During the last days of my recent trip to the UK, while I was in London, I got an email from someone on the PiggyBee platform telling me she was having a craving for British shortbread treats and asking if I could possibly bring some back for her. She knew my trip dates and locations because I put them in the PiggyBee system so she could see that there was just enough time for me to stop by a store before heading back to the U.S.
We exchanged a few emails in which she provided more details about exactly which treats she wanted and where to find them. I happened to be near a Sainsbury after dinner on my last night so I stopped in and quickly located the requested carmel shortbread.
This delivery was going to my home town and it was super cheap so I didn’t worry too much about compensation. The requesting woman asked me a few times what I wanted in return, even offering to cook me dinner. I told her I certainly wouldn’t turn down a meal but I’d also be happy with a beer or glass of wine when we made the hand off.
As with previous peer-to-peer deliveries, this shipping experience was quite social. Our emails were friendly and we quickly established that we would hang out when I got back home, both to deliver the shortbread but also because we figured we would probably get along, sharing similar travel interests.
A few days after settling back in at home I meet up with my shortbread requester. It turns out she worked a short stint with a crowdsourced delivery company that never really got off the ground, and we immediately bonded on our shared wish for a peer-to-peer delivery metasearch. Not many people even understand what this is, so it was fun to talk to someone who loves to travel and shares my interest in sharing economy travel services. Reward for delivering British shortbread: a fun evening of beer and conversation with a new friend.