What's Stuffopolis all about?
Stuffopolis is all about sharing stuff with your friends in a private and secure manner.
I already do that on my own. Why would I want to use Stuffopolis?
First, Stuffopolis does all the work in keeping track of what you have borrowed and loaned among
your friends. We help you remember the details and avoid those awkward questions ("Do you have my Boston CD?").
Second, you get access to all the stuff your friends are willing to share. We make it easy
to browse or search for items among your friends, and we keep you up-to-date on newly available items.
But none of my friends are signed up. Why should I?
Because even if your friends are not signed up yet, Stuffopolis
still helps you keep track of your stuff as you loan it among them. If you forget
who has your Hong Kong Legends Edition of "Police Story", it's okay -
Stuffopolis has your back. If you want to check on exactly how long Bob at the
office has had your "Halo 2" so you can bust his chops at lunch - we can help.
Isn't this more trouble than it's worth?
Consider the advantages:
- No late fees and no set limits on how many items you can have at once.
- You'll be suprised how much stuff your friends have when you add it all
- If your friend owns it, there's a better chance you'll like it.
- If you are considering buying something, with Stuffopolis you can:
- find friends who already own the same or similar item
- view ratings and reviews by your friends
- borrow the item for a test drive
Hmmm...maybe. Tell me how it works.
- Add your stuff.
- Add your friends
Now your friends can see your stuff and request to borrow items from you.
When an item is requested, you will be notified by email. Or, if you have already given it to a
friend, you can just indicate that they have it.
Isn't it a pain to add my stuff?
We've made it very easy to add the most common items (i.e. media: books, movies, CDs).
We've drawn on available resources to fill in as much information about your items as possible so you don't have to.
Alternatively, if your item is not listed, you can always add custom items with your own data
and images. While this requires a little more effort, it gives you great flexibility to list anything
you want. For example: games, tools, sporting equipment, or even little favors you do for friends like
baby-sitting or a ride to the airport.
Do I have to list all my stuff?
No, you can list as much or as little as you choose. Stuffopolis is meant to be a useful
tool for you, so you are encouraged to list any item you are comfortable sharing with your friends. Though not
encouraged, you are also free to list absolutely nothing and just leech off your friends.
How do I add my friends?
All accounts are identified by email address, so you name your friends by email
address as well. If your friend uses a different email address than the one you submit, don't worry --
as long as the right person receives the invitation, she can adjust the address when accepting
Can everybody see my stuff?
No. Only those friends whom you have named can see your stuff. If a random person
joins the site and adds you as a friend, he still cannot see your stuff until you reciprocate.
What if I don't want to lend my stuff for some reason?
Then you say no. You are still the owner, with all the rights and
privileges of an owner. Every request for an item belonging to you requires
your explicit approval. You may deny a request for an item of yours for any reason
whatsoever (or no reason at all). If you are uncomfortable with a request, deny it.
What about shipping? How does shipping work?
How an item gets from you to the other person is totally up to you. Often the
person requesting the item will be local, so no shipping is required. If the item is going out of
town, you determine how to package and ship it. Our only recommendation: ship every item in at
least as secure a manner as you received it.
Wait, you mean I have to pay for the shipping myself?
Yes, you must pay for shipping yourself. But remember:
- Most of the items you will borrow and lend will probably be from friends around town and thus
not require any shipping at all.
- You can deny any out of town requests for your items
- You are shipping the item back and forth between friends, so the cost will balance out.
What if I've loaned out an item, and now I want it back?
Any time an item of yours is not in your possession, you can recall
the item. When you do this, whoever has the item will immediately be notified to return it
What if I loan something to someone who's not a member of Stuffopolis?
Not a problem. We'll help you keep track of that too. Stuffopolis is about
getting more out of your stuff. So if you loan something to a friend who is not a member,
you can mark that item as such. When other friends request that item in the meantime, their
request will wait until you've indicated that the item has been returned.
What happens if things go wrong? Say, an item is lost or damaged?
Stuffopolis does not provide any mechanism for conflict resolution or compensation for
lost or damaged items. We consider that all transactions are between friends, and can be resolved amicably
amongst yourselves. However, used properly, Stuffopolis can help identify where things went wrong.
Damage or loss of an item is a risk, and should be considered when deciding whether to approve or deny
a request for one of your items.
What about when I want to borrow something?
It's the same simple process, just in reverse:
- Search or browse for an item you'd like to borrow and request it.
- If the owner approves, the item will be routed to you when available.
What items are available to me?
The inventory available to you is the sum total of the items owned by those users that
have declared you to be a friend. You cannot see someone else's inventory just by adding them as a friend,
they must reciprocate the trust. Just as you control who can see your stuff, the other person must take a
positive action before you can see their stuff.
What if no other users have declared me to be a friend?
Then you will have nothing available to you. You will still be able to keep track
of your own stuff as it circulates among your own friends. In fact, the best way to encourage people to add
you as a friend is to add your stuff and make it available by adding them first.
How do I keep up with what items are available to me?
We periodically send you an e-mail that summarizes:
- what items are newly available
- any current borrowing and lending you have going on
- recent notifications you have been sent regarding requests involving you
Great. More e-mail for me to deal with. Can I turn it off?
Yes, you can. But we think you should give it a chance. We've made the e-mail summary
flexible and informative:
- You can adjust how often you get the e-mail -- from every day to once a month.
- If there is nothing to report, then the email will not be sent.
Is that it?
Well, that's the heart of it. We are continuously working on new features and making existing
ones easier to use (so let us know if we've missed a spot). Now that we've come to the end of our introduction,
you have a few options: