Entrusters: The Answer to All Our Expat Cravings
Article by Rachael Leonie.
The anxious traveler walks through the café doors, package in hand. She scans the room for the man in the red sweater. They lock eyes and she rushes over to the elderly Argentine, as a beaming smile swipes across both faces. The two strangers discuss her flight from New York, her catering business as mentioned in their messages, and the long list of the best BA restaurants the man has drawn up for her. Finally, the man opens the package containing his requested gift: a custom-sized dress, straight from Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and still secured beneath the boutique’s carefully wrapped tissue paper. The New York foodie smiles as the elderly porteño evaluates what is soon to be his wife’s birthday present. They finish their coffees, chat some more, then part ways. And with that, another Entrusters transaction is completed. And it’s just one of many taking place globally.
Welcome to the newest peer-to-peer platform revolutionizing the global market as we know it. Entrusters, a global delivery network, connects international travelers with people wanting items from abroad. It’s a new variation of the sharing ecomony. Consider it the Uber of global goods; an international Task Rabbit. Trusted travelers contribute luggage space to people craving foreign goods (you know what they say: once you’ve tried peanut butter…) or expats wanting favored products from home (like the latest Jawbone’s gadget).
The trio running the delivery platform merged the idea after years of repetitive inquiries regarding trips back home and free luggage space (“anyone traveling soon? I’m dying to get the latest xyz”). Wesley, Bill, and David eventually decided to squelch all their expat friends’ pleading with a solid solution: a global peer-to-peer network for organized exchanges carried out internationally. With varying business ventures behind them–including strong backgrounds in the finance world, involvement in Oasis Collections (a luxury rental company featuring handpicked properties in Buenos Aires), and David’s tutoring website, Profr.org—the team was flush with innovation from the onset. The Miami-based company launched in March and (relying purely on word-of-mouth as advertising) the trio awaited the public’s reaction.
Within Entrusters’ first few weeks, the team’s theory proved itself. Whether it be one Brazilian’s craving for Flaming Hot Cheetos or an expat missing her favorite brand of rainboots, the users flooded in from far and wide. And as anxious customers turned into loyal users, unlikely friendships formed between foreigners.
But receivers aren’t the only satisfied customers: the “Trusted Travelers” completing the transactions are just as grateful and willing as their accepting counterparts. Bill, Wesley, and David’s favorite stories created between their customers are a testament to this. There’s the woman who brought a Nintendo 2DS to Buenos Aires and later received a picture of the customer’s smiling son as he unwraps the birthday present; the traveler who uses Entrusters to meet locals, discover off-the-beaten path bars and clubs, and gain a bit more spending money in the process; or the American delivering a graphing calculator to a man’s son in a very personal, and touching, transaction.
Whether you’re missing an item from overseas or planning a trip abroad, check out the Entrusters website. Log in with your Facebook profile and see how many degrees of separation connect you with other users, browse the marketplace of currently-craved goods (items currently include Winger’s Better Days Comin’ CD and Marvel Thanos action figure), or add your own.
As the team stated in our interview, “our ambition is to deliver anything to anybody, anywhere” and Marmite by Marmite, action figure by action figure, they’re revolutionizing the global marketplace to accomplish just that.