A few weeks ago, a box of water filters showed up at my door, addressed to me. I was completely confused. I hadn’t ordered any water filters. The package was from a company I had never used. So it couldn’t be that they got my order mixed up with someone else. Why would someone order filters for a bottle I don’t own, and ship them to my house, in my name!?
A few days later when I was going through my email I remembered why I was sent this box. I was meant to carry this, along with the water bottle these filters fit in, on my trip to London. For delivery to a random guy who lives in London. Good thing I didn’t toss the box of filters in the garbage! The water bottle arrived a few days later.
After listing my trip to London on the crowdsourced delivery platform PiggyBee I was contacted by a few people looking to get some stuff from the United States to London. First was this guy who wanted a water bottle delivered. I feel strongly about the importance of a good water bottle. And I’m a critic of most designs. So it didn’t surprise me that someone would want a very particular bottle. After a few emails we came to an agreement and he told me he’d order the bottle and filters and have them shipped to me.
A week or two later another guy contacted me via the PiggyBee platform. He wanted a Mickey Mouse watch. Well, not exactly. But it was some sort of Disney watch. It was only available on Ebay, used, from one person who would only ship to the United States. We quickly agreed that he would order it and have it shipped to me. The watch itself was not expensive. And when it arrived I still remembered why I was receiving it.
Neither of these items were of significant value, so I wasn’t expecting to make money off these deliveries. The PiggyBee platform leaves it to the people involved to negotiate compensation for carrying stuff. For the water bottle and filters we agreed in advance on lunch. I’m always happy to discover a restaurant that locals like, and enjoy the company of someone using peer to peer shipping. For the watch I didn’t ask for anything as I was curious what he would offer for something of such small monetary value. When we met up Raam, the new watch owner, offered to buy me a coffee. This seemed about right to me (probably 20% of the cost of the watch actually) and I happily accepted.
For more info, check out this post about how you can make money off your travels through crowdsourced delivery.