Is there something you need for a project or a chore that you don’t have and would like to borrow instead of purchasing?

If you find yourself in this sort of dilemma, then Open Shed, a share model established on the philosophy “why buy when you can share?” is the answer.

Nearly two years after the concept was brought to life by Lisa Fox and Duncan Stewart, the site has since grown to 2,000 members, or what they call “Shedders.”

Open Shed now offers a wide selection of things from lawnmowers and chainsaws to wine glasses and picnic hampers and even Wonder Woman costumes.

All items are posted online and if you’re interested in borrowing it, then you have a face-to-face meeting with the owner.

According to Fox, “You’ve got the security of the Open Shed guarantee and people’s feedback. But what can’t be underestimated is that once you shake hands, look each other in the eye and hand over that item, you’re no longer strangers.

“It’s a financial transaction at the heart of Open Shed but social transaction is how people profit most,” she added.

You might want to also check out these similar sites that follow the concept of sharing:

Friends with Things

A retroactive site where people ‘pin’ their notes digitally, borrowing and sharing resources and expertise between neighbours and charging nothing.

Givit

Connecting those that have it with those who need it, Givit lists the most coveted items trusted charities clamour out for, such as blankets for the homeless in winter.

TuShare

The new kid on the block, this site is for people to share things for free. Plus there’s a door-to-door service! They will pick up or deliver any item less than 25kg.

OzRecycle, Ziilch and Freecycle

Now this is a real free market! These excellent sharing sites offer stuff FOC and short-circuit landfill.

Zookal

When students need textbooks to buy or rent, this is the site they go to.

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