FAQ

Please click or tap on each question to view the answer.

When and where are repair sessions held?

Repair sessions take place on the third Saturday of each month at Hawaiian’s Mezz shopping complex, 148 Scarborough Beach Rd, Mount Hawthorn, 10:00am-12:00pm. The exact location of the event inside the complex is available on our Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/repaircafeperth/events

What broken items can I bring in?

Household items like clothing, bikes, toys, small furniture and some electrical items (see the FAQ below).  We now also have a Device Help station each month, where you can bring in troublesome laptops, tablets, smart phones and the like. Our volunteers may be able to give you some crucial advice to get things running smoothly again. For any large items, we generally say: “If you can carry it with your hands, bring it along”. 

What electrical faults can be fixed at a repair cafe?

Appliances that are low voltage. So we’ll look at it if it’s powered by batteries, or if it has a plug pack/adapter (see picture below). For all other items, we can't help, but you could try a paid repair service like http://theelectricianperth.com.au.

Akai_MP12_1_MP12_1_AC_Adapter_12VDC_579760
We can look at your appliance if it has an adapter a bit like this.

What if I have an electrical appliance but the fault isn't electrical?

If your electrical appliance isn't battery operated or has an AC adapter, it carries 240 volts. The volunteers can take a look but they'll be extremely restricted in what they can do. If accessing any mechanical parts involves moving electrical parts out of the way, they won't be able to do that because there's a chance they'll accidentally modify the electrics. You are welcome to bring it and try, knowing there's a chance they might only get as far as taking a quick look.

Do I have to RSVP for repair sessions?

No 🙂 Just turn up with your item, and start by checking in at our registration counter. We do always love to see RSVPs in Facebook, but this is by no means required. You are also welcome to like our Facebook page for special events or repairs, and share with your friends. Even better, bring them along!

Can I donate items to you?

Unfortunately we can't accept broken items as donations. We are often asked if we will accept broken items that people don't want. Some people ask if we want to fix them up and sell them or give them to charity. Organising our monthly repair sessions takes significant time from our volunteers and we don't have the resources to sell things or find worthy homes for them.  Also, we can't store broken items; we simply inhabit a space for a couple of hours each month, then we clear out and leave the space exactly as we left it. We also are no longer in need of spare parts or tools, as we have acquired everything we need from previous donation drives. 

Can you deal with these specific items?

Upholstery?

Unfortunately we aren’t able to do upholstery as the volunteers don’t have expertise in that area - our textile repairers can mainly fix clothing and such like. 

Sharpen knives?

We did knife sharpening as a once-off special session, but we have no plans to run that again. We’ve heard of a guy who does knife sharpening at Subiaco markets

Do you repair shoes?

We do. We have glue on hand to reattach soles. However, we can’t replace worn soles as we don’t have the spare parts required or machinery to shape them. If they’re expensive shoes and you need a perfect job, we often refer these jobs to a professional, but if you just need parts glued back together come on down and visit us.

Jewellery?

We can do some repairs, for example some involving glueing or modifying metal rings. It's a matter of bringing it in to have a go with no guarantees our volunteers can fix it. However if it's an expensive piece, these are best taken to a professional.

Headphones?

We do look at them. Please note that the success rate hasn’t been great for headphones - our volunteers are extremely skilful but often headphones have really tiny connections inside or sealed sections. We have repaired some though. So you’re welcome to give it a go but no guarantees and just bear in mind the low success rate.

How many items can I bring?

We don't limit the number of items you can bring in, but we do ensure that only one item is seen to at a time. When you arrive, we see to your first item, then when it's done you can hop back in the queue for the next item. Sometimes if it's quiet, people go home with multiple things fixed, but if it's busy, we may only be able to attend to one thing.

Can you open a repair cafe in my area?

Each repair cafe is organised independently by a group of dedicated local people who have the energy to make it happen. We are focussed on organising our own repair cafe in Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia. We don’t know where all the active cafes are in Australia but check out www.repaircafe.org to find out more. There is info there about starting a new repair cafe. If you are interested in starting a repair cafe, why not come along and see what it's all about? Chat to an organiser and find out what's involved to get started. You can visit repair cafes in Mount Hawthorn, Fremantle, Bassendean, West Stirling, Narrogin and others as they get off the ground. There are lots of new repair cafes planned for 2019, all by dedicated locals.