NeighborGoods FAQ

What is NeighborGoods?
NeighborGoods.net is the leading social platform for peer-to-peer borrowing and lending. Need a ladder? Borrow it from your neighbor. Have a bike collecting dust in your closet? Lend it out and make a new friend. By sharing with your neighbors, you can save money while reducing waste and strengthen your local community in the process. Best of all, NeighborGoods provides all the tools neighbors need to share safely and confidently in a trusted local community.

What should I add to my inventory?
Start off with stuff that you don't use very often such as party supplies (folding chairs and tables), sporting equipment, and power tools. You can also check out the wishlists of people near you and add things they are looking for! Once you start using the site more, you'll find that you can get more value out of all the stuff you own including clothing, books, and household appliances.

What types of items get borrowed most frequently?
Instead of spending a ton of money buying stuff all the time, it makes more sense to borrow or rent something you only need occasionally for a short period of time.  Popular items include bicycles, ladders and sleeping bags.

Is it safe to share my stuff on NeighborGoods?
NeighborGoods is a safe and friendly environment for sharing items. You have complete control over who borrows your stuff. You set the privacy controls for each item in your inventory and you can even charge a rental fee or deposit.

NeighborGoods helps facilitate transactions with a reservation calendar, automated reminders, wishlist alerts, and private messaging between neighbors. NeighborGoods keeps track of all your stuff.

Through peer ratings and reviews, NeighborGoods provides members with all the tools they need to share safely and confidently. 

Who can start a group?
Anyone can create a public or private group, free of charge, for their neighborhood, small town, small business, apartment building, sports team or religious organization. You can begin creating a group here

How do I view a user’s application to join my private group?
When you are viewing your group's homepage, select the "View Pending Members" under moderator tools on your group's homepage. You will see the user listed under pending members and you have the option to review their application and accept or decline their request.

How do I share an item only with a certain group or groups?
When you add an item in the "who can borrow this item" drop-down menu select "share privately with group(s)." You will then have the option to check off the group(s) you would like to share the item with.

How do I cancel my group?
You can cancel your group at anytime by clicking the "cancel group" button under Moderator Tools while viewing the group homepage. You'll be asked to provide a brief description about why you would like to cancel the group and once you click confirm, your group will be permanently delted.

What's a Pro account?
When you upgrade your account you will receive a badge on your profile letting everyone see that you help support the community and you'll automatically have access to more stuff!

You can upgrade with your PayPal account for just $9.99. 

How do you keep my home address safe?

We never share your home address with anyone. Items are placed on the map with approximate location by zip code only. You decide where to meet neighbors to share stuff.

Why should I share my stuff with someone I don't know?
You don't have to. If you like, you can share your stuff only with your friends. But the more you share with others, the more your neighbors will share with you. It's simple, really. Everyone wants to save a little money. And wouldn't it be cool if you met your neighbors in the process?

How much does it cost to use NeighborGoods?
Borrowing and lending items on NeighborGoods is free of charge. Members may charge a deposit or a rental fee for the use of their items, but NeighborGoods does not charge transaction fees. Members may choose to upgrade their account for $9.99, but upgrading is totally optional.

What if something goes wrong? (Somebody breaks my item or doesn't show up?)
We haven't had any problems yet but nobody's perfect, and of course, sometimes things go wrong. NeighborGoods does not take responsibility for any failed or less than perfect transactions. But we do give members tools to take care of issues amongst each other. Peer ratings and comments are among the primary review systems for items and members on the network. If something doesn't go well with someone, your feedback will be visible for other members when they're deciding if they should share with that person. And if something goes really wrong, you can always hit the PANIC button!

What is the PANIC button?
The PANIC button is our peer-to-peer conflict resolution system. If someone doesn't return an item on time, for instance, you can push the PANIC button. The PANIC button sends a message to the person (as well as to us) and marks his/her profile with a very visible public alert that can be seen by everyone on NeighborGoods: "This user is involved in an unresolved transaction problem!" The alert remains on the profile until the user resolves the issue with you and you remove it. If a member is repeatedly causing panics, we may decide to disable his/her account.

What if someone gets hurt while borrowing my stuff, is NeighborGoods liable?
NeighborGoods acts as a connector only. The transactions happen off site between individual users. We give you all the tools you need to decide who to share with. Beyond that, it's just like if you lend something to a neighbor without using NeighborGoods. Since we are not directly involved in the transaction, we cannot set terms of the agreement between users.

We recommend making sure that whatever you share is in good condition and if any special instructions are necessary that you include them in the item description. If you're worried about lending out something dangerous, stick to sharing with folks you know.

What if I can’t find what I'm looking for?
If you've been just dying to try out a bedazzler but you can't find one near you, you can add it to your wishlist! Everyone nearby will see that you are looking for a bedazzler. When someone near you adds a bedazzler to their inventory, you will get an automatic alert message.

What do I do if I lose my password?
If your login fails, you will be prompted to reset your password.

How do I cancel my account?
Go to http://neighborgoods.net/editprofile and you will see an option in the right sidebar: "cancel account."

How do I block a user who is bugging me?
Click on the "Block this person" button on his/her profile. Blocking a person means they will no longer be able to request your stuff, send you messages, or leave comments on your pages. To unblock, simply click "Unblock this person" on their profile.

I requested an item but the owner hasn't responded. What can I do?
Go to the active transaction on your dashboard and add a comment to the transaction. This will send the owner an email to check out your message.

How do I report a bug or abuse?
You can report bugs or give feedback via our GetSatisfaction forum. Just click on the big Feedback button or visit http://getsatisfaction.com/neighborgoods. If you prefer to contact us directly, use our contact form.

How can I choose which emails I receive from NeighborGoods?
You can choose which emails you receive from NeighborGoods by clicking "Email options" on the edit profile page. Please note that you cannot disable emails associated with transaction updates or the Panic Button. We need a way to reach you to make sure you respond to your neighbors in a timely fashion.

How do you calculate the amount of money I've saved?
The amount of money you save by borrowing and renting items is calculated against the original value of the item and tallied under "you saved." For example, if you rent something for $10 and its estimated value is $20, you've saved $10. Each time you borrow or rent something instead of buying it at its estimated value, you save money and we add that to your total saved.

How do you calculate the amount of money I've saved my neighbors?
Each time you rent or lend something to a neighbor, they are saving the difference between the estimated value and the rental price. If your tent is worth $200 and your neighbor rents it from you for $40, he has saved $160. Each time you share something with your neighbors, the amount of money they save is added to the total you've saved your neighbors.

Who made NeighborGoods?
NeighborGoods was created by Micki Krimmel, the founder. Alan P. Berger is the current Executive Director and hs been running the site and service as of January, 2014. Feel free to contact Alan at alan@neighborgoods.net.

What's the point?
Our mission is to help members live less wasteful and more connected lives.

How can I tell you how awesome NeighborGoods is?
Well we're sure glad you think so! We want to hear from you no matter what you think. Visit our feedback forum at http://getsatisfaction.com/neighborgoods. Or send us a message on our contact form!