FAQ FOR SHARERS
PROFILES AND LISTINGS
+ How do I post a listing?
To post a listing, click on 'List your bike' on Cycle.land. You will then be taken through a simple and speedy registration, beginning with the option to sign in with new credentials or through your Facebook account.
+ Can I list more than one bike?
Yes. You can list bikes to your heart's content. Once you have created a profile, you can choose to 'Post a new Listing' on the top right hand side corner of your profile page, as many times as you have bikes to offer.
+ Can I still post a listing if I don't live in Oxford
Absolutely! Though our little home is in Oxford, we already have listings all over the world. Tell your friends and family in your country, city or town about Cycle.land and help our community and your chances of having your bike rented, sprint!
+ What conditions do I have to fulfil in order to rent my bike?
All you need is an available bike in riding condition and a passion for sharing!
+ My bike is not in riding condition. Can I still list it?
We are an inclusive community. We would love it if everyone who owns a bike would share it with others. However, we also have a duty of care and want all of our members to stay safe. If your bike needs a little TLC or you are unsure about its condition, why not take it to a local bike shop for inspection? Bike experts will be able to tell you whether your bike is safe for use and if it isn't they can make sure that it is! We recommend the Broken Spoke Co-cop, but your local bike shop will certainly be able to help as well.
+ How do I take good quality photos?
There are a few tips to follow to take good quality pictures:
- First impressions count! Always include photos of your bike. This ensures browsers and regular cyclists will fall in love with your bike quicker because you are speeding up their decision-making process. We all love to save time!
- Resolution - most smart phones take good quality photos. You can also use a digital camera. Look out for over-pixelation and blurriness. No one likes to come off over-exposed or faded, and your bike certainly won't like it either.
- The right light - avoid direct sunlight or nighttime when taking your photos. Anything from a bright to overcast day should give you good natural lighting.
- Interesting background - do you have a favourite spot in Oxford or do you know the location of an interesting brick wall or unusually patterned fence? Go there. It’ll give your photo more character.
- Go pro - frame your bike well, leaving space to the right and left of the bike. Also, the composition of your photo should aim to show 1/4 ground and 3/4 wall.
+ What contact information should I give the user?
How much information you provide the riders with is completely up to you. You will always have an option to contact them through our website but if you find that this is not convenient for your lifestyle, you can always suggest a different communication platform to the rider while they are renting your bike. Only provide information you feel comfortable sharing with people you do not know.
+ I cannot log in, what is happening?
If you are having difficulties logging in (and you are sure you are entering your details correctly), contact us with the details of your problem. We will then be able to advise on how to solve them.
THE RENTAL PROCESS
+ Can I choose when and for how long to rent my bike?
Yes. Your bike, your choice. You are under no obligation to rent your bike upon every request, and you can rent your bike for as long as you like, provided you don't need it during that time. Once you have agreed to a rental period with the rider, they are not entitled to return it to you until the rental period is over, so plan ahead.
+ Do I have to rent my bike to everyone who wants it?
Who you rent your bike is completely at your discretion. If you are unsure about whether to rent to a specific user or not, consider reading their profile and reviews, but most crucially engage them in an honest and open conversation about your expectations.
+ How do I ensure I get lots of rental requests?
You want to make sure your bike is popular on our site? Great! We do too. The way to achieve this is good communication and availibity. And here is what we mean by that:
- Add photos of your bike
Photos are the first thing the rider will see when they come to our site. If your photos are clear and show your bike is in good condition, riders are more likely to want to ride it. Why not snap a portrait of your bike on a beautiful day with blue skies as a backdrop? Take advantage of the greenery in Oxford and your listing is sure to bloom!
- Price right
When choosing how much to list your bike for, weigh in your finances, the retail price of your bike and the prices set by other sharers on the site. How much is a similar bike being rented for?
- Provide details
Don't leave the rider guessing: give them as much information as you know about your bike. Do a little research if necessary into the bike's specs, features and accessories. Manage expectations and don't leave anything out: does your bike chain make a funny noise when you change gears, is it a bit muddy from last weekend's country escapade?
- Be clear about your availibility
Do you know the exact days/times when your bike will be avaibable? Be specific.
- Reply to requests quickly
Riders are likely to make more than one request at a time on our site. To make sure your bike is the one they rent, respond to their requests as soon as possible.
- Say YES to requests
The more you say YES to requests, the more feedback you will receive, the more trust you will build, the more riders will want to request your bike.
- Specify rental conditions
The more information you provide on your bike's profile page, the less time the rider will need to spend corresponding with you about the details and the quicker they can get on to what they want to do, which is ride your bike. Tell them how long the bike can be rented for, where they can expect to collect and return it and how available you will be to respond to messages.
+ What do I do when I receive a rental request?
When you receive a message from a potential rider, first check whether your bike is available to rent during the period requested. Consider any other details mentioned by the user, and if they are a returning rider, have a look at their profile and read the reviews others have written about them. Once you are ready and you have made a decision about whether to rent your bike to this rider, drop them a friendly and grateful message. They chose your bike from lots of possible options - that's a reason to celebrate!
+ How do I get in touch with the rider?
You can always get in touch with the rider through our online messaging system. All you need to do is log onto your Cycle.land account, find the rider's profile and click 'Contact'.
+ What if the rider requests to meet in person?
You can choose to meet the rider in person if you wish to exchange keys or for any other reason you think might be important. We advise our users to exercise caution and common sense when agreeing to the location and time of day. Why not ask a friend to come along for a ride? Or if you want to ride solo on this, let someone know where you are going and give them the details of who you are planning to meet.
+ I will not be around for handover. Can someone else do this on my behalf?
If you can arrange for someone you trust to do this for you, go ahead. Just check that the rider is happy with this as well. Tell the person who is handing-over for you to exercise the same caution and common sense you would.
If you are out of town when your bike is requested, you can plan ahead and leave someone responsible for your handovers. Let them know first! And remember that speedy communication with the rider is important too.
+ How do I arrange for my bike to be returned?
We recommend that you iron out the details of the rental as early as possible. Tell the rider from the beginning where and when they can collect the bike and whether they need to return it to the same place. If the details change for any reason during the rental period make sure to communicate this to the rider as soon as possible.
+ Where should I leave my bike to be collected? Where should I ask for it to be returned to?
You can choose where to leave your bike for collection and where it should be returned to. This will often depend on your own location and your own access to the bike. In Oxford, many of our users choose to leave their bikes close to major transport arteries, such as Gloucester Green Bus Station, the Train Station or the Park and Rides, so that commuters and visitors have easy access to them. But this is just an idea. Your bike, your choice!
+ What if my bike is not returned?
If you do not find your bike where you were expecting to find it, get in touch with the rider to check whether they are running a bit late on the return. If they get back to you and assure you that they returned the bike but you still cannot find it or if they don't respond, contact us and we will look into the pre-agreed insurance plan we set up for you.
+ What if my bike is returned late?
We encourage all riders to let you know whether they might be late to return your bike. If they don't let you know in advance and this results in any inconveniences for you, let us know. We will do whatever is possible to help you get to where you need to be.
+ Can Cycle.land intervene on my behalf while my bike is rented?
As you know, our business is bicycles, not helicopters - so we will never be a helicopter parent unless you ask us to. If you do need us intervene on your behalf for any reason, let us know and we will find the best way to assist you.
PREPARING YOUR BIKE
+ How do I prepare for my bike to be rented?
You should always list and rent a bike that is in rideable condition. Make sure to check the gears, brakes and chains of your bike before renting it out. If your bike has extra-attachments, make sure these are well-fixed to the bike. We expect that the rider will return the bike to you in the same condition that they found it in. If they don't, make sure to communicate this to them and include any feedback in the reviews. If any concerns arise, contact us.
+ Do I need to adjust my bike to fit the user?
This is entirely up to you. The best way to ensure your bike remains in the condition you would like it to be in is to maintain good communication with the rider. Specify your bike's fittings in your listing and whether you are happy for the fittings to be adjusted. If you prefer the rider not to change you fittings, make sure to let them know.
Bike sharing economy
+ How much should I charge to rent my bike?
How much you charge for renting your bike per day is entirely up to you. You can base you decision on these and/or other questions:
- How much money do I want to make?
- How much would riding my bike be worth?
- How much are similar bikes on the site rented for?
The only details to bear in mind is that the minimum you can list your bike for is £0.50/day.
+ Can I accept other forms of payment from the user (cash, cheques, goats, unicorns, etc.)
No, unicorns are not an acceptable currency (yet)! We have set up PayPal as our only payment method to guarantee the safety of all our community members (we can verify and track transactions in this way). Never accept cash from a rider! If you do, we will not be able to insure your bike because there won't be evidence of a transaction.
+ Does it cost me anything to post a listing?
Listing your bike on Cycle.land is 100% free. Cycle.land currently does not charge a service fee either. Do keep in mind that PayPal does charge per (business) transaction: 3.4% + 20p for each transaction under £1,500. For example, if you set your price at £1, Paypal will take a cut of £0.23 (rounded number). This means that for your £1/day rental bike, you will earn £0.76/day (rounded number).
+ Why do I need a PayPal Business account?
Simple: it's about safety and security for all parties involved. With a Business Account you can make safe business transactions under a company or a group name. It also allows you to accept payment from riders without a PayPal account.
+ How do I get paid using a PayPal Business account?
In order to get paid through our marketplace, you will need to have a PayPal Business Account.
If you already have regular PayPal account you can: a) upgrade your existing account to a Business Account; or b) sign up for a new Business Account.
Once you have your Business Account, you are ready to get paid. On the PayPal website, you can further customise how you receive and reinvest your payment. By adding bank account details, you can transfer money paid into your PayPal Business Account to your preferred bank account.
To upgrade to a PayPal Business Account, go to www.paypal.com/upgrade. If you are an individual, you can enter your own name when PayPal asks for a "business name".
Note that in some countries, PayPal might require some extra verification: don't hesitate to contact PayPal support to learn more about the details related to such an upgrade in your local area.
Finally, the seller PayPal account must be configured to accept payment in your marketplace currency.
+ I am not in the UK, can I still use PayPal?
You will be able to use PayPal in any country that supports it. However, not all countries support receiving money, i.e. selling goods. To find out whether selling is supported in your country, consult the Sharetribe support information here.
+ How does the PayPal payment flow work?
Though intuition will guide you through the necessary clicks, here is a breakdown of what happens during the rental process.
- Once you have posted your listing and defined the price for your bike, the rider will be able to open the listing and message you to enquire about the availibility of the bike.
- If you agree to rent the bike on the date/s requested, the rider inputs the dates and clicks on the 'Rent' option on the listing.
- The rider reviews the details of the purchase and clicks "Checkout with PayPal". They are taken to PayPal to complete the payment.
- Once the payment is done, the rider is taken to a page that displays the transaction details. They are told that you need to accept the transaction before the money is transferred.
- You will then receive an email notification of a new transaction that needs to be accepted. If the transaction is not accepted within 3 days, the transaction is cancelled and no money is transferred. Once accepted, the money (minus PayPal's payment processing fee) is transferred to the sharer's PayPal account. Both parties get a receipt of the transaction via email. Note that Cycle.land currently is not taking a transaction fee on top of PayPal's transaction fee.
- Now, both you and the rider can freely discuss the handover details. When the rental period is over, you can both mark the order as completed and review each other.
+ When will I get paid?
PayPal will release your payment for a completed transaction as soon as you accept the purchase or booking request. Sharetribe has more information in this regard if you want to find out more.
+ Can I cancel a booking?
Life happens, we get it. Any booking can be cancelled by you or the rider until noon for rentals starting the next morning, and until midnight for rentals starting the next afternoon or evening. If a rental is cancelled, the rider will be reimbursed 100% of their payment.
- If you are the one who needs to cancel, we recommend that you get in touch with the rider as soon as you know you will not be able to offer your bike so they have time to get another one. Once you reach out to them, you will also need to contact us to arrange reimbursing the rider. You will be able to authorise refunds through your PayPal account. The same will apply if you attempt to cancel once the rental period has started, with the added penalty that the rider will likely write a negative review about their experience.
- If the rider cancels on you before the rental period starts, do refund them promptly through your PayPal account and get in touch with us. ShareTribe support explains how refunds are organised on PayPal. If they cancel after the rental period has started, you do not have to return the money.
+ Can I sell my bike on Cycle.land?
Though it is a good idea to sell your bike on a dedicated bike platform, Cycle.land operates solely as a sharing platform. You can find points of sale for bikes through a simple google search.
+ Do I have to declare my income on my tax return?
If you are in the UK, having to declare how much you earn on Cycle.land every year will depend on how much money you are making. Anything under £1,000/per year does not need to be declared. If you are making more than £1,000, we are definitely impressed and we congratulate you! We also encourage you get those tax forms sorted!
+ Can more than one person ride my bike under one booking?
This is technically possible, though we do not recommend it to our riders. This is because if anything happens to the bike while it is rented out, the rider who made the transaction will be responsible for the damages, regardless of whether they were riding it at the time or not.
+ What happens if someone gets hurt or their property is damaged while using my bike?
Before a rental period is confirmed, the rider has to agree to our Rental Agreement, which specifies that neither you nor us are liable for any accidents or damages they incur. As a sharer, you are never responsible if the rider gets injured on a ride. At the same time, you could help to minimise any risks by making sure your bike is always in tip top rideable condition.
+ Will my bike be insured while it is rented out?
Punctures, accidents and theft happen. C'est la vie - and though we wish we could eradicate all evils relating to cycling, we are focusing on changing the culture one project at a time. What we can offer you is a guarantee that you will be reimbursed for issues that arise with your bike while it is rented through us (this will be trated on a case-to-case basis depending on the value of the bike). To make use of that guarantee, you have to send us an email with the value of your bike and how much you would expect to be reimbursed in the event that the bike got stolen or damaged, so we can negotiate a worst case scenario plan with you. You need to have this plan confirmed by us before starting the renting process. You should also communicate the value of your bike to possible riders before they rent it, so they are aware of this as well.
Should this scenario take place, you should first communicate with the rider, as they are responsible for your bike during the renting period. If you cannot reach an agreement, do contact us so we can help you with negotiations.
+ What if my bike is damaged in any way?
You are not responsible for any damage, loss or injury that happens while your bike is rented out through us. This will always be the responsibility of the rider. For example, if your bike gets a flat tire during the rental, it is the rider’s responsibility to repair the bike or pay for a replacement.
If the rider does not honour this commitment, then the previously agreed insurance cover agreed with us will take effect. Make sure to contact us to discuss this before you rent your bike out. We cannot process any claims unless we have agreed to the cover terms beforehand.
+ What if my bike gets stolen?
If your bike gets stolen while rented out, the rider is responsible for raising the appropriate claim with the police. Once they have done this and contacted you with a police report, contact us so that we can process your claim and put in place whatever insurance cover we previously agreed with you. We cannot agree to cover you after the incident, so do not rent your bike out until you have received a confirmation from us that we will cover the cost of your bike in the event of theft.
+ Do I need to report incidents/accidents that occur to the rider while renting out my bike?
No, the Rental Agreement signed by the rider states that they will be responsible for dealing with any unforeseen events that occur while they using your bike. If the incident requires filling in documentation (for example, a police report) that you will then need to claim insurance, the rider should provide you with it as soon as possible. If the rider leaves you in the dust, get in touch with us. We definitely won't leave you behind!
+ I have reason to believe the rider has lied to me about an incident on my bike. What do I do?
If you have proof or reason to believe that a rider has made a false statement about the conditions of your bike and you have not been able to resolve this directly with them, contact us with details about the situation. We want to encourage our members to communicate honestly and directly with each other but like in any relationship, sometimes neutral parties are needed to reach an agreement. A good way to prepare for these situations is to always have up-to-date images of your bike that can be used as proof of its condition at the time of rental.
Feedback and Reviews
+ Why do I need to write a review?
Reviews are one of the cornerstones of our community. They keep our members honest, friendly and engaged. By writing a review, you are helping other members make informed decisions about renting bikes on Cycle.land. When writing a review, think about the details of your experience: What will other community members find useful to know? Did the rider take good care of your bike? Did they behave in a cordial and friendly manner? Did they respond to your messsages quickly?
+ Can I delete a review?
Reviews keep our community honest and dynamic. Once a rental period has ended both you and the rider will have a chance to review the experience. Once a review is posted, it can be seen by all community members and cannot be deleted through your personal account. If you have any concerns about a review you have received, let us know.
+ Can I reply to a review?
Reviews are currently set up as a feedback feature on our platform. After the rental period is over, both parties will have a chance to have their voices heard and talk about their experiences from their point of view only. If you would like to respond to the rider's review, you can reach out to them directly through the contact link on their profile.
+ How do I improve positive feedback?
There are a number of things you can do to improve your ratings and to guarantee that more and more riders come back to you to rent your bike. Think of your profile and listing as an opportunity to stand out: take clear and visible photos of yourself and your bike - perhaps choose a visually enticing background as a frame for your bike! You will also raise your profile by doing things like answering queries quickly, providing extra accessories or tips to riders and by going the extra mile! Why not leave a little welcome note on your bike or a water bottle in the basket for the rider to find? It's all in the details!