Common questions

Here's some answers to questions we get asked. Feel free to contact us via our social media pages if you have a question we've not covered here.

How much does a repair cost?

We want our repair café to be available to everyone in Glasgow, so all of our advice and repairs are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis.

We suggest that a contribution between £5 – £10 is fair for a repair which will typically take about 20 – 30 minutes, and require some consumables. That will help cover our venue hire and consumables costs.

Any and all contributions are gratefully received to help us keep running our café. We can accept cash and card at all of our events.

Can I make an appointment at the repair café?

No, you can't reserve a spot at a café. Visitors are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. We hope that most people are happy to wait for a while as that gives them the opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and one of our delicious treats. While you wait you're welcome to wander around and see what else is being repaired. It's also a chance to sit and chat and make new friends.

What happens if my repair isn't finished during the session?

In these situations, we are happy for the repairer and visitor to come to an agreement by which the repairer completes the repair at home. Contact details should be exchanged and clear arrangements made for the customer to collect the repaired item.

We don't encourage this type of arrangement but accept that it is sometimes the most practical outcome - and often the repairer enjoys this unexpected challenge! It is always advisable that the repairer informs the Repair Café organiser of this arrangement so that it can be recorded.

Are there items which cannot be repaired?

Sometimes, but not often! So long as an item is hand-portable and not in a dangerous condition, our repairers will carry out an examination, give their honest opinion and advice and proceed with a repair if they consider it's appropriate and viable.

We won't work on microwaves, CRT tube-type TVs, or vintage radios (earlier than the 1950s) because we can't work on them safely.

We don't have volunteers who can work on petrol engines, so we're very unlikely to be able to help with petrol powered tools.

What if I think my item needs a new part?

Sometimes it's obvious that a part needs to be replaced. If you know what part you need, but just need some help to fit it, please bring it along to the café and we'd be delighted to help.

We're always happy to look at an item, take it apart, and see what's going wrong. We don't have spare parts on hand, so we will usually be able to provide you with the right information and some advice on where to buy a new part if needed. You can then bring it back to our next café, or we can give you some advice so that you can install it yourself.

Got a different question?

If we've not answered your question, or you want to ask us about a specific item you're thinking about bringing along to the café please send us a message.