Consumer sharing

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03.Tool sharing and rental


Increasing growth in Australia’s urban centres is another factor in the rise of consumer sharing. According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT), our population has grown by about three million people over the last decade, mostly in major cities.

Greater urban density and less people per household mean fewer garden sheds and reduced opportunities to borrow. In addition, asking a neighbour to borrow something is not always an easy option.

Fortunately, websites like and have provided an answer. These resources allow you to rent anything from drills to drum kits and anything else you can imagine. Owners set the rental price, bond, terms and conditions of renting, and the potential renter can decide whether it is worthwhile.

Are there any risks?

Just like borrowing from your neighbour, there is some risk involved but taking precautions can minimise problems. “People renting items set their expectations when they list an item,” says Director and Co-founder of, Lisa Fox. 

“We encourage people to check out member community ratings on the profiles, and we provide a secret digital code that ensures no money changes hands until both parties are happy.”

Users of the Open Shed website can organise to meet in a public place if they don’t want people coming to their home address, but the site is designed with community spirit in mind. 

“Open Shed members don’t treat each other like big businesses. We think it’s a good way for communities to get organised and share the things they need for a fair price,” says Fox.

Renting can save you time and money with easy access to items you will only use once or twice, and you might even be able to rent out something of your own. However, if renting is not your thing, you could also use one of many websites to swap or even pick up the things you need for free. 

See our sharing resources for more.

  • Researching and buying a product can take time, but renting is largely commitment free in comparison.
  • If you only need to use a product for a short time, renting can save you money.
  • Renting can be good for the environment as it saves shipping, packaging and other associated costs.

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