FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Using the app

What is OLIO?
OLIO is a free app connecting 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 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. At the moment we don’t have a Windows app or desktop version, but we will be launching a desktop version in 2017.

What can I add to OLIO?
You can add both food and non-food items. Anything you have of value that you no longer want can be shared.

What can I add to the WANTED section?
You can create a listing requesting any food or non-food household items from your neighbours. Please note that the request must be specific e.g. ‘A cup of sugar’, ‘A chair’.

Any non- specific requests e.g. ‘Help needed’, ‘Food wanted’ will be taken down. The request must also be for a thing e.g. ‘A table’, rather than a service e.g. ‘A dog walker’, as OLIO is all about ensuring that our planet’s most precious resources don’t go to waste.

What food can I add to OLIO?
OLIO is for anything edible, no matter if loose, raw, cooked, opened, unopened… etc. There are guidelines, but generally speaking if it’s food you would eat, then it’s okay for OLIO. For example, see what was added on OLIO last week.

Can I add food items that have already been opened?
Yes! Here are some examples

Brunch leftovers
Half a not yet ripe avocado
3/4 Madagascan Vanilla cheesecake

Can I add food that is past its ‘best before’ date?
You can add food that is past its best before date, which is the date referring to the quality and shelf life of a product, not safety. However, please only add items that you would be willing to eat yourself.

Can I add food that is past its ‘use by’ date?
We do not encourage anyone to supply food that has expired its “use by” date, the date marked on perishable foods indicating the recommended date by which it should be used or consumed. If you’re a business it is illegal to sell or give away food after its use by date.

Can I add alcohol to OLIO?
Yes, you can add alcohol to OLIO for free or for donation to a charity. It is also your responsibility to ensure the person you are giving the alcohol to is of legal drinking age in your country. Alcohol cannot be left in OLIO Drop Boxes.

Can I add baby formula to OLIO?
OLIO agrees with government advice that breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible. Infant milks should only be used on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, or other professionals responsible for maternal and child care. OLIO does not advertise or promote the use of infant or follow-on formulae but is happy for you to use the app to share surplus infant and follow on formulae with parents who have already made the informed choice to use such products. The sole purpose of OLIO is to help to reduce food waste.

What non-food items can I add to OLIO?
You can add any non-food items that you wish (e.g. kitchen equipment, toiletries, cleaning products, cosmetics, furniture, clothes, toys etc). You are not allowed to add any controlled substance (including but not limited to solvents, weapons or fireworks) for which you do not hold the relevant license to do so.

Can I add fake or counterfeit goods to OLIO?
No, it’s illegal to add fake or counterfeit goods to OLIO regardless of whether they’re labelled as such, or listed for free/donation to charity. All listings for counterfeit goods will be removed.

Can I add animals to OLIO?
No, you cannot use OLIO to give away pets or live animals.

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 the app?
All users can customise their notifications to determine what items they are notified about. And when you open the app you can filter items by distance from you, and by how recently they were added. 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 on the app?
It is easy to report an inappropriate listing on OLIO. Simply tap on the pink flag icon in the bottom right hand corner of the listing photo on the listing detail page.

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.