Have you ever needed to return a mail-order purchase and missed the cut-off date because the thought of going to the post office made you want to kill yourself? Say hello to Shyp -- a let-someone-else-do-it-for-you shipping service that conveniently gets you lower rates -- now serving Miami.
Have you seen a dude on a bike carrying a large backpack and wearing a T-shirt with an angel wing inside a Superman triangle and wondered, WTF is that? That's a Shyp hero (that's what the company calls them). And to celebrate the Miami launch, Shyp is giving everyone who tries the service a $250 credit before Valentine's Day.
New Times decided to put these guys and their so-called shipping experts to the test by overnighting Bunnie Cakes' vegan, gluten-free, and perishable love cakes all the way to Seattle.
Using Shyp is easier and faster than bookmarking FedEx.com and auto-filling your information. All you have to do is download the Shyp app (free from the app store) and register through Facebook or with your email address. Once you've created an account and entered your credit card info, you're ready to ship. Simply press "add shipment" and enter the destination address.
Your phone will then go to camera mode so you can take a photo of your package (not that package) and send it to your hero once you've summoned him for a pickup. This is so the right form of delivery can be determined. If you're sending something large, chances are you won't get a hero on a bike or scooter.
Once a hero has been summoned, you'll see a screen with the name, photo, and location of your hero. My hero, Paul, took less than five minutes to arrive (efficient and impressive). Shyp's area of concentration is limited to South Beach, midtown Miami, Wynwood, Edgewater, downtown Miami, Brickell, and Coconut Grove, but there are plans to expand. (Sign up here to request that Shyp come to your zip code.)
If it's alarming to have someone you don't know show up at your front door, you can always meet him outside or in the lobby of your building. I invited Paul in to pick his brain about Shyp and learned that he started with the company in San Francisco (where it launched in March 2013) and briefly lived in Orlando before moving to Miami. "When I found out Shyp was coming here, I was like, 'Oh, no way!'" So he became a hero.
Any questions you have about pricing, packaging, and delivery, your hero can answer. Just don't offer him a cupcake -- I tried and he refused. (Who in their right mind would turn down Bunnie Cakes?) Maybe it's part of company policy not to accept
candy cupcakes from strangers.
As far as pricing goes, you have three options: economy (delivery within one week depending upon the destination), rush (two-day delivery but three times the cost of economy), and rush plus (overnight at six times the cost). Got something fragile? After your hero leaves, a Shyp truck will pick up the package from him and take it to the Shyp facility in Hialeah. There, shipping experts will assess and pack your product before using algorithms to determine which service will be the most reliable and least expensive.
So why not just go to UPS, FedEx, or USPS and ship it yourself? First, you don't have to change out of your pajamas (heroes don't judge). Second, who likes boxing up stuff and shipping things (except the guys at Shyp)? And last, you're saving money thanks to Shyp's negotiated discount rates with carriers.
To rush-plus a six-pack of perishable cupcakes to Seattle would have cost me $10 more if I had gone directly to UPS and $15 if I had opted to send via FedEx. Factor Shyp's $5 convenience fee, and I still got the best deal, especially considering FedEx now makes you pay extra for any kind of packaging. That fee, by the way, is $5 per pickup (not package). The smart move here would be to assign a weekly shipping day and get everything and anything you've accumulated out without having to leave your home, buy a box, wait in line, or fill out any sort of paperwork. If you're shipping internationally, Shyp will even take care of the customs paperwork for you. The only thing they don't do (yet) is send packages to space.
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Shyp also operates seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (take that, post office), so you can order on-demand pickups pretty much all day every day. For overnight shipments, the cutoff is 2 p.m. the previous day. And you'll be able to track your package right within the app. So what can't Shyp do? Well, it can't feed you Bunnie Cakes. You know what they say -- you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
To test out Shyp and get $250 in shipping credits, use the code MIAMINEW.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha