How To's & FAQ

Videos, Infographics, and everything you need to know to borrow from us!

About Borrow Don’t Buy

Are you open?

YEAA, we are open for borrowing Tuesday to Friday from 9am until 6:30pm. Pre-booking is mandatory for collections.

Are you a shop? Can I pick up / drop items at a different time?

No, we are a pickup/drop off location. We have our inventory online and an awesome system for you to browse, pick and select what day and time slot you want to collect your items.

You will have to return the items during our opening times to make sure that one of BDB’s team is in to checkout/checking the item.

Where are you based?

We are based at THINQTANQ, a co-working space in the city centre (Fairbairn House, Higher Lane, PL12AN). It’s in the city centre, just across the Magistrates Court.


How can I get in contact with you?

If you have any questions you can use the contact form on our website, send us an email to, send us a message via Facebook, or call us during our opening hours on 01752 393636.

What are your opening times?

We are open Tuesday to Friday from 9am until 6:30pm.

Borrow Don't Buy - A brief history of our beginnings



Do you take donations?

Short answer is ‘Sometimes’. We’d love to say yes to everything BUT… we have limited space and funds, we have a Wishlist of items that we think will be great for our inventory. We cannot take donations of broken items unfortunately, but we might be able to put you in touch with a local repair cafe!

Member-ship and Items

How do I become a member?

Here’s a shortcut to our Sign-up form: Link HERE

What items can I borrow?

Everything that is in our catalog can be borrowed, check the item’s availability on its calendar under its description and book for when you need it.

What happens if I break an item?

If the item breaks then please do get in touch with us as soon as possible, we understand things happen sometimes. There’s a good chance we can repair a lot of the things in the inventory but if we can’t then we will work with you to decide if it was a fault or user error. We want to make things work for everyone.

How do you clean and check the items?

When an item is returned to BDB, it’s handled by our staff and volunteers who check it over, and that it has been cleaned properly by the previous borrower. It is taken to our workshop where we clean with an appropriate solution, check it is in good working order and put it back into its storage place ready for the next borrower.



Booking & Payments

How do I book an item?

Here’s a short video on how to make a reservation. If you have any issues, please drop us an email at or contact us via our Facebook Page

How can I pay for my reservation?

We are currently only taking online payments through our platform (the platform where you book an item). You will have to save your card details on your account to be able to book and check out items.

When do I pay for my reservation?

You will not be charged when you make a reservation and check out your cart. You will be charged the day before your reservation when ours elves get your reservation ready. Due to the time it takes to get reservations ready, all the reservations will be charged for, even if the borrower does not turn up. 

How can I save my card details for online payment?

If you don’t have a card save on file, here’s a short video on how to do it:


Can I come pick up my reservation at any time?

You will have to come and pick up your reservation during the time slot selected by you when booking the item. Time slots are in place to make sure we avoid gatherings and operate on the safest manner.

What will happen to my item if I don't pick it up?

A lot of work behind the scenes goes on to make sure we have your item ready for you. We will charge every reservation, even if they are not picked-up. Thanks for your understanding.

Do you deliver items?

Unfortunately we are not doing deliveries at the moment. We did pilot a delivery service for a couple of months during 2020 and are now working behind the scene to resume it when possible. We are still not sure what times would be most useful. If you have a preference, please let us know HERE

Can I get someone else to collect or return my items for me?

If it is your first borrow we need you to collect and show us your ID and proof of address, so we don’t allow someone else to collect. For other collections and returns we don’t mind someone doing it on your behalf but any change in person collecting or returning needs to be agreed with our team prior. We will need to know thier name and they will need to show thier ID on collection. Please note that you are still responsible for the state in which it is returned and the items must be clean and in the same condition as it was collected. If the item is not clean, in a good condition or is late or not returned at all you will be liable for all and any fees charged as a result.




Do I need to clean the item before I return it?

Yes, you have to return your item clean, in the same or better conditions than you got it. Otherwise, we will have to charge you a cleaning fee (£5). More importantly, you will be putting our volunteers at risk by not returning the items clean. Thanks for helping us look after our volunteers and members!

What do I need to do to return my item?

There are no time slots for returns. Just come to THINQTANQ within our opening times and ring the Borrow Don’t Buy doorbell. One of our team will come to the door and receive your items.

Do you have late fees?

Yes, we have late fees: £2 per item per day. Yes, this includes days that we are closed and yes, they are high late fees. We do not like having late fees, and we enjoy even less having to enforce them but we have them in place to encourage our members to return their items on time so that other members can enjoy a reliable and professional library of things. With our new procedures to make sure we are Covid-19 safe, late returns put our items out of circulation for days before being able to go back into our inventory and create big inconveniences for our volunteers and members.

I cannot return the item on my return date, what should I do?

Please contact us ASAP by email, phone 01752 393636, or by Facebook Messenger. Our team will be waiting for the item to prep it for the next loan and late fees will automatically start accruing in your account. Other people might have reservations for the same item so it is paramount you try to get it back in time and let us know if you can’t.


Which forms of student ID do you accept?

We accept photo student IDs or NUS cards.

Which universities do you accept?

Any UK University or Higher Education Institution.

Which items can I get my 10% discount on?

The 10% discount is valid for all items and is taken off the total price of the reservation. 

How long does the membership last?

This membership is valid for one year. You can renew your membership yearly but must bring in your ID when you renew.

Do late fees still apply to student membership?

Yes, the same rules apply to all of our extra fees, and the 10% student discount is NOT valid on extra fees accrued.


Where can I read your Terms and Conditions?

When you create an account with Borrow Don’t Buy you’ll be asked to sign our T&C and our Liability Waiver. You can have a proper read (a second one, of course, as you read them before signing them) from here:

    I find your documents (a bit) boring to read, soz... Do you have something shorter?


    What do we do with your details?
    Absolutely nothing! They are stored in a secure GDPR-compliant site and your details are not sold, distributed or passed on to any other entity. We will analyse our anonymized data to make sure we are providing you with the best borrowing experience possible, that’s all.


    Or send us an e-mail to

    Borrow Don't Buy