peer ratings, NeighborGoods provides members with all the tools they need to share safely and confidently, including our member verification process.
- What’s a Verified account?
When you verify your account, we’ll send you a welcome kit including a verification code via snail mail. When you receive this code and enter it on your profile, everyone in your neighborhood can see that you’ve been verified and you’ll automatically have access to more stuff!
- Verify with your PayPal account for just $4.99. Make sure your PayPal address is up to date in order to receive your verification kit.
- How do you keep my home address safe?
We never share your home address with anyone. Items are placed on the map with approximate location by zip code only. Please note: If you put your home address in your default item pick up/return details, that information will be shared with members only when you approve their requested transaction. You can edit this information for each item at any time during the transaction. You are in control of who sees your address.
- Why should I share my stuff with someone I don’t know?
You don’t have to. If you like, you can share your stuff only with your friends. But the more you share with others, the more your neighbors will share with you. It’s simple, really. Everyone wants to save a little money. And wouldn’t it be cool if you met your neighbors in the process?
- How much does it cost to use NeighborGoods?
Borrowing and lending items on NeighborGoods is free of charge. Members may charge a deposit or a rental fee for the use of their items but NeighborGoods does not charge transaction fees.
- Members may choose to verify their account for $4.99. Our verification system builds more trust into the network and provides verified members with access to more items. Verification is optional.
- Members may also chip in to help support the NeighborGoods mission. We’re a bootstrapped startup and we’re counting on our community’s support to help us grow!
- What if something goes wrong? (Somebody breaks my item or doesn’t show up?)
We haven’t had any problems yet but nobody’s perfect, and of course, sometimes things go wrong. NeighborGoods does not take responsibility for any failed or less than perfect transactions. But we do give members tools to take care of issues amongst each other. Peer ratings and comments are among the primary review systems for items and members on the network. If something doesn’t go well with someone, your feedback will be visible for other members when they’re deciding if they should share with that person. And if something goes really wrong, you can always hit the panic button!
- What is the panic button?
The panic button is our peer-to-peer conflict resolution system. If someone doesn’t return an item on time, for instance, you can push the panic button. The panic button sends a message to the person (as well as to us) and marks his/her profile with a very visible public alert that can be seen by everyone on NeighborGoods: “This user is involved in an unresolved transaction problem!” The alert remains on the profile until the user resolves the issue with you and you remove it. If a member is repeatedly causing panics, we may decide to disable his/her account.
- What if I can’t find what I’m looking for?
If you’ve been just dying to try out a bedazzler but you can’t find one near you, you can add it to your wishlist! Search for bedazzler and if there isn’t one near you, just click the button to add it to your wishlist. When someone near you adds a bedazzler to their inventory, you will get an automatic alert message! You can also add items to your wishlist by clicking “wishlist” in the left navigation of your dashboard or by clicking “I need one!” on any item page.
- What do I do if I lose my password?
If your login fails, you will be prompted to reset your password.
- How do I cancel my account?
Go to http://neighborgoods.net/editprofile and you will see an option in the right sidebar: “cancel account.”
- How do I block a user who is bugging me?
Click on the “block user” button on his/her profile.
- I requested an item but the owner hasn’t responded. What can I do?
Go to the active transaction on your dashboard and select “Send reminder” to re-send your request or “Cancel” to cancel your transaction request.
- How do I report a bug or abuse?
You can report bugs or give feedback via our support forum by clicking on the big Feedback button. If you prefer to contact us directly, use our contact form.
- How can I choose which emails I receive from NeighborGoods?
You can choose which emails you receive from NeighborGoods by clicking “Email options” on the edit profile page. Please note that you cannot disable emails associated with the Panic Button.