Shakespeare had it right when he said, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be…” in Hamlet (1603). He knew all those many years ago that lending things can cause not one, but two problems. You can lose the original item as well as your friendship with the borrower. Don’t risk either! Read this informative article and find out some tips on how to get items you’ve loaned out returned to you!
1. Place Name and Address Labels Inside Your Books
Stephanie, my massage therapist, has a vast collection of medical books displayed in her office. Since we are good friends (how can you not be close to someone who massages your naked body?) she allows me to borrow books from her collection. Stephanie doesn’t mind loaning them out. But, since they are reference books, and she has lots of money invested in them, she naturally wants them back. To help achieve that goal, Stephanie places a label inside the front cover of every one of her books. The labels list her name and address so borrowers will be reminded where they got the books from. This system works well for her.
2. Inscribe Your Name On Your Tools
Tools are ever-popular items on the hot list of things that are perpetually borrowed. And that makes sense. Why go out and buy a tool when you only need it for a few minutes? Or, when you only need a special tool for the project you’re currently working on? Engrave your name on your tools. That way, if you loan them out, you’ll have a better chance of getting them back because of the identification.
3. Ask for a Definite Date the Item Will Be Returned
Another tip on how to get items you’ve loaned out returned to you, is, ask the borrower when s/he’ll bring it back. It’s not unreasonable to ask how long they expect to borrow your property. Then, mark the date on your calendar to remind you when to expect the item back.
4. Buy a Notebook to Keep Track of Your Loans
I’ve lost many of my possessions over the years. That’s why I rarely loan anything to anyone anymore. But, sometimes I do break my own rule and let a family member or close friend borrow an item. To keep track of who has what, I write it down in a small notebook. Just mark down the borrower’s name, the date and what item they’re taking. I’ve found that if the borrower sees you writing this information down, they may not like it, but they make sure to return your items better.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Your Item Back
This is undoubtedly a main reason why people don’t get things back they’ve loaned out. You don’t want to seem like you don’t trust the borrower, and hurt their feelings or make them mad. But, some people will take advantage of your kindness if you let them. That’s when, if the item you loaned out is really valuable, or it means a lot to you, you need to step up to the plate and kindly ask for it back. Be polite – use tact – and you’ll likely be successful. You’ll probably get your item back and keep your relationship intact at the same time.
6. Write Out IOUs or Loan Agreements for Monetary Loans
Loaning money and getting it back can be especially difficult. For some reason, people who borrow money from family and friends can invent a million reasons for not repaying the loan. If you loaned out cash, that makes getting it back even harder because the borrower can swear the transaction never happened. That’s why you need proof if you ever want to see your money again. For small amounts of money, an IOU can work, as long as it’s signed and dated by the borrower. For larger loans, it’s best to have a loan agreement made out. Consult your attorney about what information the contract needs to contain to ensure it’s legal. If the borrower doesn’t pay the loan back, you can take legal action to retrieve your money.