Frequently Asked Questions
What if my FAQ isn't on this list?
Email us at with as much detail as is relevant.
English isn't my first language - how can I translate the website?
We are still in the early stages of development and so we have not been able to translate it into every language yet. However for a rough, but generally understandable, translation, you could use http://babelfish.yahoo.com for the following languages: French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Greek, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese and Russian. There are also various website who can automatically translate it into other languages.
How do I turn off new member alerts?
Once you've signed in, click the Profile link to edit your Profile. Tick the Turn off new member alerts box and press Update.
How can I guarantee that other people will return the favour?
You can't. This idea is about trust in humanity and the universe. That trust is your only guarantee. But also, it's about giving in a spirit that you don't even care if you receive, as the giving is just another form of receiving; if it makes you feel good, everything else is a bonus.
Is it safe?
Members can leave references for members. If someone has a lot of positive messages, then the risk factor is getting very small.
However we cannot guarantee that every member is genuine, though we'd like to think they are. What we do suggest though is that on first meeting someone you should have another friend around as well, or at least tell someone that you are having a Freeconomist around.
But remember, this idea is about trust. So take care, but not too much.
What if someone wants to do work but asks for a fee?
Explain to the person this site is called Freeconomy and not Feeconomy, and you want to reduce the amount of money that changes hands, not increase it, and so you cannot offer financial remuneration.
Then contact the site administration and report them and we will send out a warning. If the same member is reported again, their membership is withdrawn.
But we don't think we'll ever have to do it.
What if I get inundated with requests because no one else has my skill?
However if you help more people, you'll have more friends and therefore help build more community. And if you also teach people as you're lending a hand, then eventually there will be more people to do that skill, and you won't get so many requests! The bigger this community gets, the less everyone will have to do!
What happens if someone breaks my tools?
The freeconomy community's role in this is to make it possible for fellow freeconomists to see who has what tools and to then enable them to make contact. What agreements individual members come to regarding the terms of loaning equipment is completely up to the two parties involved.
Having said that, this is project based on trust. We would like to think members would offer their tools on a trust basis and that if another member accidentally caused some damage to the tool, that they would reciprocate the kindness and take responsibility for it. That is the spirit this community is founded on.
What if there is no one else in my town?
It means you are a pioneer and a potential leader. First, check out the Spread the Word page on this site, print off the poster and leaflet and put it up in your community centre, local notice board, nearby organic / health food shops, or anywhere else that will accept it! Then tell all the friends you already have about the idea, and tell them to tell theirs, and them to tell theirs and so on. In no time there'll be people there you don't know with skills you don't have.
This project needs people who can take the lead, especially in areas of lower population. Be proud to be one of them.
What if a skill I have isn't listed?
First, search for it; it might just be in a category you didn't expect. If you still cannot find it, you can . No skill is too ridiculous! We have over 1,500 skills already in our database though, so we don't expect too many additions!