A new service has just started that can help keep your travel costs down and is also a fun way to meet new people. www.jetleap.com is based in Israel. You join with Facebook or other social media ID. On the web site, you can offer to bring a package to someone in Israel, for a fee, or respond to a request to bring an item home. Fees range from $10 for small ear buds to $80 for a laptop. Most fees seems to be in the $20-$50 range You state which city you are departing from and where you are going to. There are to be reviews of buyers and the schleppers, but since it’s so new, I have not seen any reviews yet on the site. Payment for the courier is held in escrow until after delivery.
I can see some problems here, but I wish them well. The web site promises that there will be full security and you have to login with a legitimate Facebook account.
I contacted Ayal Ebert, the site’s co-founder, to get more details on how the service works. He reports that the way people are operating on Jetleap, a package poster orders the item from an online store and has it shipped directly to the courier’s address. This makes the traveler’s life easier and simplifies logistics.
Fraud, he says, is a valid concern, but they haven’t encountered any instances yet. In a world of eBays and Airbnbs, these platforms have proven that people are essentially good and fraudulent activities are rare (though these instances get the most media coverage). Either way, they’ve implemented multiple measures to protect the community from malicious activity, including integrating online ID verification software that verifies that a Facebook profile is real. There’s phone verification, additional social network verification, history, reviews, etc. They also provide insurance on all packages. If an item is lost, stolen or doesn’t arrive for whatever reason, users can file a claim with Jetleap and they’ll run an investigation and refund the package poster for the full cost of the item.
Sounds good to me; I’ve signed up. They will also be rolling out the service to other countries in the very near future.
By Phil Kestenbaum