Zipments.ca Turns Everyday People Into Couriers to Get You What You Need When You Need It

Posted by Elliot Chan

Admit it, our busy schedules stop us from getting stuff done (I know—the irony!).

The solution: We share resources and help each other. Vancouver-based Zipments.ca is making it happen with a selected group of “lifestyle couriers” that retailer, customers and normal-every-day-busy people can trust.

Forty-eight hours after Zipment.ca launched in November 2013 (hailing from New York-based Zipments), they’ve received over 200 applicants wanting to be “lifestyle couriers." It goes to show that there is indeed a market in a sharable economy, one where we don’t always have to rely on postage stamps, tracking numbers and expensive charges. Perhaps the public is starting to have trust in the real world interaction, especially as they hear more talk about people staying in companies such as AirBnB, and see more people driving Zipcars.

“The sharing economy is brought to us by the 2008 recession quite frankly,” CEO of Zipments, Robert Safrata told Techvibes. “People were starting to ask themselves, ‘instead of using more, how can I use what I got?’ And that is one of the reasons why I believe the sharing economy has blossomed.”

Unlike the big players in the delivery industry, Zipments.ca operates nights and weekends. Which means there are less chances of a sticky notes appearing on your front door, informing you that there had been a failed delivery. In those cases you either have to call in, reschedule or pick up the item at your local post office. Not a big deal, but a hassle nonetheless. But Zipments.ca’s flexibility enables both the courier and the customer to live their life and make the exchange at their leisure, thus allowing 100% success.

“Someone made an order out in UBC,” said Safrata, “they wanted to receive the delivery between seven to eight at night. [The item] was available to be picked up at a store at four-thirty. Now there is a big gap where the professionals will say they can’t do that or it’ll be very expensive. But with the lifestyle courier, using Zipments, they can look at the job and say, ‘I can do it.’ One did, and went and picked it up, kept it safe in their car—like the Fedex guy would in his truck—went to yoga (only in Vancouver) and then delivered it out to UBC.”

 

 

Every city and community is unique and Vancouver is a city of obstacles. Bridges, constructions and mountains make for some beautiful architecture and scenery, but commuting is often a time consuming pain. Vancouverites, like people anywhere simply want what they need without disrupting the flow of their day.

“People in Vancouver tend to feel that if you pass one bridge you’ve really gone out into the country, and if you pass two bridges you are in another country,” said Safrata. “I see that as a great opportunity for [Zipments]. If someone doesn’t want to cross a bridge they’ll get someone else to do it for them.”

As Canada Post gradually phases out home delivery, many are savouring the last days of waking up to a mailbox full of correspondences, subscriptions, and bills (mostly bills). While Canada Post has their plans, Zipments.ca also has much to consider in the future. The trends are definitely changing and what was once considered to be a luxury for businesses is now becoming a service anybody can have.

“People have done without [couriers],” said Safrata, “yet people are getting busier and getting used to having stuff come to them. And they are valuing their time.”

Smartphones and the advancement in app technology have offer users a convenient solution to most of life’s problems. Chances are, you’ll have one weather app, one map app and one banking app on your phone. Well perhaps it’s time you also include a delivery app.

 

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Elliot Chan

Elliot Chan

Elliot is an editorial intern at Techvibes. After graduating from the Art Institute of Vancouver in 2008, Elliot worked in various areas of media and theatre production including acting, writing, directing, post-production and even stand-up comedy. Now he is a staff writer for New Westminster publication The Other Press and a content writer for Asian art and culture magazine Ricepaper... more




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