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June 10, 2005 12:21 PM   Subscribe

BusinessFilter: How much would you be willing to pay for this service...

You know how you get one of those "Sorry we missed you" post-it notes from the post office? They say you have to either:
a)wait for them to redeliver it the next day at THE EXACT SAME TIME, when you're obviously at work.
b) go pick it up at the post office during business hours(also at work)

c) have it picked up by an "Authorized Agent"?

How much would you pay for a service to pick up the package for you while you're at work and drop it off when you're ACTUALLY at home? Is $5.00 too steep? $3.00? Help me out.
posted by celibate_life to Work & Money (17 answers total)
My apartment office already does this for me, more or less--if I'm not home the post office will leave the package at the apartment complex main office, where I can either pick it up at my convenience, or have the office staff leave it inside my apartment. So, $0.00.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:31 PM on June 10, 2005

I can totally see people paying $3.00 or even $5.00 for this.

The greater issue is that if I'm paying $5.00, that shit better be scheduled JUST RIGHT.

If I pay you five bucks, I better be able to tell you exactly what time it's showing up and have you be there in a half hour window.

If you're just gonna drop it off any old time after 5pm like you were the cable guy, well, $0.00. Your value-add comes in the form of making it easier to manage my time -- if you remove that component, it's worthless.

I would also guess that $5.00 won't be enough for you to offer a precise time for delivery (unless you're REAL good at planning). It's a good idea, but I think a tough one to execute in a manner so that people would pay for it AND it would be profitable.
posted by fishfucker at 12:37 PM on June 10, 2005

This is perfect. A great IDEA.
I have this situation a lot. Like my many other friends, I shop on the net for small things like groom supplies to big things like furnitures. I have usual work hours, so I almost always had to pickup my shipments by driving to UPS, FEDEX or USPS... Wait in the line... Drive back... Have to use up lunch hours or sometimes have to leave early with guilty conscious. (during traffic jams my UPS trip would take more than 2 hours round trip.)

Few years ago I decided to buy a UPS Store Mail Box to hold my shipments. I think I pay $30 a month for this. I figured calculating my driving time, line waiting time, hassel of rescheduling, savings I get from not having to go to mall or specialty places and savings I get from ordering online HAVE saved me more money and time to offset box cost. But I would still have to find a time to goto the UPS Store Mail Box to pickup my package before they close (they still don't give out boxes off hours).

I will pay $3 for small items, $5 for medium boxes, and I am still willing to pay $10 for large boxes. Thing like big chairs, sofas, even Plasma TVs usually are shipped via "White Glove" Services or would willing to arrange time... but I would pay $15 to $20 for my personal "white glove service" during nights or weekends (of course I expect a person to move that large box to my living room.

I figure many people order 1 or 2 online purchases a month but person like me would order 5-6 items a month.
I believe I save around 10% for most purchases order online. If I include time and gas savings ... probably 12-15%.

Your service will be definately for me. I can cancel my UPS mail box service and pay per service through your service.

What a great idea.
posted by curiousleo at 1:02 PM on June 10, 2005

I think a lot of people just get it shipped to their workplace? That's what I do. So, zero. Five bucks is a ton if you already paid five bucks for shipping.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 1:05 PM on June 10, 2005

Yeah, I get all my stuff shipped to work.

Also, you can leave Fedex a note on the door at home with your sig and they'll leave things. Not that this prevents thievery but...
posted by selfnoise at 1:16 PM on June 10, 2005

I would definitely do this and my sister, who lives someplace where they leave packages on her front porch in a city where this isn't a great idea, would also be psyched about it, I bet. I agonize when computer equipment or overnighted paperwork I need is coming on days I have to be out of town. Maybe they'll leave it on the porch, maybe they'll just leave it at the neighbors, maybe they'll leave it on the stoop outside and maybe it will rain. I'd tack $1-2 on my packages easy to know the package is coming when I'm home, whenever that is. I don't have a fixed workplace as a freelancer so often I'm not even paying the shipping, I just need to be home to get the package. I'd also pay extra for the deliveryperson to call when they're five minutes from my house so I can keep an eye out for them, if whatever I have needs some sort of signature. I like the white glove idea of more money for big moving hassles. I think there is someone in AskMe right now looking for something like this.
posted by jessamyn at 1:22 PM on June 10, 2005

Even better, have an online computer system that gives your users an up-to-the-minute scheduled arrival time the way FedEx does. As fishfucker said, your value-add is in making it easy to use, easy to pay, and timely.
posted by SpecialK at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2005

The problem being that usually you have to provide ID when you pick up a package at the depot. That said, I might use this service from time to time, but mostly, I just wish they'd leave the damn thing on my doorstep.
posted by trevyn at 3:01 PM on June 10, 2005

I'd pay twice as much for shipping if with an extremely high degree of certainty I would be given the day and time I could receive my shipment and didn't have to juggle the "You Missed Us!" notice.

The problem here is that if I miss the delivery while I'm at work, the UPS/FedEx courier isn't going to have it back at the station for pickup until after 6PM anyway -- at which point I can just go grab it after work. So you're saving me, what, a ten minute drive and another ten minutes in line, and then coming by the house at say, 7PM. I'd give you a buck or two for that.

If I had to wait until a subsequent day, well, that would suck and not be worth money at all.
posted by majick at 3:54 PM on June 10, 2005

I believe I've finally convinced both FedEx and UPS to leave my packages at the doorstep, or near the fence, or wherever they feel like leaving it. I've signed about three of their forms for this, but it seems to finally have worked. If I hadn't done this, I would use your service and pay up to $5, but only if your service was easy to use with an online order form.

But, now that I've finally convinced the only two carriers I use to leave my packages, I don't think I'd use your service, even if it is a good idea.

Also, trevyn brings up a good point - why would the carriers release packages to your company? Would you capture your customers' signatures on your website, and then have your couriers show them at the post office?
posted by odinsdream at 3:57 PM on June 10, 2005

Oh. I'm an idiot. You said the post office! In which case your service is worthless to me. I never receive -- and do not wish to receive -- packages via USPS.
posted by majick at 3:58 PM on June 10, 2005

If we're talking USPS, your biggest competition is the USPS themselves. I maintain a PO box at a regional distribution facility for important documents and packages that have to come via mail. I get local mail the same day (usually), and mail from the other coast in no more than 2 days. They will hold packages, and regional facilities keep long hours.

But for FedEx and UPS, I might be willing to pay a few bucks if I told the shipper to have the package held at the office, and had your service pick it up. I'm out a lot, and I've had packages ruined by rain, or found the notices on my door when it was too late to do anything about. A lot of people in my area (DC metro) can't receive packages at work, for obvious reasons.
posted by bh at 4:12 PM on June 10, 2005

FedEx or UPS would be nice, but their drivers wouldn't like it much. I don't receive anything that can't fit in my mailbox through USPS either.

I think a nice workaround for the exact timing thing would be some kind of call-ahead mechanism. When I get home, I would call your company and the package would go into the system as "deliverable".
posted by ontic at 7:48 PM on June 10, 2005

I wouldn't ay for this service, but I'd give you a fiver to hang out from 8 a.m. to noon to wait for the cable guy/plumber/electrician/a.c. repairman....
posted by fixedgear at 2:29 AM on June 11, 2005

Yeah, for the post office I'd have no interest in the service.

If it were for shipping companies (FedEx, UPS, etc) my interest would be peaked. I live in the country which means the UPS truck comes by at only moronic times of day (often with maps drawn on the packages... LOL!), and I have to wait up to a week for redelivery. $5 and I'd be taking you up on that service super-quick.
posted by shepd at 9:33 AM on June 11, 2005

You are messing with Teamster turf with UPS.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:53 PM on June 11, 2005

It costs me $3 in bus fare just to get to the post office/Fedex/UPS. Not to mention the wasted time.

I don't know why the delivery services don't already offer evening service for an extra charge. It seems like a no-brainer. So many people would spring for it, I'm sure the additional revenue would more than pay for any salary increase necessary to get delivery drivers to work evening shifts.

I would definitely pay at least $5, maybe more, even for just a delivery window of 6pm-10pm or something like that. I can't get packages at work, and I live somewhere where leaving the package on the porch is not an option, so this would be perfect for me, and probably a lot of people.

Logistically, this would be pretty easy for you. You don't need to pick up the packages and worry about IDs - just tell the person placing the order to list your address as the delivery address. Stay home all day and wait for packages, then at 5:00 go out and deliver them. It seems like a great business idea.
posted by clarissajoy at 12:38 PM on June 14, 2005

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