A Vancouver company thinks everyone is a potential part-time courier by allowing the public to choose small delivery jobs for fees of around $10 to $20.
The zipments.ca service, modeled after its parent in New York, could soon allow customers to pay for such tasks as same-day pharmaceutical pickups, according to company head Rob Safrata.
His idea to bring zipments to Vancouver is based on a trend of companies such asairbnb.com — which allows people to rent out their apartments like hotels — using computer or phone applications to deliver services provided by regular people instead of professionals.
Couriers — typically paid 50-60% of delivery fees — sign up on the site and get to choose their own jobs. They’re allowed to use any type of transportation and review delivery times and locations.
The company holds the cash in Paypal so no money changes hands upon delivery.
The project launched Wednesday and has partnered with Mountain Equipment Co-op and Edible Canada. Safrata said both companies would allow options for same-day delivery scheduled daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. using zipments.
“The courier sends the recipient a contact and photo of them well before they arrive. You know who they are, you know what they look like, and you know how to find them. In fact it’s really well covered,” he said.
The company is in discussions with eight other retailers, many with national reach, Safrata said.
The delivery model is only available in Vancouver and the North Shore right now, and any retailer or aspiring courier could sign up as a business or delivery person on its website.
Tom Malcolm, one of four couriers who’ve signed up, said it’s a good way to earn extra cash during the commute to work. The recent Simon Fraser University grad has been taking on business consulting contracts and delivering on his downtime.
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