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PackageToMe: The Peer-to-Peer Delivery Service with a Twist

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Think about this. Imagine you want the Roxfit Xperia XZs Ultra Slim Soft Shell. You very likely won’t get this case to buy literally in any shop anywhere in Ghana. Or will you?

Roxfit Xperia phone cases are one of the best phone cases you can get for you Xperia devices. They weigh less than 2 pounds (even in the shipping package).

What if, on your way to Ghana, from the UK, you could pick this case from a nearby shop, or an online store, and deliver it to a Ghanaian who badly needs it, for just a fraction of the cost of buying and shipping from the UK?

The phone case will account for almost a negligible space in your luggage or backpack, yet will significantly make a difference if someone’s phone lasts longer or does not spoil the next fall it falls because they got a great case to protect it.

PackageToMe.com is a platform developed to help you become an ‘Angel’ to a Ghanaian, desperately in need of a quality and affordable package, yet can’t acquire if for various challenges, some of which are outlined below.

Delivering something as small as a phone case could protect an investment of some US $600 of a high-end smartphone.

The Challenge

More online stores are springing up in Ghana in recent times. The missing piece of their puzzle is a majority, if not all, lack the wide array of simple products available on international online shops such as AmazonEbayExpansys and many others.

If a product happens to be in the country, it can sometimes be pegged at an exorbitant price point. Why this is so can be attributed to many factors, including ridiculous profit margins placed on products by sellers.

For instance, a Google Chromecast device sells for US $35 (about 150 Ghana Cedis), yet it could be sold on the market in Ghana for somewhere close to, or above 400 Cedis (US $96).

A Google Chromecast weights less than 0.1 pounds, something so light it hardly would count against your total check-in luggage weight.

Newly launched products and gadgets might take weeks, if not months or years to become readily available in Ghana. If the product manages to enter the country early, it is most often priced unreasonably, as a result of the simple law of demand and supply.

At #TheAfricanDreamLLC, we’ve been thinking about these challenges and attempting to provide simple solutions.

In some lands, such as Cape Town, companies like Orange made online shopping a breeze – buy an item online (from the UK), and get it delivered in under 10 working days.

In a country where at least 25% of the population are internet users, the need to have quality and affordable electronic devices readily available and accessible is vital.

With the power of Peer-to-Peer delivery, many of the challenges above are fixed while not interfering with conventional in-store or online shopping within the country.

The Solution

What if, there was a platform, that you could list an item you want, then a traveler could purchase it for you, meet you in Ghana, then you pay for it, plus any delivery cost and all you do is simply present receipt showing cost/proof of purchase and yes, the item too?

What if there was a platform like Tonaton.com, however instead of helping sellers meet buyers and vice versa, travelers get to find packages to deliver, and requesters could find travelers to deliver packages?

How do we create a seamless platform, open to all, but keeping travel dates of travelers secured, and making transactions as open as possible?

#TheAfricanDreamLLC begun work on a platform, which we today call today ‘PackageToMe’. The goal was to build a fast, easy-to-use, robust and secure platform on which requesters and travelers could meet in the name of package purchases and deliveries between the USA and Ghana, for now, because you know we have bigger ideas and the next one might be residing in your head so yes, share them, ideas of yours are welcomed!

PackageToMe.com
PackageToMe.com – The Package Delivery Service with a Twist

So, we recently put PackageToMe.com out there in Beta mode, and hope to answer many of the questions raised above.

Our Peer-to-Peer Delivery system is unlike many of the existing systems available. Here’s why.

PackageToMe: The Peer-to-Peer Delivery with a Twist

One of the principles of Tonaton that made it a success is one which PackageToMe.com wishes to ride on.

Tonaton makes it amazingly easy for buyers to meet sellers, whiles using their head. Tonaton gets out of the way, and allows sellers and buyers to set their own price points, delivery terms and run their own transactions.

In the same vein, PackageToMe brings in that twist to the Peer-to-Peer delivery systems by getting out of the picture and allowing travelers and requesters to proceed with transactions.

Other Peer-to-Peer delivery systems in existence today with Ghana as the target market, all have a middle-man or company doing the routing of this-package-to-this-traveler and whatnot.

The presence of a middle-man or company means an increase in delivery cost, with ridiculous, rigid and unreasonable base price points for every product.

For some, an item the weighs same as for example 20 A4 sheet papers and originally costs US $30 could incur at least, a delivery cost of US $130 or more as whatever middle people involved scramble to get their respective cuts.

For others, say a US $5 phone case which weighs less than 5 pounds, could cost US $40 minimum to deliver.

At PackageToMe.com, how much to charge per item delivery is left to the traveler and requester. Thus, there is not price set in stone, rather, negotiated per each item. No blanket price points. No generalized delivery cost points, and sometimes if the traveler is nice and u get lucky your delivery could cost zero and the opposite could happen when out of appreciation for the delivered item, the fellow picking it up could stash a few coins or notes as a way of saying thank you.

Just like Tonaton don’t dictate how much to sell your used phone, PackageToMe does not dictate how much to charge the delivery of the US $5 Body Glove phone case or the US $999 Mavic Pro drone.

How to make it Work

We are constantly revising ways to ensure the safe use of the PackageToMe.com platform. You can find more details on our Stay Safe page.

In a nutshell, take note of these (for travelers):

  • Do not carry any items of any kind listed within the Prohibited and Restricted Baggage Items. Just DONT, please!
  • The specific date (as in, for example, 15th May 2017), is never displayed whenever you enlist your upcoming travel schedule. PackageToMe only displays an estimate in weeks.
  • You are okay to be contacted via Phone should you enlist a package or your scheduled travel if you so require.
  • If you don’t want to carry a package, don’t carry it. Just say No!
    • It might not fit in your luggage
    • Too delicate to properly secure and carry
    • Just not the type you wish to carry
  • Always carry items that are relatively small and light in weight.
  • ONLY carry items that can fit nicely within the allowed baggage limit of your airline.
  • ONLY logged in users can see your phone number.
  • No tricks. Deliver what you are asked to. As much as possible, leave the item in its original packaging, and attach receipts of the package to the requester.

How does it work?

Here’s a typical likely case scenario:

Maybe Obed lives in the US, but plans to visit Ghana. He enlists his travel, indicating how much space he has left in his luggage.

Joseph has a package posted on PackageToMe.com. He points Obed to the package, and asks if Obed can carry it.

Obed agrees to deliver the package to Joseph at a US $25 cost (after some negotiation) plus the cost of the actual item. The package probably costs US $120. Therefore, upon arrival, Joseph pays Obed an equivalent of US $145 in Ghana cedis or has the money in dollars.

Obed therefore buys the package with his money, arrives in Ghana, calls Joseph to meet up at the Accra Mall and bingo, two smiling faces do business and walk, or decide to get to know eachother… either way life goes on and all are happy.

Obed and Joseph slap each other gently on the back shake hands –transaction complete!

Conclusion

For some Frequently Asked Questions, please head over to the FAQ section on PackageToMe.com. Leave a comment below or contact us via email at packages@khophi.co or phone: GH +233.26.920.1707 / US +1571.406.2776

We’re happy to read and respond to your feedbacks, so please do send them in, at Feedback.

Source: PackageToMe.com / TheAfricanDream.net