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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. 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?
No, but you will have access to considerably more offers if another member takes up your offer of at least one item or service. Remember, Sharebay is a community 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. You'd be surprised what you have that could be of great value to someone else.
Why should I give my stuff away for free?
Sharebay provides an alternative way 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 - which is not always easy and can be limiting. Sharebay uses an implicit trading model, where, acts of generosity are reciprocated across the community over time instead of directly with the giver.
What if someone profits from my generosity?
The majority of users on Sharebay are people who genuinely want to help. But we also have various safeguards in place to ensure that members adhere to their original registration pledge.
Badges tell you how much a member contributes and denotes their overall trustworthiness on the site based on giving activity. Also, you can read their transaction history in the Transaction Record on their profile page. Suspicious users and listings can be reported by anyone. When numerous reports are received their data is taken down immediately.
We always recommend checking a member’s profile before choosing to deal with someone you don't know.
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 broken down into reviews, trust score calculating giving activity, and badge level. These metrics 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 link to their record displayed under the name in their profile.
Every member also has a private Transaction Record where they can view all their current and previous transaction activity. (This record is only visible to you)
The item I want is in another country. How can I arrange delivery?
Where collection is not possible, users can use Sharebay's Safe-Pay system to organise and pay for collection / delivery of the item. Users shipping the item must be prepared to pay for delivery initially, but Sharebay will hold onto the delivery money of the member receiving the item and will release it to the item giver once delivery of the item is confirmed by the item receiver. Sharebay's Safe-Pay uses Paypal to send money internationally.
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 respond, 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.
Can i ask for a deposit before a member receives my offer?
Yes, but to prevent a possible loss to you and reduce a dependency on needing money, it would be safer to use a non-monetary form of deposit when possible.
An example with using Numero Set for this purpose:
In Sharebay's private messenger, type as follows to the member responding to your listing but without the “” Quotation Marks and replace John with the responding member's name:
“Hello John, please fill out the following details in these fields in your Numero Set account and hit Transfer:
Description: Lawn mower available to collect
The 400 number represents the listing member's Numero Set account number that the listing responder sends their deposit of Numero points to.
The 15 number represents the amount of points the listing responder agreed they will send to you upon responding to your listing and starting the transaction.
Upon confirmation that the transaction is confirmed, the lister then sends the points back with a transaction confirmation written in the same fields in your Numero Set account as follows:
Description: Confirming Sharebay transaction for Lawn mower available to collect
The 388 number (John) represents the Numero Set member that responded to your Sharebay listing that you return their points back to. You will see this number in your Numero Set ledger underneath 'Account'. You can identify it by matching it with the description.
Description represents the Sharebay listing's title. If the Sharebay member didn't use a title for their listing, write out in the description field an approximate title based on the description in the Sharebay member's listing.
You can optionally send some or half of the deposit back sooner if for example the lister has promptly collected the item, but not yet confirmed that the transaction is complete.
Review Alternative trade systems for more that might be usable for this purpose.
I've given more than once or have many live offers. Why is my badge level still silver and not gold?
Badges are calculated using the unique number of times you gave to different members. Giving more than once to a single member only gets counted as one 'give', whereas giving to two members is counted as two gives, etc. This is to protect the community from would-be abusers.
For the same reason, we limit the number of trust score points a member can get by just listing an offer. You get one point for a live offer up to a maximum of three points for three offers. Further offers don't get counted towards your trust score. (Note, these restrictions only apply to your trust score and badge level. Your full score of gives and offers can still be seen on your profile under the 'trust' bar)
For further questions get in touch.