How we can help each other, and…

 

Last updated Nov 10, 2020 at 10:37AM | Published on Nov 6, 2020

save money, make money, and simplify life !

michelle obama quote

Chefs are used to helping each other and buying & selling their tools, or kitchen equipment or even spare parts between each other. Often it’s commercial grade, can be repaired again and again and can last a life-time. There are plenty of enthusiastic cooks that would love these tools too. Paul for one, has always bought commercial or prosumer. We were also in a really fortunate, but unusual position, where we were able to pass on kitchenware from our boutique hotel or restaurant, and vice versa. 

The retail market is crowded with everything from professional grade tools to pretty, to throw away quality. There are so many shiny gadgets that are marketed to cooks that it can be hard to know what to buy.  Now you can even get cheap and cheerful tools from your local supermarket, but do they work well enough, or even last?

Clever marketing tempts us to just buy, buy, buy, and we all end up with drawers and cupboards full of stuff that we don’t need, or doesn’t work very well. Then we feel so guilty that we can’t justify buying the good stuff that we do need. 

On top of all that, we all build up cabinets of tableware for different settings, events and stages of life. It all seems to be part of the journey, but is it a waste of space, and money ? 

So we’ve set up a facility to enable us all to help each other out here by sharing what we don’t need on our own journey any more. 

Introducing the fromcooktochef buy and sell marketplace.

Starting with the U.K.

kitchen tools marketplace

A simple and secure buy and sell marketplace for pre-owned kitchenware, so that everyone, from trained chef to beginner cook, can help each other along the way.

( You may have already noticed the new tab at the top of the site ) 

Buyers can get a helping hand by getting tools at a fraction of the new cost, so they can start cooking better. You can afford to try something out for a bargain, and even sell it on again if you made a mistake, or just don’t need it any more.

Sellers, and those higher up the cooking ladder could pass any tools they no longer use on down the line to others that would benefit.  You get to de-clutter, re-focus, and raise cash too.

We’re here, alongside, supporting you all as always, with tools, tips and time. 

It’s new, and we explain why, and how we’re doing it on this page. You can help us too, with any initial feedback by email here.

Pass it on… and everyone can benefit.

If you’re just not using it… or it’s an unwanted gift… or you want to upgrade your tools… or change your kitchen accent colour… or make some space… or have a spare appliance part you don’t use… or just want to take part here and help each other.

Help us get kick-started by clearing out a drawer or cupboard, and put something up for sale. Thank-you.

Key marketplace links

Why we’re doing this now.

First, we started simplifying.

You know our daily mantra is to eat well, cook better, live more… and we know that simplifying life has helped us enormously with all that.

About 3 years ago we started, by clearing just one drawer ! That was the best thing we ever did. To begin with I would then put one thing at a time, in that drawer, to consider how I would deal with it. Over time, I could then do one cupboard, one wardrobe, one room at a time.. and bit by bit we cleared our house, and our life.

 

Why kitchenware ?

We had a vision of leaving the UK with just a suitcase each, so we could be free of all the stuff ! We gave ourselves a tight deadline though, and in the end we found that it was the small kitchen / dining stuff that was the most difficult to let go of.  So our definition of kitchenware  includes tableware too – anything from food storage, to prepping, to cooking, baking and preserving, plating, presenting and serving on the table. Inside or outside !

We were lucky to have sold our house in 3 months,  so had to move fast, and we ended up with too much of the little stuff left by the time we had to move. Now on our simple life we realise we didn’t actually need it all anyway. Some is still being given away recently, and some still with a dear friend !

So having learned from that – we realise that we should have started by emptying a kitchen drawer first.

Why now ?

There isn’t anything out there online that is simply and solely focussed on all that kitchenware we all collect to store, prepare, cook or preserve, plate-up, and serve all the wonderful food we are fortunate to have.

2020 is such a difficult year for so many people. Money is tight, and the hospitality business world-wide is being crucified. It feels bizarre, that we actually made a choice to give all that up a few years ago, and have already been living a more simple, isolated, online life, without the income we used to have.  We’re really grateful that we started early, and by choice, and fully trust that everything will be ok.

Having used the only solutions that are still available to you in the UK today, we know how well they worked ( or didn’t work ) for us.

  Our experience with the current solutions.

 

Charity shops don’t take electrical goods in the UK, and can be quite fussy about what they will take.

General online second-hand sites have so much variety for sale that it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. We were also put off by joining fees, restrictions, and so many annoying adverts popping up.

We used eBay, but it was neither an easy nor pleasant experience. Their auctions are just complicated and now so much of the goods are new, not second hand. It looks like their future direction is to take the payments in-house. We’d rather have as much control over our confidential information as possible, and let the tried and tested financial systems keep things secure directly between seller and buyer.

***Now, as well as mostly new stuff,  Ebay has changed to handle the payments in house. We don’t like that direction.

We also used Facebook marketplace too and liked it… to an extent. It was best for local collections, and with covid-19 lockdowns this isn’t advised or perhaps even allowed.

What we didn’t like was that there was no definite BUY button. The comment threads mixed with private messaging made it confusing and time-consuming to work out if the item was still for sale because we had to keep it listed till we actually exchanged it for cash because people were flaky (who knew!) It became a chore to know who came first in line for it, because people would just come and go all the way through.

Once you decide you want something on facebook marketplace, there’s no way to secure the deal and people could still outbid you. You can’t just secure it and pay online. Payments were only hand delivered cash. Like a lot of people, we suffered from fraudulent cash being handed over and requests to re-negotiate at pick-up time ! None of these work well in covid-19 times.

Pick-up / Collections were a pain to organise and there were often issues with people not arriving when they said they would. Many would try to re-negotiate the price once they were face to face.
We love meeting people but it wasn’t always pleasant having strangers visiting. Small talk with the buyers also took up a lot of time, and frankly it was sometimes a bit embarrassing dealing with counting cash face to face. Some people managed to slip in notes that were no longer valid – apparently that’s quite common !

Doing everything online is more convenient – it’s easier, faster, and safer !  Especially now, with ad hoc lockdowns due the Coronavirus pandemic.

Why choose this marketplace ?

It’s simple, stress-free, and secure. It’s only focused on the cooking community, is easy to use, and there’s no joining fee.

We like to use MyHermes for secure and protected delivery of your items, but you can still opt for personal collection.

The marketplace uses well known, well used systems of Paypal and Stripe to maintain safe and secure payments. There are rumours that Ebay will stop using Paypal now that they have their own check-out system. Many people have a paypal account already so they can use the simple Paypal system with us. However, we also use STRIPE, one of the largest secure payment systems in the world, where you can simply use your credit card or debit card.  It’s fair… they hold the payments in the middle and when the buyer receives the goods, they release the payment to the seller. 

But also…

Stuff that had a special memory attached was harder to let go of, and we felt the need for it to do some good too. So by buying and selling here, you know you’re helping another fromcooktochef friend.

 

and finally, and most importantly, we want to do more… 

We also would love this marketplace to do more… to be more inclusive, and community oriented. We’re donating 10% of our profits to charity, to help others literally start to eat well, cook better and live more.

How we can all reach back to help.

 

We think there will be a large group of people that this doesn’t apply to – those right at the bottom with food poverty… they’re not even on the eating well or cooking better ladder yet.

And those at the other end,  that only want to buy new tools, and might even feel they don’t need to raise cash for themselves – but they might still want to help out.

These are two incredibly important groups, and we want to help them be involved too.

 

Food poverty

An electric slow cooker is a great inexpensive way to make a hearty, healthy meal for a family.

We’re talking to a community initiative, (and looking for more ) so we can donate 10% of profits to help provide food (in the form of slow cooker bags with a recipe), and even slow cookers.

We’ve also sourced the cheapest slow cooker we can find currently, for about £10 from a UK supplier ( not Amazon ). We hope some people might even buy one, and have it delivered to the community initiative directly. You can see the latest updates on the charity page. If you have any ideas yourself about similar community projects, please do get in touch directly with us here.

Thank-you for listening

First, we need sellers ! So please help us get it kick-started by clearing out a drawer or cupboard, or shelf even… and put something up for sale.

Thank-you

Paul and Aoibheann

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Aoibheann and Paul xx

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