If only I really did deliver a werewolf to Kyoto. That’d be an interesting story! But in reality I just delivered the game Werewolf. It’s a fun game, and I guess it’s not available in Japan. Or at least the Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe edition isn’t available for a reasonable price.
This was another PiggyBee delivery. PiggyBee is a crowdsourced delivery company. You list your trips on the website and get matched with people who want stuff brought to your destinations. Essentially you’re profiting from the empty space in your luggage.
I’ve written a lot about these social shipping services. Including a beginners guide to profiting from crowdsourced delivery. Most of the matches I find for my trips are on PiggyBee, which is one of the oldest social shipping networks. But it’s usually just for small stuff, like this $20 game. I’m not doing this for the profit, instead I think it’s fun to meet locals and usually they’ll offer to take me to lunch or help me out with something local that I might not have otherwise found. People using crowdsourced delivery are early adopters who tend to be trusting and adventurous. Generally folks I really enjoy meeting.
In the case of this Werewolf game, an Indonesian fellow living in Japan listed his request on PiggyBee. So once I posted my travel plans I was emailed info on the match. Usually I ask people to pay for the items I’m carrying. They can order what they want and have it delivered to my house. This way I have no financial risk. But in this case the requestor doesn’t have any credit cards so he can’t buy from online stores. He sent me his Couchsurfing profile so I could see all his good references. And he offered to act as tour guide in Kyoto for an afternoon in return for this delivery.
I decided the risk to me was small. It would be a hassle to carry around this game for my whole trip if the guy I’m delivering to didn’t show up. But I could just return it to Amazon when I get home, so I wouldn’t be out any money. And it’s pretty small. In the end he showed up right on time, and was very tolerant of my changes to our plans as I worked out when and where was most convenient to meet.
We ended up meeting in the Kyoto train station as that was the most convenient for both of us. Because I had packed my Kyoto schedule with specific things I wanted to see, I declined the tour and instead asked my delivery guy for some specific tips on places to eat and things to see. He gave me detailed answers to all my questions and told me to SMS any time if I needed more help. It was like having a local friend on call for any of our questions in Kyoto.