Bid & Borrow is the ethical and innovative new way to acquire through hire from the local community.
The website went live in March 2010. The site is the brainchild of Kelly Scales, 40 year old from Brighton.
It enables lenders to make money from the “stuff” they already have around their home without having to part with it completely and borrowers to get what they need, when they need it, without forking out the full market value.
From designer dresses to diving equipment and iPads to camping gear, borrowing is hailed as the new buying.
The company said: “Bid & Borrow’s fundamental principle is ‘don’t acquire, hire’.
“It’s about not being limited to the things we can afford to buy and have space for, but making use of all those unwanted Christmas presents, unused gadgets, unworn clothes and unloved items we all have around the home, but aren’t quite ready to part with permanently.
“Consumerism today is wasteful, ecologically unsound and self-destructive. It’s also expensive and has resulted in spiralling personal debt around the world. Instead of needing to buy more things, now we can borrow them.”
“The concept of Bid & Borrow follows a quiet revolution in the way we consume goods.”
The Bid & Borrow team are continuing the interest in the goods of others like websites including Ebay which enables consumers to buy second hand and Freecycle which lets users pick up other peoples’ unwanted goods for nothing.
The idea of sharing what we already have has been gaining momentum and even has a name: “Collaborative consumption”. It describes the rapid, worldwide explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities.
Bid & Borrow are creating a University of Sussex student network to enable students to share their possessions and skills – from textbooks to skiing gear to language tutors – readers can lend out their belongings and make money from friends and neighbours.
One final year English student said: “For years my mum has always told me to reuse whatever I could and not to buy a new book if the local charity shop had a second hand copy and until I got to university, I never fully appreciated the importance to reuse and recycle. So the idea of Bid and Borrow, encouraging people to borrow goods, etc is amazing. We need to get away from the idea that new is always better, it isn’t. Sometimes Amazon’s used copies can be in a better condition than the new copies oddly enough.”
Anyone interested can access the website at: www.bidandborrow.com.