A Berlin store with nothing for sale

A huge variety of borrowable goods on display at Leila, Berlin's borrowing store

Business is brisk at this Prenzlauer Berg store, but no money changes hands.

Because borrowing, rather than buying, is what attracts customers to Leila, a 'sharing economy' initiative launched in 2012. (The name itself is a rather clever abbreviation of Leihladen, or 'borrowing shop').

The concept is simple: to make use of any of the store's thousands of items, you first need to contribute something that can be lent out in turn.

It's then just a case of agreeing the amount of time you'll use a chosen product, and that's it - it's temporarily yours.

The store's impressively varied stock includes everything from clothing to crockery. Power tools are in high demand, but if, for some reason, you need to borrow something as unlikely as a unicycle, you'll find not just one, but two on offer.

Handy household goods at Leila borrowing shop, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
The sign says it all: things can be borrowed, not bought, at Leila Berlin

It's the perfect way to access items you sometimes need, but are reluctant to splash cash on. What's more, as the ultimate budget-friendly initiative, this unconventional trading system could well prove a hit with Berlin's longer-stay visitors.

A sudden urge for a juicer, perhaps? New toys to keep the kids occupied? A tent for a spot of camping?

Head to Leila for all that stuff you simply couldn't squeeze in your suitcase - and if you happen to have a power tool to swap, so much the better.

See also:
Berlin's hidden stores
Borrow a Warhol
A little-known memorial
A secret toy museum

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Leila borrowing store: Fehrbelliner Stra├če 92, 10119 Berlin.
Opening times: Mon-Tue 3pm-7pm; Wed, 3pm-6pm; Fr- 4pm-7pm.

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