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SNAP POLL—WOULD YOU USE A COOKWARE “LENDING LIBRARY”?

Hi, All:

I’ve been asked to go ‘round the horn to inquire here whether there is sufficient interest among the Cookware crowd in starting, participating in, and supporting a free, private (i.e., not under the auspices of CH/CBS) lending library of pots, pans, and maybe more. What is being considered is much like some of the trade-arounds that have been done among the Knife Mafia, except with pots and pans and a much wider base of evaluators.

This idea is not new—there’s been loose talk about it before. Why sink $200, $300, even $400 into a new piece of cookware without actually trying it first? Why not compare what you already have with something you’ve never used? Why not cross-train on different things, so you can make a valid A-B comparison, and maybe even avoid mistakes?

What *is* new is that—finally—the right person, Duffy, has stepped forward and kindly offered to serve as Head Librarian. Aren't you relieved it’s not me?

We are long on ideas, so for now anyway, please refrain from offering suggestions/rules/objections. Instead, it would help us immensely if Hounds would give us Yes/No/Maybe answers to the following questions:

1. Would you like to be able to “check out” a pan for 2 weeks at a time if it cost you nothing but both-way shipping and insurance?

2. Would you be willing to donate a needed pan to the Library as a condition of joining?

3. Would you be willing to leave a security/damage/overdue deposit with the Librarian to guarantee timely and undamaged return?

It’s our hope that, if this catches on, we’ll accumulate a decent collection, and that perhaps we can convince some manufacturers and retailers to donate items—and hopefully Chow will contribute items it has reviewed here.

Cheers,
Kaleo

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  1. 1-yes
    2-yes
    3-maybe

    ALOHA!

    1. 1. Maybe; guessing it would be fairly expensive to ship my deBuyer 12" MineralB fry pan which weighs more than 5 pounds and would be awkward as hell to wrap.
      2. Maybe; depends on how long I'd have to be without it.
      3. Maybe; depends on how much.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        Joan,

        It wouldn't necessarily be an advantage to have a 12" MinB in the library, when a smaller one will do just as well for testing purposes. My 8" West Elm pan is the same construction and weighs less than 2.5 pounds.

      2. Who has asked you to do this?

        I'd have no interest in it because as JoanN states, it would be ridiculously expensive. I send packages off to family regularly and even lightweight things cost a lot. Also there's really nothing that I want that I don't have. That's not bragging or saying that I have a big budget but if I really want something I can usually find an affordable way to get it.

        48 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Meaning you don't want maybes? ;-) If that's the case, I'll change all my answers to "no" until I have more information.

            1. re: JoanN

              Hi, Joan:

              I wasn't responding to you, but answer any way you want.

              This is just a snap poll; maybe's are fine. My thinking is not that *your* Mineral B would go anywhere (unless you donated it). Rather, the pans would go from Librarian to Hound and back again.

              Peace,
              Kaleo

            2. re: kaleokahu

              Gosh, I thought I answered you earlier. Yes and No isn't yet a CH way.

              1. re: c oliver

                "Yes and No isn't yet a CH way."

                Yes.

            3. re: c oliver

              Hi cat,

              I asked Kaleo to poll the members. He is sending me a skillet to try and mentioned that this illustrates how and why a cookware lending library might work. He thought that, because I research and follow emerging cookware lines so much, that I might be a good librarian. We think it's time to see if others want to take part.

              Duffy

              1. re: DuffyH

                What's the roundtrip shipping going to be? Got be at least fifty bucks.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Duffy, if you shop amazon.com as a Prime member, you get all of that plus no shipping charges either way. When an appliance or anything, for that matter, does not perform as advertised, you get a full refund and no shipping costs.

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    Hi Caroline,

                    It's the "perform as advertised" that matters. If I send something back because I don't like it, I pay $7. There has to be a good reason for the return before the free shipping kicks in. I'd feel queasy about lying to get a free return for a pan that I returned because I didn't like the handle.

                    Still, they're pretty generous with the definition of "perform as advertised". I got free shipping on a pan I returned because I felt it was more prone to heat stains than my other SS pans. Amazon does take the member's word for things.

                  2. re: DuffyH

                    it would work better on a local basis. after shipping costs you might very well be on your way to a new or lightly used one of your own. IMHO this why we have garage sales and thrift stores.

                      1. re: mcf

                        Garage sales and thrift stores aren't known for much really good cookware, beyond cast iron. I'm not talking Demeyere, just All-Clad. And to find a treasure, there's a lot of legwork involved. It could also take many months. That's fun for some, not so much for others.

                        And since the advent of eBay, good stuff is even harder to find.

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          I said craigslist.

                          And I'll add tag sales; very high end depending on which you choose to attend.

                          1. re: mcf

                            I'm sorry, mcf. I was replying to Hill Food and goofed.

                            Craigslist (at least in Tampa) is not much good, either. I don't know what a tag sale is, always thought it was the same as a yard sale.

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              It is -- tag sale=rummage sale=yard sale=garage sale.

                              Duffy, keep an eye on your local paper for estate sales. With the huge senior citizen population in Florida, there's a lot of pretty nice stuff to be had when they pass away and the surviving spouse and/or kids just sell off all the stuff they don't want to pack up and move back up north.

                              I haven't bought anything yet, but I've seen some good Kitchenaids and Cuisinarts being sold off for a song. (I did buy a Gevalia coffeemaker, which I think were made by Braun, for a college student -- $5 and it makes *great* coffee)

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Thanks, sunshine

                                Estate sales I'm familiar with from our time in Virginia, when we were collecting vintage furniture. They are indeed a good source of quality stuff. I scored some great stuff for a song.

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  Estate sales are typically run as tag sales. Hence my suggestion.

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  Not the same thing. Tag sales are used for very upscale properties (assuming one lives within a drive of such areas, if not in one)too, and they're organized, items are priced and often it's the entire contents of a home due to moving or death or even foreclosure (some homes in the millions are in pre foreclosure in my part of NY, frex). Tag sale companies specialize in them and keep mailing lists of repeat customers depending on what they have and what they (very often dealers in antiques, jewelry, home furnishings, interior design, certain historical artifcacts, coins, dolls, etc.), the buyers specialize in.

                                  You can have a tag sale in a yard or a garage, but tag saling in upscale homes is a whole 'nuther thang. Folks don't necessarily just come in as a mob and wander, they get numbers based on preference (good repeat buyers) often, and are allowed to enter in smaller groups to view stuff.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    I think you've been reading Martha Stewart too long :) It's just semantics and I think also somewhat regional:

                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garage_sale

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I don't read Martha Stewart. But I do go to tag sales and auctions.

                                    2. re: mcf

                                      that sale you're describing in your first paragraph is an estate sale where Duffy and I live. They even have their own section in the classified ads titled "Estate Sales".

                                      A tag sale here is just another word for a yard sale, rummage sale, or garage sale.

                                      Sadly, a yard sale/rummage sale/garage sale is too often (in my 'hood) stuff that's broken, worn out, and stained -- the family doesn't want it any more, but they figure somebody else will pay them for their busted up, dirty junk that should have just gone in the trash.

                                      Estate sales can be a lot of old stuff that smells of mothballs, but can be some pretty nice stuff, too - especially furniture and household goods. (clothing is usually taken to Goodwill or similar)

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        So they're not the same as yard and rummage sales, exactly.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          Tag sales are the same things. Estate sales are different...unless people use the term to mean just about anything believing the people will think there's better stuff there.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            tag sales are the same as yard and rummage sales -- in my end of the world.

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                No one calls a tag sale a yard sale around here. Tag sales tend to have better stuff, run pricey ads and take names and send emails to previous attendees.

                                                I also have never seen nor heard of people shopping inside a home for a yard sale, only for tag/estates sales.

                                                I never see "Tag sale" signs pasted up anywhere when driving around the way yard sale signs are.

                                                Maybe they're called the same thing in areas that don't have high wealth pockets? I live very near, but not in, several of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S.

                                                You can call it whatever you like, but they're not interchangeable terms everywhere because they are somewhere.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Regional nomenclature run amok... Used $hi! jettisoned in situ from private residences.

                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Clearly the cognitive dissonance is too much to handle.

                                                    Definitely all terms for getting a look and a shot at owning someone else's crapload 'o' stuff.

                                                  2. re: mcf

                                                    It would seem that the closest we have (south Florida) here are estate sales.

                                                    FWIW, growing up in a well-to-do SoCal zip? There was no such animal as a tag sale. I never heard the word until 30 yrs later I saw Martha mention it, in the late 90's. Maybe Brentwood or Beverly Hills had them, but we just didn't see them in Huntington and Newport beaches.

                                                    Never saw one in Va in the 90's, for that matter, despite hitting lots of estate sales and auctions. We were on several mailing lists, but never saw the term.

                                                    I suspect it's not just a matter of regional nomenclature, but more of a case of a regional thing that may not exist, or at least is uncommon, elsewhere. Like outdoor malls. They're almost unknown in the northwest, but they abound in SoCa. That't my best guess, anyway.

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      well, no -- a yard sale is held in the yard.

                                                      But it's the same concept as a tag sale (in which you put tags on your old stuff to sell them), a rummage sale (because people rummage through the stuff you don't want any more), or a garage sale (which is for some reason held in the garage) It's used stuff that the family doesn't want any more and has opted to sell rather than hauling it to the dump and/or charity shop.

                                                      Of these, I've never seen one *advertised* as a tag sale, but I hear it all the time in conversation, particularly with people from the northeast. Regional? Dunno. Don't care, really.

                                                      An estate sale is the sale of the items belonging to an estate. Logic is such a bitch, ain't it?

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        We live in an area with $10/20 million dollar homes (ours isn't,dammit!) and they don't have tag sales. It's clearly a regional term. And we had a sale once where people came in the house, the garage and the yard.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Yeah, I'm in (super wealthy, land of McMansions) Northern VA. Never heard of a tag sale.

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                Well, yes, you explained what it was above. No need for links.

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              I got an All-Clad 10" SS skillet for $3 a couple weeks ago at a thrift store. I stop in occasionally with low expectations and sometimes get a great buy.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Hi JohnE,

                                                Yes, of course, some great pieces come in. But you know they're rare.

                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                  Or a lot of really nice stuff comes in and staff gets dibs on it first, setting it aside. Happens a lot. There's usually something of really good value and quality, but not nearly as much as they take in.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    I think most places have rules against staff getting first dibs and that all merchandise has to go out on the sales floor. I will say that I highly doubt the staff at the thrift store I mentioned has any idea about what good cookware is. They have been told that cast iron should be priced higher than it was a few years ago however. I have purchased Wusthof Classic knives at this store, but it has been a few years since I've seen it. I think the word has gotten out and others are getting the deals I used to get.

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      its interesting the pricing in thrift stores - I feel like the goodwill and salvation army price very randomly but the big thrift store chain around here 2nd Ave/Village Thrift they definitely price certain things high - things they think will sell and have recognizable name brands, but some things slip through the cracks.

                                                      1. re: JTPhilly

                                                        We have charity stores for brain injured people, Value Village. I think some of their stuff is priced by the people it's meant to help. Things like Chanel suits are often priced ridiculously low whereas bright, flowery things are priced higher than they were originally.

                                                        Edit - Just looked up VV - they no longer support charity. Sorry about that.

                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                          I haven't been to an Arc Value Village in quite some time, but I too looked at their website and it appears they are still a non-profit in which their goal is to assist the cognitively challenged. Even the for profit thrift stores such as Savers (Savers also owns Unique Thrift stores in the Twin Cities) donate money to charities such as the Disabled American Veterans. I don't know the tax laws, but the arrangements are enough so that donations are tax deductible.

                                                      2. re: John E.

                                                        Yeah, they have rules, but they also are often volunteers offered dibs as perqs.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          The thrift stores we donated to in SoCal all used eBay for quality goods. I know because I enquired before donating some vintage Disneyana.

                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                            Our local library did the same. A person volunteered to do it and made some tidy sums at times.

                                        2. No
                                          No
                                          No

                                          If the pan I am interested in retails for $100 but shipping to/from plus insurance and a security deposit cost $25/$30 that's pretty steep because if I like it I still have to shell out $100 if I decide I do want it. Especially since I can buy the pan at WS or BBB and return it at no cost if it's not to my liking.

                                          1. Hi Kaleo,

                                            It's very kind of Duffy to volunteer.

                                            Yes, it would be nice to check out a pot or pan
                                            Maybe, not sure I have anything to loan out that someone would want
                                            Yes, no problem

                                            5 Replies
                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                If it's $50 deposit, yes, that's on me, my responsibility. I think unless you are talking CI or a 6 qt sauté you can probably ship for less. If you're talking about a $75 pot, then you're right it's too expensive, however maybe $30 shipping on a $250 pan isn't so bad, it's not like you're going to test out that many pieces, what maybe a couple a year.

                                                1. re: mikie

                                                  I've found $20 one way is about as low as I ever go. And that's not for heavy cookware.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    USPS flat rate box, weight doesn't matter, large box is under $20.

                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                      That box is 12" x 12" x 5-1/2". Anything with a handle likely won't fit, saucepans and DOs won't fit. I do have a couple of small skillets that probably would but that's about it.

                                            1. It's an awesome idea, but the logistics are a mess.

                                              1) yes, but the S&I is gonig to set me back an enormous percentage of what the thing will cost me to begin with.

                                              2) Yes, but I don't buy unitaskers, nor do I buy Staub or Le Crueset or copper. Don't know that I really have all that much to offer (and there are some things that aren't leaving my house, ever. I don't even loan some things to my sister who lives in the same town)

                                              3) yes -- but see#1.

                                              So it's an awesome idea -- but I'm not seeing how it's going to end up cost effective.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                Hi, sunshine:

                                                I'm not going to argue the cost-effectiveness of the idea, because you may be right.

                                                My thinking is that--if someone has donated a pan--it's there to be tried. Judging by the number of "Which to Buy?" threads, and the widely disparate answers they all get, some folks might prefer to hazard the S&H to find out for themselves without fronting full price.

                                                This moved forward because I have a large LC skillet I do not like and do not use, and Duffy has never tried one but wanted to. Ideally, the Library would over time have a wide variety of things, new or vintage, e.g., a Griswold, that could be compared with what the borrower has, e.g., a Lodge. Demeyere v. deBuyer, or Sitram v. Mauviel v. All-Clad? The "cost-effectiveness" of one home cook acquiring a group of competing saucepans to determine which is best for her isn't there, either.

                                                Cheers,
                                                Kaleo

                                              2. To be honest, this seems impractical. Shipping is wildly expensive these days.

                                                Now, if you imagined a neighborhood all using the same lawn mower, fertilizer spreader, and various other yard tools to spread the cost around, and reduce storage needs in a dense urban environment, I would be in. The physical distance is the flaw to this interesting concept.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                  I DO like your neighborhood idea. But I'm guessing I have the best "stuff" in my nabe :)

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    But do you have the chance to play with all the fun toys? Maybe a neighbor has a big ol comal or a wok jet stove, or a rotisserie over outdoor fire pit (I want to play with all those toys... Hehehe)

                                                    1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                                      You clearly don't know my neighbors :) I have made friends with a number of CHs over the years but the nearest one is a two hour drive away. Not likely we'd be loaning our toys :(

                                                2. Maybe I'd participate in a local one but I wouldn't do one by mail. Too costly. Plus, if I'm interested in a pan, I can just buy it and return it or sell it if I don't like it.

                                                  21 Replies
                                                  1. re: Hobbert

                                                    Can you buy it and use it and still return it if you just don't care for it?

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Most cookware places offer 30 - 60 day return for any reason policies, minus shipping. Chef's Catalog goes a step beyond and offers free return shipping.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Typically, yeah. It varies by store, of course, but I've never had a problem.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Many major retailers in US will take anything back and give you a full refund provided you have the receipt. (below)

                                                          This is why the idea of library for trying things out doesn't work for me. Even if flat rate shipping is around $20, you still have to add a few more dollars for insurance plus what ever the librarian deems is needed for a security deposit. I assume I have pay for returning the pan to the library so that's another $20 bucks plus insurance to ship it back to the library. You don't get any of that money back. If the pan retails for $100 and you decide to buy it you are essentially buying it at an increased cost of over 40%. 20% more for a $200 pan.

                                                          I can see a local one for items that I would only use on occasion and had no interest in buying bit how often would I really do it? I can't say.

                                                          William Sonoma:
                                                          <<At Williams-Sonoma, we take great pride in the quality and craftsmanship of our products. Attention to design, materials, safety and construction are our priority. Upon receipt, please inspect your purchase and notify us of any damage; we will arrange for a prompt replacement.
                                                          If within 30 days, you are dissatisfied for any reason, you may return your purchase for a refund of the merchandise value. An original receipt or gift receipt is required for all returns and exchanges. Returns with a gift receipt will be refunded in the form of a Merchandise Credit for the amount indicated on the gift receipt. Returns with original receipt will be refunded in the original form of payment, cash and check refunds over $100 will be issued as a company check (may take 14 business days from time of request).>>

                                                          Sur La Table:
                                                          <<We guarantee the quality of the products we sell in our stores, website and catalog for creating memorable moments in the kitchen.

                                                          If you are not satisfied with your purchase, bring it back for a full refund in the form of the original payment, provided you have proof of purchase consisting of a receipt, gift receipt, or gift registry showing the purchased item. If you do not have the proof of purchase, you will receive a gift card for the current selling price of the product.>>

                                                          Bed Bath and Beyond:
                                                          <<Merchandise returns get you down? Not at Bed Bath & Beyond; we make it free and easy! You may return a purchase for a refund, merchandise credit, or exchange to any of our stores nationwide or to our returns processing center. We do the hard part for you: we send you a pre-paid shipping label with every order. Just follow the simple instructions below and be sure to read our guidelines to make your return hassle-free.>>

                                                          Macy's:
                                                          <<At Macy’s, we’re not happy until you’re happy.
                                                          So we will accept for exchange or return merchandise that does not completely satisfy you.*

                                                          Here’s how we’ll process your return:

                                                          Have a receipt? Bring it back any time and receive a full refund in original form of payment, regardless of the original purchase date.>>

                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                            Thanks for looking all that up. I would just feel icky knowing that I was just trying it out and then cavalierly saying "nope, just not exactly," and then returning something that they clearly can't resell. Just me.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              I wouldn't do that either, even if it is allowable.

                                                              Actually, I'm terrible about returns in general.

                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                I'm fine with returning something that doesn't perform as advertised. To me it's like ordering something in a restaurant and returning it cause I didn't like it. Not gonna happen.

                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                Why feel icky? William Sonoma and Sur La Table actually encourage it. People are more likely to swing for a bigger ticket item if they know they can return it. Plus "try it at home" is a big selling feature.

                                                                WS also has employees regularly bring home floor models to try at home. Nothing sell more than hands on experience!

                                                                And to Tcamps point they also know for a fact that lots of people, once they have brought it home are often too lazy, busy, forgetful etc to actually make the return.

                                                                How do you feel about returning clothing that didn't fit, or once home you realized you had nothing to go with it or shoes that didn't work out? Its the same thing. Why keep a pan/appliance if it doesn't work out?

                                                                ETA- they can and do resell them, especially bigger items like food processors, mixers, fancy toaster ovens, LC etc. They are refurbished (and noted as such) and sold in store or at their outlets. Some companies routinely sell used/refurbished items to companies like OSJL, Marshall's, etc too.

                                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                                  Not the same thing at all re the clothes. If I returned something - which I've done when ordering online - it will be unused. Period. I'm not saying others should feel the way I do.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Oh, I'm not arguing with you. I am in the retail biz so it always fascinates when people feel weird about returns. Most stores who offer very generous return policies do it because it is very profitable way to do business. People are more likely to buy an item, especially a higher ticket one, with the confidence that if it doesn't work out they can return it. The happier the customer is the more money they spend, etc.

                                                                    Its all fine and well to tell a customer that a Kitchen Aid will change how you bake or the spanks are going to make you look a size smaller. It another to let them try it and see. having such a policy increases sales.

                                                                    But stores keep very specific factors on return rates as it gives them invaluable information. If everyone who returned the spankz said "bullsh*t, I didn't look any smaller" it would impact their future purchasing of that item.

                                                                    I actually got a nice note from the SM of a Sur La Table. I went in looking for a particular pan and she went on and on about the Scan Pan line. Now I am a CI girl so was not convinced. She told me about what she made with it, how it well it worked, etc etc and that I really should try it and bring it back if I wasn't happy. I told her expect it back! Well, I loved that damn pan so much I told everyone I knew. At least 4 of my friends went in and bought one based on my recommendation. They told the SM so she wrote and thanked me.

                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                      Hey foodieX2,

                                                                      I want to live by your SLT. When I returned a Breville Risotto Plus to the SLT in St. Pete, the guy at the register acted like I was impugning his integrity and killing his puppy all at once.

                                                                      He asked why. I told him the the rice it made was overcooked and that it took so many steps and so much tending to make the risotto I might as well not have a machine for it. Plus, the risotto it did make is no better, just more work, than my lazy slow cooker risotto recipe.

                                                                      That's when he began to tell me (with help from the asst. mgr.) how everyone else loved it, thought it was great, best risotto and rice on the planet, yada yada. I was really left with the impression that I was just wrong. I told him that wasn't my experience at all. And then it was time for more sharing, making it clear I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't like it.

                                                                      I got my money back, but I could have done without the commentary. And now the bloom is off the rose. I just don't feel as good about visiting that store anymore. And I sure as hell think twice about purchasing anything I'm not 100% certain I'll love.

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        Those people need training.

                                                                        You should write to them and let them know. Unless you were the only one in the store, others were affected by your treatment. I know I'd have walked out had I seen that kind of exchange. Icky.

                                                                        http://www.surlatable.com/common/cust...

                                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                          Hi MplsM ary,

                                                                          They weren't mean or rude, just... I don't know. Overly eager to want me to like the thing? Something like that. It was just enough to leave me feeling as you said. Icky. And less than, somehow, for not appreciating the gift Breville Gods have bestowed on us.

                                                                          The employees do tend to be a bit exuberant in that store, compared to other SLT's I've shopped in.

                                                                          Duffy

                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                            Thats one of the biggest issue for retailers, employees who take returns personally. If they are happy to sell it to you they should be happy to take the return, and if possible to sell you something else.

                                                                            When I was store line I had keep telling the associates "It's not your money! If the company says take it back, take it back and do it with a smile" but there always be one or two who felt like they were personally be taken advantage of by the customer.

                                                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                                                            well, at least this post tells me I don't really need to pack up and make the trek to St Pete to go to SLT.

                                                                            I can get shitty service at Walmart.

                                                                            Of course, I'm the kind of PITA who would print out the "returns and exchanges" part of their website, then pull it out and say, "You know, it says right here that if not satisfied, bring it back and we'll refund your money. It doesn't say anything about putting up with your arguing and verbal abuse because you can't be bothered to process the return, nor does it mean that I only get my money back if you agree with my satisfaction. Please stop arguing with me and process my return."

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Hey sunshine,

                                                                              Damn, that made me laugh. :-D

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                When I do that, Bob refers to me as "Bruno." He's the good cop :)

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Ha! My husband just steps away from the register, the check in desk, what ever when I get that way. He has learned it just better than stand and smile pleasantly.

                                                                        2. re: foodieX2

                                                                          Pretty much what I did with Wm Sonoma. Got a Christmas gift of a lovely Le Creuset soup pot that I really didn't need. Didn't have the receipt, but did have the shipping slip. They gave me a credit and I bought my Vitamix - which is what I really wanted!! I think that was a win for them.

                                                                          1. re: breadchick

                                                                            Yup, thats what they are counting on! total win/win for both of you. Think how pissed you would have been to be stuck with a pot you didn't want/need?

                                                                2. It would be one thing to try out a "library owned" pot, and quite another to try out someone's else's pet pot. So, no. Too many ways the pot could be damaged. I would not want to be liable for damage.

                                                                  I think proper shipping would also be prohibitive.

                                                                  1. Kaleo - I love the idea, and while I dont have the fanciest cookware I have alot of it, especially cast iron, and would be entertained/fascinated by others experiences - cookware version of the show "wife swap" LOL the cost of shipping seems prohibitive excluding the highest end cookware though.

                                                                    1. Yes
                                                                      Maybe, I'm certain I do not own anything nice enough to loan
                                                                      Yes, naturally

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                        Would you really pay easily $50 shipping?

                                                                      2. Yes. Yes. Yes.

                                                                        Where do I sign up?

                                                                        1. What if it were less centralized like Netflix and more of a Hound-to-hound swap opportunity that included options to (1)ship

                                                                          (2)swap locally <peer to peer, "stop after work, pick it up, I'll make foods!"

                                                                          (3) meet at swap events held regularly (these could be "the big Vegas Chowhound cookware rodeo" or a weekly presence at a place of agreed interest like flea markets or farmers market. I'll gladly man a booth in the Hanford, CA flea market every Monday if it meant I got to meet more Hounds in my hood. (That has a ring to it!)

                                                                          I'd see the potential for a lot of hound foolery around spreading the joy and fun of playing with cookery and cookware.

                                                                          Personally what I'd contribute I'd have to think about. I've gotten progressively better at finding what I want with wide experimentation... So I'm down to swap a lot from a pretty eclectic thrift shop, eBay & factory second pieces. I've maybe got 20 of the oddest pieces from all over the map... I'm a bargain/value buyer... I have had some luck...

                                                                          This is exciting to think about swapping/lending/social sort of thing.

                                                                          Just thoughts.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                                                            Indeed I buy all sorts of crazy cookware from thrifts and the like would be fun to see how other people used them

                                                                            1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                                                              <What if it were less centralized like Netflix and more of a Hound-to-hound swap >

                                                                              I think that's one of the details that could be worked out. Keeping a list of haves/wants would be a simple matter. Here's where the librarian could match up people and pans.

                                                                              I've got some pans that I would happily put into circulation if I could keep them when they're not on loan. I use them only occasionally, but don't want to part with them forever. Or, with more frequently used pans, I could loan out my saucier and make do with a saucepan while it's out. I know I'm not the only one.

                                                                              That kind of thing appeals to me, and makes me think it could increase the number of pans in the library. It all depends on what people want to do. All details can be worked out.

                                                                            2. I love the thought and the offer. I would love to try half a dozen 10 inch skillets from all economic and material levels to see which shines out for my cooking. But the shipping costs would quickly defeat the fun.

                                                                              I would imagine this is an eBay solution to a Craig's list problem. So I will check out the local forums.

                                                                              Thank You.

                                                                              1. No
                                                                                No
                                                                                No

                                                                                I don't know how others would care for mine and what condition theirs are in.

                                                                                Shipping costs could represent a sizable contribution toward the purchase of a pan.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                  Oh, yikes, I didn't even consider the care aspect. My father used to have THE most extensive tool collection and nabes would just into the basement and borrow what they needed. That would have been fine but he didn't always get them back in good condition or at all. ANd what if the lender needed it back by a certain time and didn't getit. This seems fraught with potential problems.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    Far be it from me to read Kaleo's mind, but if I read the post correctly, this is not a pan you will get back per se, but one you would donate for circulation, along with the hope that retailers would also contribute items they would like to circulate. It would still be your pan, and you could get it back, but it wouldn't go from your home back to you on every check out. Or maybe I read this all wrong, like that's never happened. I just don't have something that I don't use that's of a quality someone would want to try it out. Plus the new VIking cookware I just picked up are no longer being made, so it wouldn't do anyone any good to test them.

                                                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                                                      < this is not a pan you will get back per se, but one you would donate for circulation><It would still be your pan, and you could get it back, but it wouldn't go from your home back to you on every check out.>

                                                                                      That's the current thinking, but I'm open (can't speak for Kaleo) to having the pan remain with the owner when it's not out on loan. If that's what it takes to get access to more pans, it seems reasonable to me.

                                                                                      Whatever the members want, that's the way things will be.

                                                                                2. 1) Maybe
                                                                                  2) Yes
                                                                                  3) Maybe

                                                                                  1 and 2 are both affected by the overall cost. Especially when we get to bigger equipment. But beyond the cost - how is the shipping going to work? Do I need to get boxes, shipping materials? I once bought a pair of shoes online that needed to be returned and given the nature of the steps involved the whole process took me right up to the deadline of when I could return it because it was just labor intensive.

                                                                                  Also - I would donate something - but I fear the quality might not be terribly desirable. I'm a single person, and while I have some nice kitchen equipment - that's not what I would donate.

                                                                                  1. About the only piece of cooking equipment I have wished very hard I owned is a duck press like this one: (http://tinyurl.com/mjqc9tl) IF I could rent one at a reasonable fee.... '-

                                                                                    )

                                                                                    Otherwise, count me out with a big emphatic no. I've lost too much kitchen equipment to "friends" who borrowed and never returned. IMO, it's a lose/lose situtation.

                                                                                    1. 1. No
                                                                                      2. No -- I've pared down my kitchen equipment and I'm left with the "must-haves," which I'm unwilling to part with.
                                                                                      3. Yes

                                                                                      It isn't so much pots and pans I'd like to try out as kitchen equipment -- a professional-quality ice cream maker, a sous vide machine, etc. Maybe also a top notch Vitamix so I can compare it to my trusty Breville blender.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                        This is exactly it. It's more so that mix of a) items that are super expensive and I'd want to try before buying such as a top notch blender or b) items that are pricey and I know I'd only use once or twice a year

                                                                                        If anything it's more so an idea that I could see a company like Bed Bath and beyond profiting from. For a membership fee, you could try various items upon request (no guarantee on new or gently used). If you liked the item or forgot to return it, you'd be charged (one price for brand new, another for used) automatically.

                                                                                        I think the problem with a true sharing community 'library' is that the shipping fees would be pretty huge.

                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                          Which brings up the wisdom of a potential RentACenter for kitchen appliances. Or the commercial kitchens sprouting up that you can rent by the hour or day, etc.

                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                            that's what I'm thinking....some pots and pans are better than others, but at the end of the day, a pan is a pan.

                                                                                            There's a BIG difference in appliance performance.

                                                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                              Yes to the kitchen equipment that I don't own and probably won't buy but would love to try. Plus, I'd like a knowledgeable expert there to show me the cool tricks.

                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                plus once in a while, you'd like to try something to see if it's something you might actually use (mentally adds up the pasta machines, food processors, and a half a bajilllioin other unitaskers that I let go in the last couple of moves)

                                                                                            2. nice idea, but highly unlikely I'd sign on.

                                                                                              1. the shipping alone is a deal killer. Plus a deposit, I think not.
                                                                                                And, how many pans / pots/ whatever does a person REALLY need? my mexican wife would say, in spanish, "they have too much money and too much time"

                                                                                                1. 1. no

                                                                                                  2. no

                                                                                                  3. no

                                                                                                  Seems like a big hassle and most expensive cookware items are large, heavy, and/or fragile. Packing and shipping would be time-consuming and expensive.

                                                                                                  Also, trying out a pan is not something that interests me. It's not like test-driving a car. I can get a pretty good sense of how a pan would work by examining it at the store before I purchase it and reading reviews online.