Using OLIO

What is OLIO?
OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away.

Where is OLIO available?
OLIO is available to be used anywhere in the world.

What devices does OLIO work on?
OLIO is available on iOS, Android, and web.

OLIO requires at least iOS 8.0 or Android 4.1 and upwards. OLIO is supported by the iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and is optimised for the iPhone 5 and higher. We do not recommend using OLIO on the iPod Touch. We also have a web-based version of the app that can be used on desktop or mobile devices.

Do I have to give and take to use OLIO?
No. Many people will do both, but some people will only add, and others will only request. It’s up to you.

Can I sell items for money?
No, you can only list items on OLIO for free or for a donation to a charity.

Why can’t I sell items for money?
Having conducted multiple surveys and spent hundreds of hours speaking with our users, what is very clear is that we all believe in building hyper-local sharing communities based on the principles of reciprocity and waste reduction, and not on commercialisation. Plus, on a very practical level, there are plenty of alternative apps and websites for selling.

What should I do if several people request the same item?
It’s totally up to you. For example, you could take a ‘first come, first served’ approach. Otherwise you might want to give your item to someone who’s never collected from you before, or even to the person who makes the friendliest request!

Who sees what items on OLIO?
You can filter items by distance from you, and by how recently they were added.  All users with the app can customise notifications to determine what items they are notified about. In order to share the OLIO love as widely as possible, and to give all our users a fair chance of requesting items, certain users may experience a small delay in what items they see/are notified about, to give others a chance.

What should I do if I see an inappropriate listing?
It is easy to report an inappropriate listing on OLIO. If you’re on the app simply tap on the pink flag icon in the bottom right hand corner of the listing photo on the listing detail page. If you’re on the web version, please email the listing URL to

What do I do if another user is inappropriate or doesn’t show up to collect an item when they said they would?
It is very important that OLIO users treat each other with respect and courtesy. If another user is inappropriate or does not show up to collect an item please click on a user’s profile, scroll to the bottom and tap “Report this profile/user”.

What are the best practices when uploading an image?
We have found that for best results upload a photo of the actual item that shows its condition. Do not use stock images. Only take an image of the item being offered and avoid busy backgrounds.