For visitors

What kinds of things can I bring to the Repair Café?

You can bring the following to the Repair Café: electrical appliances, clothing, furniture, crockery, housewares, bicycles, toys etc. Anything that’s broken (and which you can manage to carry on your own to the Repair Café) is welcome and has a good chance of getting properly repaired. If you wish to know for sure whether someone will be available to help mend your broken item, please get in touch with the organisers of your local Repair Café. You can find them in the visit overview on this site.

My TV/mixer etc. is broken. Can you mend it?

The Repair Café Foundation is, unfortunately, unable to answer questions about whether broken objects can be mended. However, most things do stand a good chance of getting properly repaired. Drop in to the Repair Café in your neighbourhood where a repairer can help you mend the broken item. You don’t need to make an appointment first (see question 6 also). If you wish to make sure that a specialist repairer will be at hand on the day you intend to drop by, please get in touch with the organisers of the Repair Café of your choice. You can find them in the visit overview on this site.

Is there also a Repair Café in Boone (Iowa, USA) / Newark (Ohio, USA) / Warrnambool (Australia) etc?

All Repair Cafés across the globe can be found listed in the visit overview on this site. If the place you are looking for is not listed, then there is no Repair Café as yet in that municipality.

When will the Repair Café London/Palo Alto etc. be open again?

Information about opening times of all Repair Cafés can be found in the visit overview on this site. If no current opening times are listed on our site for the Repair Café of your choice, it means that we have not yet received this information.

Can I also drop by at times other than the given opening times?

No, Repair Cafés are not open every day. They are neighbourhood gatherings that only take place on certain days at arranged times. If you drop by at other times you won’t find any repairers at hand.

Do I have to register if I wish to visit the Repair Café?

No, generally speaking, you can visit Repair Cafés without registering first. If a Repair Café does require registration, the organisers have to clearly state that in their communications. If registration is not mentioned in the announcement about the Repair Café you wish to visit, you can drop by the Repair Café without registering or making an appointment.

I have a broken toaster/pannier etc., but there isn’t a Repair Café close to where I live. What can I do?

There are several options. If needs be, you can travel by car, bus or train to a Repair Café being held further away. You have to bear in mind, however, that any reduction in your ecological footprint gained by repair will be cancelled out the further you have to travel. You can also try, without the help of the Repair Café, to find a volunteer repairer in your own neighbourhood. Tell as many people as possible around you that you have a broken item that needs mending. You never know, maybe a handy neighbour will volunteer to lend a helping hand. Even better, it goes without saying, would be if you start a Repair Café where you live. Not only would you solve your own problem, but also your neighbours’, who are in the same boat as you because they can’t mend their own toaster/pannier etc. either. The Repair Café Foundation is happy to show you the way.

I have a broken washing machine/armchair etc. that is too heavy to take to the Repair Café. Do you also make house calls?

No. Repair Café is not a repair service, but a meeting place where people come together to mend broken items. What you can do when you visit a Repair Café in your neighbourhood is to approach one of the repairers at hand and ask the same question. Who knows? Maybe somebody would be glad to help you out.

How much does it cost to mend things in the Repair Café?

To keep the threshold for visitors to a bare minimum, advice and help from experts in the Repair Café is free of charge. But a voluntary donation is appreciated! In the Repair Café, tip jars and piggybanks are on a table so satisfied visitors can make a donation. The organizers can use these donations to cover some or all of their costs.

For organisers

I would like to start a Repair Café in my neighbourhood. How do I go about it?

The Repair Café Foundation helps local groups set up their own Repair Café. Simply ask for support. Do it as soon as you come up with the idea to start your own Repair Café! This prevents overlaps and makes it possible for us to, for example, put you in touch with other people in your neighbourhood who are interested in starting a Repair Café.

I already organise repair gatherings where I live. Can I post information about them on your website?

You can! The Repair Café Foundation would first like to make a few agreements with you though. Preferably, you also order the Repair Café starter kit. With these materials, you will be well equipped and we will be happy to mention your Repair Café on our website.

I organise a repair event under a different name than Repair Café. Can I announce this on your website?

Repairing, of course, is always a good thing no matter what name you use for that event. However, the Repair Café website is solely used to announce events with the name Repair Café. That way we avoid confusion and make sure the concept is clear. We do heartily invite you to join our global network. Once you start organising your repair event with the name Repair Café, we will gladly announce your event on our website.

I agreed to the condition to always use the Repair Café logo, but I don’t find your logo very attractive and would rather design my own. Am I allowed to do that?

We regret that you do not like our logo, and we understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Still we think that for the recognition – and therefore also the strength of the Repair Café concept – it is important that the logo is used in the communication and publications regarding your Repair Café, if necessary in combination with your own designed logo. That way everyone will know that your Repair Café is part of the global Repair Café movement and that the same activities take place as at other Repair Cafés.

For donators

Can I support the Repair Café Foundation financially?

Please do! We really need your support (see the answer to the question ‘What kind of organisation is the Repair Café Foundation and how is it funded?’ as well). Thanks to your donation, we can give support across the globe to local groups wishing to start their own Repair Café. Via our website we can inform about current Repair Cafés and link them to one another. In addition, we can actively promote the Repair Café concept globally, so even more people get involved on a local level. That’s good news for the environment as well as for mutual contact in neighbourhoods all over the world. You can transfer your donation directly to our account:

Account name: Stichting Repair Café
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Account number: 390470333
Bank name: Triodos Bank
IBAN: NL11 TRIO 0390470333
BIC: TRIONL2U

Thank you very much!

About the Repair Café Foundation

What kind of organisation is the Repair Café Foundation and how is it funded?

The Repair Café Foundation is a Dutch non-profit organisation, which has mainly been financed through Dutch subsidies and donations from Dutch funds in the past few years. Thanks to these donations, the Repair Café Foundation was able to offer its services free of charge until 2013. In the meantime, activities have burgeoned so greatly across the globe that we are no longer able to do so. This is why the Repair Café Foundation now has to ask for a small donation in return for support. We also extend a warm invitation to private individuals and commercial enterprises to give us financial support. Thanks to your donation we will be able to help local groups set up their own Repair Café in the future. You can transfer your donation directly to our account:

Account name: Stichting Repair Café
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Account number: 390470333
Bank name: Triodos Bank
IBAN: NL11 TRIO 0390470333
BIC: TRIONL2U

Thank you very much!

Does the Repair Café Foundation also offer financial support to local groups that want to start their own Repair Café?

Unfortunately, that is not possible. In order to keep up services going in the future, we ourselves also need financial support (also see the answers to questions 17 and 18). We therefore heartily invite you to give us a donation.

You can transfer your donation directly to our account:

Account name: Stichting Repair Café
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Bank name: Triodos Bank
Account number: 390470333
IBAN: NL11 TRIO 0390470333
BIC: TRIONL2U

Thank you so much!

About our webshop

I have paid for the starter kit and received the email with links, but I’m not able to download the documents. What should I do?

Most download problems occur with the additional materials. This is a large folder with lots of files and that is why it takes a while to completely download. Opening documents in the folder before the computer is done with downloading everything causes problems.

The folder with additional materials is so large that it has been compressed (zipped) in its entirety. A “zip” file must first be saved and then unzipped (files extracted) before the documents that are in there can be opened. Unzipping can be done with programs such as winzip or winrar, which can be downloaded online for free.

Sometimes the settings of a web browser are set to open zip files automatically after downloading. However, this automatic opening after downloading often causes problems. We therefore recommend changing this setting. Below you can find instructions on how to do that with the four most common browsers.

Safari:

http://browsers.about.com/od/safar1/ht/safarisafefiles.htm

Google Chrome:

https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95759?hl=en

Firefox:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/change-firefox-behavior-when-open-file

Internet explorer:

http://jwcooney.com/2014/03/31/remove-internet-explorer-open-or-save-popup/

If you’re not really handy with computers, then it might be a good idea to ask someone to help you. Downloading and unzipping the Repair Café materials shouldn’t be too difficult.

Good luck!

I want to order your starter kit, but my organisation needs an invoice in advance to be able to make the payment. In this particular case, could you make an exception in your procedure?

To keep our service affordable, it is important that we adopt just one procedure. It is therefore unfortunately not possible to make any exceptions. When you pay for your order (via Paypal or via money transfer), you will automatically receive a digital invoice – simultaneously with the digital starter pack. If this procedure causes a problem for your organisation, we suggest you personally pay for starter pack and then claim back the expenses from your organisation.

I want to order your starter kit, but my organisation cannot make the payment until we have received the package. In this particular case, could you make an exception in your procedure?

To keep our service affordable, it is important that we adopt just one procedure. It is therefore unfortunately not possible to make any exceptions. If this procedure causes a problem for your organisation, we suggest you personally pay for starter pack after which you will receive a download link for the starter pack. With the invoice – which is sent simultaneously – you can claim back the expenses from your organisation. That way, no one will have to make an exception to their own rules.

How can I pay for your starter kits?

The starter kits can be paid for in two ways: via Paypal or via a direct bank transfer. After you have filled in the necessary information in an order form, you will automatically be led to a cashier’s page where you can choose which method of payment you want to use.

Can I also pay with credit card in your web store?

Unfortunately, that is not possible as this time. The Repair Café Foundation only accepts payments via Paypal or via direct bank transfers.

Other questions

I can repair things/love organising. Can I lend a hand in an up-and-running Repair Café?

Please do! You can get in touch directly with a Repair Café close to where you live.

Do you also come and collect items?

No, visitors are responsible for transporting their belongings to the Repair Café. What you can do when you visit a Repair Café in your neighbourhood is to approach one of the repairers at hand and ask the same question. Who knows? Maybe somebody would be glad to help you out.

Can I donate (broken) items?

No, the Repair Café is not intended as a place where people can get rid of old things. The main intention is that items get repaired so the original owners can use them again. If you would like to donate tools or repair products, please get in touch with a Repair Café close to where you live.

For some repairs, components need to be replaced by spare parts. How do you solve that problem?

The Repair Café does not have a large amount of spare parts in stock. Small things such as switches, plugs, wire, thread or darning wool are often available. If repairs cannot be carried out with what is available, the visitor will usually be given advice on where to buy the material in question and what standards it has to comply with. It might be possible to mend the item later on in the afternoon or else during the next Repair Café.