Here’s a really new interesting app for shoppers and travelers that officially went live today (July 19). Grabr is an on-demand app that promises to deliver international goods fast and direct by using trusted travelers as couriers (really to a public place that you both agree on; an airport seems most logical). Grabr taps into the peer-to-peer economy in order to create an international community where users have access to everything from macarons in France to perfume in Brazil—all just a tap of a button away.
The Grabr marketplace connects shoppers to travelers who are willing to retrieve their goods within 24 hours. Shoppers will love it because it gives them the chance to obtain consumer goods that are generally inconvenient or difficult to find online (think this addictive snack from Japan). On top of that is allows travelers to make money off the empty space in their suitcases.
Here’s how it works:
- Create your order. Describe your desired item or simply paste a direct URL to the product
- Place your order. Grabr will match you with travelers flying to your city, and they will bid to deliver the product to you
- Make a connection. Choose the offer that works best for your schedule and wallet. After you’ve been matched with a traveler, arrange the delivery on your own terms and submit a secure payment
- Meet with the traveler and receive your order. Travelers hand deliver your item to you—travelers get paid only after you receive your order.
Good to know:
- The Grabr app is free to use, but they do charge a 7% service fee to the shopper on all successful transactions.
- If an item is damaged caused by a common error committed by the traveler, Grabr will refund your money.
It’s a clever idea. I have a rule never to carry anything into any country for anyone—not even my father—but the Grabr approach likely works because participants go directly to the stores themselves (airport stores would be especially convenient) to buy the items being delivered. There’s no untrustworthy third party lining the shoes you’re carrying with cocaine, as in all those television shows about border security. Personally, I wouldn’t carry something that I didn’t purchase, but I may need to hire someone to purchase those addictive potato snacks from Japan!
One mistake I found on Grabr’s site is that it links to the TSA’s list of prohibited items—but they should know better. The TSA, of course, has nothing to do with border security. It’s the Department of Homeland Security’s list that matters to international travelers.
What do you think? Good idea? Would you use it as either a shopper or traveler?
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