Today’s post is about Borrow-it, a new app soon to be launched in Bristol which puts people in touch with others to borrow and share items, the only app which enables people to do this.
Local parents are being called on to test Borrow-it before it is formally launched so email firstname.lastname@example.org and say you’d like to be involved and read on to find out more about Borrow-it, the kinds of items you can borrow and lend, the advantages of using it both for yourself, your family and the environment, plus how you can get started using it…
Please explain to Bristol Mum readers about the Borrow-it app.
We will launch the app in Bristol shortly and would love local parents to help us test it. Borrow-it is an app, available for IoS that puts people in touch with each other so they can share their own belongings whilst making a bit of money or borrow things they need from other people. It is the only app of it’s kind that lets people do this.
We are a small team trying to get something off the ground that we really believe could help people’s day-to-day lives (and their pockets). It’s new so we are looking for groups of testers at the moment (more of that later).
Who can use Borrow-it?
Anyone and everyone, but we do think it will be particularly useful to parents. So many of us have garages and attics full of things we only use a few times a year, such as camping equipment, outgrown bikes and garden equipment. To be able to make a bit of cash out of those things is helpful to any family.
We also think the ability to be able to borrow something that you only need a few times a year (like a roof box) or want to try out without having to spend lots of money buying new will be really beneficial to parents.
What are the advantages of using it?
There are loads of benefits that people can get: It can make you some money from your ‘idle’ items; it can save you money by borrowing rather than buying; it helps the environment, both by keeping things out of landfill and reducing the waste produced by manufacturing; it will help you get to know people in your local community who you may not have otherwise met; and, it can give you the freedom to let your children try out new hobbies without having to buy expensive equipment.
Things like sailing or windsurfing are such brilliant sports for kids to get involved in, but can often be prohibitively expensive for parents. We hope this app may help to level the playing field in some way.
What kind of items can parents borrow and lend?
People have already started adding buggies, scooters and balance bikes, but really anything (except dogs, cats, children or firearms). Lawnmowers, ladders, tents, barbecues, boats (there’s already a dingy on the app).
What was the inspiration behind the design of the Borrow-it app?
Well the idea of the app came when James, our founder, was away from home and thought about how often people must forget their phone chargers and how there must be a way to solve the problem using technology.
It grew from there when people he spoke to suggested that it wasn’t just phone chargers that people needed on an adhoc basis and that actually it could help people to make some money by lending out a whole raft of belongings that they hardly use.
Some of the inspiration for the design was because we really wanted the app to be easy to use and this principle has guided development. We listened to loads of friends and family too who gave some great (and honest!) feedback and we incorporated this.
They told us for example that they want to be able to search for items by category and so we’re working on this. We’ve also looked at other successful apps and tried to learn from what they’re doing right.
Does it cost people to download the app?
The app is completely free to download, Borrow-it charges a flat £1 for each transaction to the borrower. The lender puts up a daily price to borrow the item and the terms are agreed between the borrower and lender. All payments are taken using Paypal.
How can Bristol Mum readers get started using Borrow-it?
As long as they have an iPhone or iPad they can download the app directly from the app store or click ‘use app’ on our Facebook page.
After that it is really simple just to take a couple of pictures of what you want to lend out and put them up on the app with a simple description.
If you want to borrow something but it’s not up there you can put out a ‘request to borrow’ which will go out to people in your local area.
Is there anything that you would like to add about Borrow-it?
YES! We really want people to test the app out. It is still really new and we think it’s looking great, but there are a few areas we want to improve. We would love some help to see if we have missed anything and to get some feedback so we can be confident when we launch the next version in the city that it works for the people we think will use it.
Because we really see the benefits to parents of the app we wanted to ask them first. We have chosen Bristol as our test area because one of our team lives there and another is from the area originally and we think it is a great city with a strong identity and a real buzz about it. People in Bristol care about the environment and being sustainable and we just felt like it was the right place for us to start from too.
We are asking your readers if they would be happy to test out the app and let us know what they think. They can get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com or ask any questions on our Borrow-it Facebook page or Twitter account @borrow_itapp.
You can also find out more about Borrow-it by visiting http://www.borrow-itapp.com/.
If you would like to test Borrow-it before it is formally launched please email firstname.lastname@example.org and say you’d like to be involved.