Our friend Dawn Zerly at Share Traveler interviews our Co-founder Wesley McRae about Entrusters. Wes and Dawn discussed how travelers can earn extra cash and meet a new friend while they travel. The interview includes an explanation of how our service works and Wes chatted about where we see the company in the future. Check it out below.
Peer-to-peer transactions are becoming more and more common in this day and age marked by the sharing economy revolution. One complimentary “product” that has recently emerged and will likely become more accepted worldwide as well as and linked to collaborative consumption platforms is Bitcoin. This decentralized digital currency is disrupting traditional foreign exchange markets and while its user base is continually growing many people still question its value and reliability. An interesting analysis, presented by professor Kevin Werbach, illustrates that much of that success is due to Bitcoin’s ability to gamify trust.
Gamification is an established practice nowadays and continually helping to build systems that engage people, encouraging them to perform otherwise menial activities -transforming difficult or annoying tasks into fun objectives and challenges. In his analysis Professor Werbach comes to the conclusion that “Bitcoin is gamification” and lays out a very compelling case for why it has been successful and will likely continue to thrive. Applying the points presented by Werbach to Entrusters.com, it is reasonable to say that we are also a company seeking to gamify trust (albeit in a different way), drawing to users to our community, engaging them, and ultimately motivating them to help each other out. While we are far from achieving the success of Bitcoin, we are encouraged by its traction and are hopeful for a future where our gamification techniques produce similar results.
Check the original article here.
While growth in the sharing economy continues to revolutionize traditional industries by allowing individuals to conduct business directly, it does have some clear setbacks. Arguably the most important is the safety of the transaction. Most new companies are seeking to minimize risk by enhancing trust among their user base. You can see this with AirBnB and Taskrabbit which have both created platforms that encourage transparency so that their clients feel comfortable using the services. Still other companies are emerging that look to solely focus on creating trust communities by consolidating online reputations. Trustcloud is one example of this new trend, however the newest kid on the block appears to be Traity.
Traity was previously known as Trait Perception and provided an online activity evaluation of sorts to companies seeking to retrieve more background information on their employees. The new product they have created is designed for the end consumer, allowing him/her to upload a variety of information to the site confirming an array of traits from Identity (email, facebook, passport photo, phone number) to transactional (Ebay, Airbnb, etc) to career (Linkedin). The interface is sharp and intuitive and will likely give TrustCloud a run for their money as it is more user friendly...at least in our opinion.
It is unclear how sites like Traity will sell their services going forward as many of the larger platforms like AirBnB will undoubtedly opt to maintain control of their community. However, for newer start-ups (like Entrusters), quickly having access to tools that can validate users can greatly strengthen the foundation of their platform and give users even more confidence regarding the level of safety around the transaction. It will be fun to follow the growth of this new branch of the sharing economy and find ways to collaborate with the best in breed.
A new YCombinator company called Greentoe is looking to shake up the e-commerce industry....one bid at a time. Greentoe is essentially a hybrid of Amazon and Priceline whereby consumers can post products they are wanting to buy and have retailers post their best prices. The goal is to further improve the online buying experience for web-shoppers everywhere by eliminating the time-consuming searches often needed to unearth the best deals. Techcrunch recently did an interesting article about Greentoe which you can read here.
The way we shop has come a long way from the traditional department stores of the 1950s and will surely continue to be innovated for years to come. Greentoe is an innovative idea which will undoubtedly disrupt the way current e-commerce sites do business. They will surely encounter obstacles along the way, but with the support and resources of Y-Combinator they will have a good run at it. We at Entrusters are obviously seeking to participate in the disruption (although ours is a bit more linked to the logistics industry rather than e-commerce) and hope that at some level we can even utilize new types of e-commerce platforms in order to help get our customers the products they need for the lowest prices possible.
We certainly wish the guys at Greentoe the best of luck and look fwd to following their future success!
Upon first arriving to our website, you may ask yourself, what kind of company is created with the primary objective of connecting people? These days the sharing economy has disrupted almost every traditional industry, resulting in families talking about new and innovative ideas at dinner tables around the world. At Entrusters, we aim to be a part of this movement by creating a global community where travelers offer extra space in their suitcases to help people around the world get the products they cannot easily access in the countries where they live. The crucial underlying element in the success of our platform (as well as other companies in the Sharing Economy) is Trust.
This clear trend in collaborative consumption has resulted in people helping each other by sharing almost everything with complete strangers, from skills (TaskRabbit, Angie's List) to resources (Zilok, RelayRides) to travel (AirBNB, Lyft, Entrusters), igniting a revolution that is transforming the world (Forbes also agrees). People from all walks of life are gradually starting to participate in these various services, quickly learning the benefits they provide. Having tried many of these variations ourselves, we always seek to encourage others to take part in this movement to see how it affects them personally. There are loads of options (apart from the ones we listed above), many of which you can easily discover by doing a basic online search (The Economist lists a few good options here) and by doing so you will see that this collaborative consumption revolution has reached almost all aspects of our daily lives.
We here at Entrusters believe that in order for P2P platforms to be successful, both parties must receive clear benefits while also mitigating risks. In our case, we feel that the Trusted Travelers benefit from the reduced cost of their trips while also meeting new friends with local knowledge in their destination city. The local buyers benefit by being able to obtain hard-to-find or prohibitively expensive products that otherwise they could not access in the countries where they live. In terms of managing the safety of the transaction, we partnered with SaferKeeper, which acts as a custodian for buyers' funds until the transaction has successfully been completed. In addition, the Entrusters platform has a rating system embedded which vets travelers and buyers so that each party involved can feel confident about doing business with a stranger.
The sharing economy is here to stay - this much is clear. Entrusters aims to become a large part of this movement and constantly adapt to improve our value proposition in order to continually enhance the lives of our community members.
Our service already lets you search the Amazon.com catalog, request any item, and have it delivered to you, anywhere in the world. We think that’s great, and pretty much unique. But what if the item you want doesn’t appear on Amazon? What if you found it more cheaply somewhere else? You told us you don’t want to be limited to Amazon.com, and we listened. We’re pleased to introduce “Shop by URL” - a great new service that lets you request items from any online store, anywhere in the world, to be delivered to you, anywhere in the world. We think we’re the first to do it, and we think you’re going to like it!Shop by URL
Ibirapuera… Avenida Paulista… Itaquerão… Ipanema… Posto 9… Água de coco… Moqueca… Churrasco…Por favor… Obrigado… Maracanã...Pão de queijo…
If you are traveling to the World Cup in Brazil and you don’t recognize any of the words above, you should look them up ASAP! This is the basic vocabulary you need to know when landing in Rio, Sao Paulo or any of the other host cities. As a Brazilian, I could prepare a long list of other interesting tips and vocabulary, but I decided to sum up some of the key information here, including tips and advice. I’ve read through zillions of blogs and websites during the last few weeks and picked the best of the best below.
From Point A to Point B
The first thing you should do when you arrive to any of the host cities is to learn how to get to the stadium, how many hours before the games starts that you should leave your hotel, hostel or Airbnb rental. Almost as important, make sure to figure out how to get back to your room or where to go from the stadium after the game to celebrate when your team wins (or commiserate if your team loses).
The Brazilian government made some improvements to the transportation system, but there are still a few holes. So, make sure to get the most updated information in your hotel or hostel.
Avoid Bad Stories - Safety Tips
This advice should be paid attention to in every city:- Be careful about getting into taxis that weren’t arranged for you by a hotel or a restaurant; - Minimize what you carry on you personally. Take special care of watches, jewelry and travel documents if you must bring them; - Use ATMs only at secure, indoor locations, such as your hotel or the airport; - Avoid carrying a lots of cash, and use a money belt (rock the fanny pack!).
Foods and beverages
What can I say about Brazilian foods and beverages?! You will find an enormous variety of dishes, according to the region you are going to visit, ranging from Pato no Tucupi in Manaus to Arroz de carreteiro in Porto Alegre. Don’t forget to try moquecas, acarajés, cuzcuz, churrasco, pastel and the list only grows.
About the beverages… well… this will depend on what you like to drink. But for sure you can’t leave Brazil without trying our fruit juices and caipirinha (and I do recommend the passion fruit caipirinha). You will also and excellent selection of bars specialized in national and imported beers. For typical Brazilian non-alcoholic refreshments, you should try caldo de cana (sugar juice), água de coco (coconut water), chimarrão (a hot tea made with yerba mate), Guaraná Antartica (local soda) and suco de caju (cashew juice).
I know these are just a few tips about Brazil and I’m not even mentioning the parties and nightlife. Below I’ve prepared a list of good blogs and websites where you will find interesting articles about my happy and beautiful country:
- Brazil 360º
- Condé Nast Traveler
- Eat Rio
- The Culture Trip
- Gringo Rio
- Fodor’s Travel
- Lonely Planet Free Brazil Mini-guide
After checking all this information, you are probably asking yourself if you have saved enough money, right? We can help put a little change in your pocket!
Entrusters.com is part of the sharing economy, with a focus on connecting people and turning society into a more collaborative world. We are obsessed with changing the way people get the products they want, globally.
We are part of the revolution that is transforming the travel market. Along the way we are helping people get extra cash by purchasing and delivering items for customers all over the world. As a Trusted Traveler, you browse the marketplace for items that are available to be purchased and delivered to a “local” waiting to meet you in Brazil. So, even though my tips are pretty good if I say so myself, I hope you will meet a new friend who will be able to share even more “insider info” about cool spots to visit on your travels. Check out the delivery section here and get started delivering happiness throughout Brazil.
It’s easy, fun and profitable!
Our friends at Travel & Leisure have created a fantastic (and quite extensive) list of the newest and coolest apps and websites out there which can help you enhance your next travel experience. Each helps you improve your trip in a different way - some focus on cultural activities, others on finding the best prices, and still others help you plan your getaway in the most efficient way possible. Some of our favorites are as follows:
- Get Going
- Google Maps - yes, an obvious one, but still great!!
- The Unesco World Heritage App
- Event Seeker
- Food Spotting
- Rocket Miles
- Room 77
- Spotify - everyone needs great playlists when they travel
The sharing economy is on a roll (even The Economist thinks so) and is constantly changing the way we live our lives. Traditionally industries are being shaken up every day and travel seems to be one of the hottest areas for disruption given the fine work done by everyone’s favorite, AirBNB. We here at Entrusters.com hope to play a role in helping redefine travel as well. While we have not made it on this list above yet, we are hopeful that we will in the future as more and more people learn about our platform and how it can improve multiple aspects of your trip the next time you hit the road. We see the benefits as the following:
- Reduce the cost of your trip - a little extra cash might cover a few nights in a hotel, allow you to get upgraded on your flight, or pay for a couple of nice dinners.
- Get some tips from a local. The person that you will be delivering the product to lives in the city where you are going and is going to be so appreciative of your help that he or she will surely give you some recommendations about where to go and what to see while you are in town.
- Make a new friend and help him or her out by bringing them the product they otherwise could not get - who knows, maybe you guys really connect, become best mates or fall in love...all that jazz.
The world is becoming more connected day by day and we want to take advantage of that trend and help revolutionize the way people get the products they want.
So now that you know our story, we thought it would be a perfect time to explain how the whole service works for you, the Buyer. We've tried to make it as simple as possible, while also keeping you up to speed throughout the entire process in a fun and engaging way. So without further ado, below are the steps that will get you virtually anything, anywhere.
You can shop on Entrusters.com for anything you like, from anywhere in the world. Literally anything. You name it, we'll find a way to get it for you. Once you find a product that you want from the search results or our curated catalog (for example - Our Headphones Category), press the big blue “Get Delivery Offer” button to launch your order into our marketplace.
Once you publish your request, Trusted Travelers from all over the world can bid to deliver your product to you, wherever you are. One of the killer features of Entrusters.com is that we are going to be doing our best to make sure that the same Trusted Traveler brings you down all your goods in one delivery...this makes it easier on both of you don't you think?. So, go and ahead and order the case with your iPhone, your new friend will bring it all to you! Remember, you are under NO obligation to buy when you publish a delivery request. Now, the fun starts.
As soon as your request receives a bid we will shoot you an email to let you know. Any subsequent bids will also result in the shooting of emails...yes, lots of emails being shot around, but we want to keep you up to date so you can get the best price. The choice is all yours: you choose to accept or reject each offer. All of the offers that arrive in your inbox are TOTAL prices, meaning that they include:
- The purchase price of the item, plus
- All fees related to the traveler and the marketplace, as well as
- The arrival date of the traveler.
We’ll also tell you a little about each other, including the other's Entrusters score. Just another reminder, there's no obligation for you to accept an offer. On the other hand, at this point, a Trusted Traveler's offer can be withdrawn if he or she changes travel plans or decides not to bring the item.
When you decide to accept an offer, we’ll send you an invoice for the full amount (yes, all fees included!), to be secured with Entrusters until you’ve received your item. At this point, we're also going to be informing the Trusted Traveler that he or she has some shopping to do, for you!
Once we confirm receipt of your funds, the Trusted Traveler will purchase your exact items. Remember, Entrusters holds your money until the delivery is completed and you are happy with your delivery.
You're on the home stretch! When the Trusted Traveler arrives to your city, you both arrange to meet up at a mutually convenient location...coffee shops with good wifi or even hotel lobbies are generally where we recommend. The Trusted Traveler will bring you the item and you’ll get to check it out, and confirm that it’s exactly what you ordered. Once you’re happy with the product, you’ll provide the Trusted Traveler with the unique code that you will have received from us at Entrusters.com. Ideally you can take the time to chat a bit with your Trusted Traveler - maybe tell him or her about things to do in the city. Its always nice to make a new friend with some local knowledge right?
Welcome to the Entrusters blog. We wanted to kick off our blog-posting bonanza with a story of four expat friends living abroad. They continued to ask the same questions every time they met up for drinks, “Is anyone traveling soon? I'm dying to get hold of something.” During a trip back home, one of the friends ended up bringing down a fly rod for a colleague, a camera lens for a friend, and an iPhone for his girlfriend. Upon telling the story at the next get together, it dawned on the friends that there must be a better way to organize this demand for goods and thus the idea for Entrusters was born.
As you have probably figured out already, Entrusters is a global peer-to-peer delivery network that connects travelers with people who need things from cities or countries where they don't live. Trusted, approved, international travelers share their luggage space to help people get the things they love and can't find locally. It's simple, easy and dependable. We're starting a revolution, looking to disrupt the logistics industry one delivery at a time. Join the community and get involved - its fun, and allows to you make a new friend and lower the cost of your trip when you travel.