The Chainlink

the site http://www.zipments.com just launched this week in Chicago.
In the site people post requests for delivery jobs and couriers compete over them.
I am not affiliated with this site, I am just intrigued by the concept.

what's your 0.02?

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I haven't looked at this, but your descrip sounds like the setup of a yet to be written novel: "The Chains of Wrath."

I don't know much about the company or their business model, etc, but I do know one of the co-founders. She helped start this company in Grand Rapids, MI, and it just recently expanded to NYC and Chicago. She's amazing and great, so I'm sure Zipments is too. If you know anyone interested in working with them or have questions, email Laura at lpecherski@zipments.com.

Here is their intro video for people who want to be couriers.  it is not much different then elance.com

Wrong. Just plain wrong. Screws the people that actually do the work.

 

Delivery rates are pretty cheap as it is. Messengers should stick together, and not support these greedy corporate opportunist-vultures.

I think messenger companies could increase their business by making it easier to get new customers who are used to shopping with 1-click purchasing on Amazon or iTunes. 

 

Ordering a pickup (and delivery) should be as easy as tracking a package on UPS's website. 

On some messenger company websites, it's not possible to create an account online - I have to call. But I have a credit card (insurance for the company) and a deadline. I don't want to wait.

 

(I'm speaking hypothetically - I've never felt the need to have the service of a messenger.)

I agree in theory, but I've looked at the site, and its not like its packages or important documents being delivered. Its, "bring me a frappacino and a chick fil-a sandwich." So I don't know, maybe messengers don't need to feel threatened by this?

Hi everyone!

My name is Laura - I work for Zipments as the Sales & Marketing Director.

We are really excited to be in Chicago - especially for couriers, or even bike enthusiasts who always wanted to make money with their bike. Here are a few things we think you will like as a courier:

  • You pick jobs when you have time. In addition to your normal stops, you can pick up Zipments jobs when you are normally not working. This way, you can optimize your routes and make as much money as you can.
  • You get paid within 24 hours of doing the delivery - right into your bank account.
  • We're seeing businesses use us that have never used a messenger service in the past. Zipments gives people access to delivery that didn't have it before.
  • Our iPhone app helps couriers bid, perform and confirm jobs on the fly. It's pretty awesome in terms of creating your routes and seeing where job opportunities are available.

Our goal is not to drive down the cost of delivery. In fact, Zipments revenue model is based on a fee equal to 10% of the list price - charged to the customer. So on a $10 delivery, a customer pays $11. So as you can see, it's in all of our best interest to promote a reasonable rate for delivery.

 

Couriers don't need to be on bike - any mode of transportation is acceptable, as long as you can perform the job. In Michigan, we see a variety of vehicles being used - even people with trucks helping others move. In Chicago, runs from downtown to the suburbs may be done by a variety of couriers. In the downtown area, we're looking forward to working with bike messengers and bike enthusiasts to perform these deliveries.

 

Please contact me with any questions or concerns! We want to help bikers like you make money in their downtime and are open to any thoughts or input you have. My email is lpecherski@zipments.com.

 

Thanks!

Laura Pecherski

Zipments

I heard about the site from this techcrunch article two weeks ago (http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/11/zipments-the-zaarly-of-courier-ser...) and shared it with a Facebook group "People who ride bikes" because I thought it looked like a cool service. (Dubi, I'll have to add you to the group!)

 

What's less cool is the duplicate posts that Zipment intern Miles Smith has made. They're pretty gross and spammy, and can be seen here: http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/possible-opportunity-for

and here:  http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/use-zipments-to-find-delivery

Laura, maybe you can get that intern some marketing training?

Hi Lauren,

 

Thanks for sharing that here and on that Facebook group! I'm sorry for the spammy posts - That's not our intention. We're just trying to spread the word to potential bike couriers who could make money from our service.

 

Thanks, again! Please let me know if I can be on further help.

 

Laura

Zipments

Dunno, I just looked at the Terms of Service and this one stopped me in my tracks:

"3.6 Damages. As a Courier, you are responsible for delivering a Customer's package(s) in the condition that it was given to you. If a Customer claims otherwise and provides evidence of damage, including but not limited to photographs, then you agree to pay the cost of replacing the damaged items with equivalent items. After being notified of the claim, you will remit payment. Failure to remit payment may result in removal from the Zipments Site and possible legal action."

 

If someone gives me a box of diamonds to transport and the receiver then claims the box was empty, this clause makes the courier financially and legally responsible for the loss.  Or if the courier drops an expensive fragile item while transporting it, the same.  I don't see any suggestion for insurance coverage by Zipments.

Also, as an independent contractor, the courier is responsible for any injuries to himself or others in a crash, no workman's comp claim seems possible and I don't see any insurance coverage offered by Zipments in that case, either.

One bad crash or damaged/lost package could ruin you, IMHO.  Scares the heck outta me.

 

Laura, please explain why this wouldn't be the case?

Dear Thunder Snow,

 

Thanks for your input and for checking us out!

 

We ask everyone to carefully review our Terms & Conditions. Based on those terms, customers should post jobs accordingly and couriers should evaluate and bid on jobs accordingly. Prior to bidding, couriers can ask questions of the customer to see what kinds of items are being moved.

 

We would encourage any courier with questions about insurance coverage to contact their insurance agent with questions. In the meantime, we've been evaluating several insurance services and plan to offer a variety of options in the future.

 

We're looking forward to working with couriers in the Chicago area! Please email me if you have any additional questions: lpecherski@zipments.com

 

Thanks!

 

Laura

Zipments

Don't worry, Laura, you're definitely not the one who needs to apologize! Your contributions to the community have been thoughtful and relevant, and you were honest and upfront about your involvement with Zipments.

This is a far cry from Miles's approach, where it seems he joined the community simply to do some sub-par advertising (no news links; not even a hyperlink to Zipments!). And when Kevin called him out on it here, he simply reposted his first discussion and added that he was an intern. He opened his posts with a sales pitch ("Have you guys thought about using Zipments.com to make some extra money?") and in the second post, he added buzzwords like "integrating" and "mutually beneficial." This might be appropriate language for a boardroom, but in a community bike forum it comes off as slimy.

Having said that, I do think it's a good idea! I have friends in SF who have had great experiences using TaskRabbit (which is mentioned in the TechCrunch article I linked to), and it sounds like Zipments is trying to fill a similar need, connecting people who need something done with people who can help. And I know you're getting sour feedback from bike messengers, but I think couriers will be treated better with Zipment than with traditional courier companies (both by having a choice of what deliveries they take and by getting to keep most of the delivery fee). I wish you all the best!



Laura Pecherski said:

Hi Lauren,

 

Thanks for sharing that here and on that Facebook group! I'm sorry for the spammy posts - That's not our intention. We're just trying to spread the word to potential bike couriers who could make money from our service.

 

Thanks, again! Please let me know if I can be on further help.

 

Laura

Zipments

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