Frequently asked questions Expand all

General

  • How does Open Shed work?

    Open Shed is part of a growing movement in Australia called collaborative consumption. You can use Open Shed to rent all kinds of nifty stuff to and from other people in your local community.

    Check out our How it works page to get the low down!

  • What kind of things will I find on Open Shed?

    Open Shed is powered by the collections, cupboards and shed of people just like you from all around Australia and as such, what you will find is what people choose to put on the site. We've had everything from dress-up costumes to belt sanders, books to baby furniture and more. Our categories start at Appliances through to Musical Instruments and onto stuff for your Vehicle, so you never know what you may find.

    To get an idea of the kinds of things other people have listed, check out the listings.

  • Is it safe to use Open Shed?

    We've designed Open Shed to make it as safe as possible for you to share your items with the rest of the Open Shed community. You can get an idea about someone through reading their profile, access feedback on their previous rentals and send messages privately to get to know individual members better. You are always in control, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your stuff with someone or meeting them for any reason you don't have to.

    To find out more about how we make Open Shed safe, check our Trust and Safety page.

  • Is Open Shed in my area?

    The beauty of Open Shed is it is an online portal listing what people want to share with others, so you don't have to travel to a shop or warehouse to rent anything. The more people we have sharing on Open Shed, the more fun and useful it will be for everybody!

    The easiest way to find out if there is stuff in your area is to search.

  • What if there isn't anything in my area?

    As our "stock" is determined by our members, sometimes you might not find what you are looking for the first time around. It can also be a case of needing one or two people to lead by example and be "brave" enough to list a few items, so don't be afraid to start the ball rolling yourself!

  • What is the Item hire contract?

    The Item Hire Contract is contract between two members of the Open Shed community who want to share an item. Think of it as the agreement both people enter into once the Booking Code has been verified and the item has been exchanged.

    To find out the nitty gritty on the Item Hire Contract, click here.

  • How much does it cost to register?

    Registering on Open Shed is FREE!

  • Do I need to be registered to list or rent an item?

    You can browse and search Open Shed without being registered, however in order to keep your Open Shed experience a positive one, we do need to know a little bit about you when you want to list or rent an item. When you decide to do your first ever rental, you will be prompted to register properly by giving your name, a working email and Bank Account or Credit Card as a minimum.

  • What information should I provide about me?

    On Open Shed, you can provide as little or as much personal info as you like. It is really up to you. To create your Open Shed account, we need your full name and email address as a minimum. A lot of members choose to add extra details via their Personal Profile. Here you can include a photo, a little bit about you and things like your eBay feedback profile, blog or Twitter handle. Sharing this kind of info on your profile helps others build confidence in you, especially when you are new. It also helps make new connections in the Open Shed community too!

    To check out Lisa's profile and get some ideas on what to include, click here.

  • What information about me is publicly visible?

    What you choose to put in your Personal Profile is visible to anyone browsing Open Shed. It also includes your display name, the date you joined, any rental feedback you have and any items you have listed for rent.

  • I have forgotten my password. What do I do?

    I am afraid the only way to get your password back on Open Shed is to send a freshly baked batch of apple muffins to...

    Actually, click here and follow the prompts. We'll have you back online in a jiffy!

  • I've decided to cancel my account. What do I do?

    We'll be honest and admit we're sad to see you go! The process is pretty simple. Just make sure you are not involved in any active rentals and click here.

    If there is any feedback you wish to share before you go, or as to why you have chosen to leave please feel free to contact@openshed.com.au – we are new, learning and every bit of feedback counts, so if we can improve your experience, we would love to hear from you!

  • What policies and guidelines does Open Shed have?

    Open Shed has Terms & Conditions, which sets the parameters for your use of Open Shed and includes the Item Hire Contract. To protect our member's privacy, Open Shed also has a Privacy Policy. As a member of Open Shed, you do need to make sure you are fully informed of your obligations and how things work before signing up, so please take some time to check these out!

  • How can I contact Open Shed?

    You can catch the Open Shed gang on email at contact@openshed.com.au or pop by Facebook or Twitter and say g'day!

    Whether you need help, advice or you have an idea for us, feel free to make yourself known!

My settings

  • Why do I need to provide my address?

    Your street and suburb is used to calculate what is in your local area when you search. It also allows other people to find your listings in their local searches. However we never share your full address with anyone.

  • Why do I need to fill in my profile in order to rent an item?

    It all comes down to trust and safety, baby! In order to make everyone's experience on Open Shed a positive one, you need to supply some details like a working and verified email and bank account before you can proceed with a rental. At this time, you may also be prompted to fill in more profile details, include a photo and so on. Whilst this isn't compulsory, having some info about yourself will help others get to know you and trust you easier.

  • What information should I provide about me?

    On Open Shed, you can provide as little or as much personal info as you like. It is really up to you. To create your Open Shed account, we need your full name and email address as a minimum. A lot of members choose to add extra details via their Personal Profile. Here you can include a photo, a little bit about you and things like your eBay feedback profile, blog or Twitter handle. Sharing this kind of info on your profile helps others build confidence in you, especially when you are new. It also helps make new connections in the Open Shed community too!

    To check out Lisa's profile and get some ideas on what to include, click here.

  • What information about me is publicly visible?

    What you choose to put in your Personal Profile is visible to anyone browsing Open Shed. It also includes your display name, the date you joined, any rental feedback you have and any items you have listed for rent.

Safety

  • Why are you guys so cautious about safety?

    The honest answer to this question is we want everyone to enjoy their journey on Open Shed as much as possible. We would hate to hear anyone was hurt, put in danger or had their stuff stolen as a result of using our service. So we make sure we keep you as safe as possible to minimise the risk of anything bad happening and in the event something does slip through, we can work with the Police and help give them what they need to pursue justice for you. We believe in our product and care about our members - so safety is something we take seriously.

Posting a rental listing

  • How does the Item Damage Guarantee work?

    We want to make sure that Owners are comfortable and we know one of the concerns can be item damage, loss or theft. When you perform a rental on Open Shed you will have the peace of mind that your item will be covered up to $1K by the Open Shed Item Damage Guarantee. This cover is in place by default when you perform a rental through the platform.

  • Why is there also a bond and how is it calculated?

    The bond is funds agreed by the Renter to be made available for the Owner to claim in the case of damage or loss of the item. The bond is calculated as 3x the daily rate (any remaining funds are covered up to 1K by the Open Shed Item Damage Guarantee). The bond is in place to ensure the Renter has an incentive to look after your item.

  • What kinds of things can you share on Open Shed?

    Open Shed is run by people power so you never know what you might find! You can find tools for DIY projects, fitness and sporting equipment, travel and holiday items, books, dress up and party equipment, technology of all kinds and stuff for big and little kids alike.

    Basically anything lying idle in your shed, spare room, storage cage…why don't you check out our blog for inspiration? Or browse the site and see what other members have listed.

  • What should I include in my item's description?

    The description of your item together with any pictures you include will be what attracts someone to what you have on offer. Think about it from the potential renter's point of view and you can't go wrong! Including things like a general description of your item, any relevant specifications, what kind of condition the item is in and a little bit about how you use it or the things it helps you do all come together to help your potential renter get a sense of what your item is like.

    To get more advice on how to make a listing shine, check out this blog post by Open Shed member, Bek L.

  • Can I choose who I rent to?

    Yes you certainly may! If at any time you don't wish to go ahead with a rental for any reason, you don't have to. If you have received a Rental Request you do not wish to fulfil, all you need to do is decline it. You are always in control of who you share items with on Open Shed.

  • Is there anything I can do to spread the word about my rental listing?

    Yes! We've added Facebook and Twitter buttons so you can share any items you want to rent out with your friends and followers. You can also make a nifty little flyer (from your profile page) to do a leaflet drop around your home and workplace areas.

  • Is it safe to use Open Shed?

    We've designed Open Shed to make it as safe as possible for you to share your items with the rest of the Open Shed community. You can get an idea about someone through reading their profile, access feedback on their previous rentals and send messages privately to get to know individual members better. You are always in control, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your stuff with someone or meeting them for any reason you don't have to.

    To find out more about how we make Open Shed safe, check our Trust and Safety page.

  • Why does Open Shed charge an owner fee?

    The owner fee was introduced so that we can provide the Product Damage Guarantee as part of the platform. It also covers payment handling costs incurred in the collection and transfer of rental funds.

    It is charged to the owner at 10% of the rental fee. It is automatically removed before funds are transferred to your bank account for a rental.

Viewing a rental listing

  • What is the "Ask a question" feature for?

    We all have questions at times that might not be covered by what's in front of us, which is why we have the a conversation feature. This allows you to have a private conversation with another member to clear up what you want to know about an item and is a way to get to know the other people on Open Shed before you meet and share items safely. You can converse as much as you need without ever exchanging personal details and really to get know what you need to know about a person or their item.

  • Is Open Shed in my area?

    The beauty of Open Shed is it is an online portal listing what people want to share with others, so you don't have to travel to a shop or warehouse to rent anything. The more people we have sharing on Open Shed, the more fun and useful it will be for everybody!

    The easiest way to find out if there is stuff in your area is to search.

  • What if I need a rental item quickly?

    So you're the intrepid kind that likes to fly by the seat of their pants, hey? You can make a rental on the day or within a couple of days of when you need the item. Just remember little fleet footer, some people don't check their email every day so it is in your best interest to allow a bit of time for the person to get back to you where you can. You might also consider using the "Ask a Question" feature to see how quickly you can get your hands on an item with a couple of members if you have a few choices.

    When you send a message to an owner using the "Ask a question" button an SMS will be sent to the owner so they are alerted as quickly as possible to your enquiry.

  • How far in advance can I make a Rental Request?

    In this fast paced world, we know that some people like to plan ahead. If you want to plan your rental in advance, we recommend using the "Ask a Question" feature to let the other member know you are interested in their item and ask if it is available during the period you had in mind. Once you get closer to the timeframe, send through your rental request and your on your way.

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • Is it safe to use Open Shed?

    We've designed Open Shed to make it as safe as possible for you to share your items with the rest of the Open Shed community. You can get an idea about someone through reading their profile, access feedback on their previous rentals and send messages privately to get to know individual members better. You are always in control, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your stuff with someone or meeting them for any reason you don't have to.

    To find out more about how we make Open Shed safe, check our Trust and Safety page.

Viewing someones profile

  • Why do some members have feedback and some don't

    Just like when you use eBay for the first time, a newbie to Open Shed won't have any feedback until they have done their first rental. It is still OK to rent from people who don't have feedback yet - remember, everyone has to start somewhere! If you are a wee bit nervous about their lack of feedback, perhaps "Ask a Question" and see if you can ask a few questions, view their eBay profile and get to know them better first!

Sharing with friends

  • Why would I want to rent from my Facebook friends?

    Ever had that moment where you've lent out a book and cannot remember who it was to? Or talked about that snazzy new curling iron you bought to do your hair for a special event only to find a friend has one just like it and would have been happy to lend it to you? Moments like these happen all the time! So we have created a Facebook feature so you can track those things you lend out and discover the cool things your friends would love to share with you easily!

During a conversation

  • Can I pay in cash?

    No, you need to pay online via Credit Card for security reasons. Please don't ask the owner if you can pay in cash as this can be off-putting for the owner and means the rental will not be covered by the Open Shed Item Damage Guarantee.

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • How do I get the owners address or mobile?
    For security reasons we don't allow members to exchange contact information until a rental request is submitted. Once we have a rental request submitted we have enough information to safely allow personal details to be exchanged.
  • Can I negotiate a better price?
    This one is up to you. It may be appropriate if you are hiring the item for an extended period of time or if you have rented it before. However, keep in mind that it can be off-putting to have someone negotiating off the bat when hiring something of yours.
  • What information can the other person see about me?

    Community and trust is built by having a chat with someone and getting a sense of who they are. This is why we suggest member's who may not have met yet have a good old fashioned online chinwag before going ahead with sharing an item.

    This too is on your own terms. You can choose who you chat to and the only info they can access about you is what you feel comfortable with sharing - your Public Profile and what you say in your conversation. Ah... if only dinner parties were as simple!

  • What should I include in my message?

    Great conversation starters on Open Shed include admiring someone's item, asking them a little bit more about an item that has caught your attention, asking them what they use an item for or even dropping them a line if you find you share the same passion, hobbies and interests. The conversation feature is ultimately there to help you get to know other member's for peace of mind prior to renting and to find other people who dig collaborative consumption as much as you do - so be friendly, keep it relevant and ask what you want to know!

  • Why haven't they responded?

    Sometimes people are a little bit busier than we would like - or have even gone on holidays and forgotten to reflect that in their Open Shed profile. Sometimes the other member might not be able to help you and is too busy to let you know. Whatever the reason, don't take it to heart. Just be patient and/or try someone else!

    If the owner does not reply within 2 days your rental request will be automatically cancelled by the platform and your "authoirsation" will be voided. No money will have been removed from your account so there is nothing further you need to do. Better luck next time!

While requesting a rental

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • Is the bond removed from my account if there is no claim?

    No. The bond is simply an agreement that the stated bond amount can be removed from the Renters account if the bond is claimed (in part or full). Only the rental/service fee is removed from the renters account when a rental request is placed.

  • How do I know if my Rental Request has been accepted?

    A small leprechaun called Gareth will jump through the window and announce it with a big brass band. OR if your home isn't that leprechaun friendly, the Open Shed team will send you an email letting you know the Rental Request has been accepted together with any pick-up instructions.

  • Why does Open Shed charge a service fee?

    Open Shed charges a small service fee on each rental through our site in order to cover our costs.

    Our service fee is 10% of the rental fee OR $2 - whichever is higher.

    By running Open Shed as a business, we have the chance to cover our costs to keep things running as well as expand our ability to provide more services as we grow. We are here for the long run, so want to be able to pay for ourselves so we can continue to provide you with what you need.

  • Is it safe to use Open Shed?

    We've designed Open Shed to make it as safe as possible for you to share your items with the rest of the Open Shed community. You can get an idea about someone through reading their profile, access feedback on their previous rentals and send messages privately to get to know individual members better. You are always in control, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your stuff with someone or meeting them for any reason you don't have to.

    To find out more about how we make Open Shed safe, check our Trust and Safety page.

After a rental is requested

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • Someone wants to rent my item. What do I need to do?

    Exciting isn't it? Trust us, it never gets old thinking about what wonderful adventure your stuff is about to go on! Here is a little rundown of what will happen - you need to respond to the rental request, set up a time to meet up and exchange the item and enter the booking code to seal the deal.

  • How / when do I arrange pickup of my item?

    This is something you need to work out with the other person. We recommend using the conversation area to work out the finer details and with first meetings, it's a good idea to choose neutral ground in public so you feel as safe and in control as possible.

  • When do I receive payment for my item?

    Once you have exchanged the Booking Code and it has been entered into Open Shed, your payment will appear in your Bank Account minus the Owner Fee.

  • I need to cancel my Rental Request

    We're sorry to hear that! You can cancel your rental on Open Shed right up to rental day by sending a Private Message. The best thing to do is get in touch with the other person as soon as things change to let them know. Not only is this polite, they will have the option to leave feedback about you and knowing why will obviously influence what they say. From Open Shed's point of view, the rental request will time out after two days so you do not need to take any physical action beyond letting the other person know. No fees will be charged.

  • Is it safe to use Open Shed?

    We've designed Open Shed to make it as safe as possible for you to share your items with the rest of the Open Shed community. You can get an idea about someone through reading their profile, access feedback on their previous rentals and send messages privately to get to know individual members better. You are always in control, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your stuff with someone or meeting them for any reason you don't have to.

    To find out more about how we make Open Shed safe, check our Trust and Safety page.

After a request is accepted

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • The Renter has given me a Booking Code. What do I do with it?

    Well 007, you have just received the Open Shed equivalent of a handshake approving of your rental mission!

    Your next step is to enter that code on the Rental Request Page on the Open Shed site in the box labelled "Booking code". Our system will then verify it is the right code, let you know the code is legit and start the first step of the payment process.

    Tip: Always wait for the code to be verified before you hand over the item.

  • Can I enter the booking code on my Smartphone?

    Totally! You can access a special mobile version of the Open Shed website via m.openshed.com.au – just pop that address into your mobile's internet browser and you'll be connected up in no time!

  • I need to cancel the rental booking. What do I do?

    We're sorry to hear that! You can cancel your rental on Open Shed right up to rental day. The best thing to do is get in touch with the other person as soon as things change to let them know via the conversation feature. Not only is this polite, they will have the option to leave feedback about you and knowing why will obviously influence what they say. From Open Shed's point of view, the rental request will time out after two days. No fees will be charged.

  • What do I do with the booking code you gave me?

    Well renter rockstar - this is your ticket to rental happiness! Make sure you take the Booking Code along with you when you meet to exchange the item. If you are happy with the person and their item, you give the owner the Booking Code. They then need to enter that code into Open Shed via the website as a way of saying they too agree with renting their item to you. Once that is done, you can share the item.

  • What if the Renter does not pick up the item?

    Bit naughty of them, isn't it? First of all though, give them the benefit of the doubt. Something might have happened, so it's a good idea to drop them a message through the conversation feature. See what they say and try to reschedule. If you don't get a response, or the response you get is not a positive one, you don't have to go ahead with the rental. As no Booking Code has been exchanged, Open Shed will not continue with the rental anyway. You will get the chance to leave feedback about that member too.

    In these circumstances please work together to make the communication as clear as possible. Be reasonable with your expectations too. If you think you might have confused each other or forgotten something, be gentle.

  • We have not arranged pickup of the item yet. What do I do?

    Sorting out how to pick up the item is very simple. If you don't already have an email or phone number, you can use the "Conversation" feature. Simply go to the item you are renting on Open Shed and press the "Continue conversation" button. As you have a live Rental Request, you will be able to exchange personal details and sort out the pickup. Neat!

After item has been received

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • My item has not been returned. What can I do?

    The first piece of advice is don't panic. Try to make contact with the person who has rented it to see if there has been a mix up with the pick-up time or location or something has happened which stopped them from meeting you. Sometimes wires get crossed or life gets in the way and all you need to do is reschedule.

    However if the person doesn't get back to you and you have tried the best you can to get things back on track, email Open Shed at contact@openshed.com.au. We will also try to contact them on your behalf. If they don't come back to us within 24 hours, we will let you know.

  • I am not happy with the condition my item has been returned in. What can I do?

    We're really sorry to hear that. This is why having the bond setup properly and leaving feedback is so important. In these kinds of situations you can:

    • Claim all or part of the bond amount, depending on what you think is fair.
    • Leave feedback that reflects the situation on the member's feedback.

    NOTE: Any feedback which you provide on Open Shed must be accurate and constructive. Please do not provide misleading, deceptive, defamatory or abusive comments. It's not only not what Open Shed is about, it's totally bad karma.

  • I have accidentally damaged the item. What do I do?

    Oops! We do understand these things can happen and the very fact you are reading this means you obviously feel pretty bad already so we will try to make this as painless as possible!

    First of all, best advice is to contact the member straight away and let them know what has happened. Honesty truly is the best policy.

    Secondly, expect that whatever the outcome of that conversation, you might be charged some or all of the bond depending on what that member decides. It is after all their property so they are entitled to cover the cost of repairs.

    Finally, how you respond to the situation will determine your feedback from that member, so we always suggest coming clean as quickly as possible, being level headed about the situation and working with the member to get a solution happening is the best way to go for both people involved.

  • We have not arranged return of the item yet. What do I do?

    Sorting out how to return an item is very simple. If you don't already have an email or phone number, you can use the "Conversation" feature. Simply go to the item you are renting on Open Shed and press the "Continue conversation" button. As you have a live Rental Request, you will be able to exchange personal details and sort out the return. Cool, huh?

After a rental is finished

  • When is the rental fee removed from my account?

    The rental and service fees are removed from your account when you place your rental request. The funds are held securely by the platform and only transferred to the Owner when they enter the booking code you provide on pickup. If the rental request is declined, or times out without acceptance or pickup then the funds are automatically refunded in full.

  • Why do I need to leave feedback for the owner?

    Feedback really helps build trust on Open Shed and sharing your feedback will help other people know more about members who rent out their items. Besides, if someone has helped you out a lot and been super easy to deal with, why shouldn't you give them a bit of a shout out and warm praise? Sharing the love is just as important as sharing the items too!

  • I have returned the item but my Bond has been claimed. Why?

    The person who owns the item does have the right to claim all or part of the bond if the item is returned in a condition that is worse than the one you were given it in. If you have run late with the rental, they may also take some of the bond as way of a late fee. The best thing to do is talk to the person at the time when you are returning the item to make sure they are happy so you don't get any surprises. If they do take bond, you get your chance to have your say through the feedback feature.

    The key with having as positive a journey on Open Shed as possible is communication- so always make a point of checking in with the other person so you have the chance to talk out any issues.

  • I didn't agree to a bond!

    Yes you did. All rentals on Open Shed have their bond amounts clearly displayed. It is also part of the Terms and Conditions you have agreed to as a member when you signed up. It's your responsibility to make sure what you agree to in terms of rental and bond amounts are what you are willing to pay.

Nitty gritty

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