A new service is giving travellers a unique way to potentially save money on their flight – by buying and dropping off expensive items to rich shoppers at their destination.
Top ticket items such as iPhones, luxury handbags and even perfumes are being asked for by well-heeled shoppers, but it isn’t just expensive items.
Home comforts, such as teabags and cheesecake also make it onto the list of items that people are requesting through the AirWayBill app.
Global shopper: Nada Al Nahdi gets her favorite cheesecake delivered using the service
AirWayBill, a Spanish company based in Paris start-up campus Station F, pairs travellers with those shoppers who want to buy items but don’t necessarily want the inconvenience of flying themselves to the luxury boutiques where they are based.
For those looking to make some cash for an upcoming trip, the first step is to check the app for demand from where they are travelling.
Cities such as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Mumbai, India have particularly high demand for designer goods meaning cash can be made by savvy travellers.
Once an item is found, whether a fidget spinner or a guda drum, both parties consent that carrying the item is legal, the logistics are arranged via the app and the traveller is free to fly with the item.
The finances are simple enough. A party wanting an item bought pays 110 per cent of the high street value to AirWayBill which says it keeps the money safe in escrow.
Once both buyer and seller agree that the item has been delivered, AirWayBill refunds the traveller for the item, and gives them an additional eight per cent of its value.
For a £1,000 handbag, the traveller would stand to make £80, not a fortune, but nothing to be sniffed at either – especially if the buyer demands more than one.
The service keeps 2 per cent of the item cost, meaning for the £1,000 handbag, the company would make £20.
‘I’m always on the lookout for more things’
Budget traveler: Nada Al Nahdi first used the app when returning home from Spain
One entrepreneurial traveller made use of AirWayBill on a trip from Europe to Saudi Arabia. The cargo? Specific electronic cigarette filters from Spain.
Nada Al Nahdi, a 25 year old account manager and blogger, told This is Money that ‘it all felt very normal. I just had to go to a store and buy a some vape filters.’
Once she arrived, the filters were picked up and she was paid within 24 hours.
Since getting back home to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Ms Nahdi has been making use of the service for her favorite food: cheesecake.
‘I had it couriered from Khobar to Jeddah,’ she explained, showing how the service is used for sourcing more day-to-day items as well high ticket luxury pieces.
This is Money spoke to co-founder Khaled Sehly and asked what happens if an item is lost or stolen during transit.
‘In case of theft or Force Majeure, we shall refund the traveller after receiving the appropriate documents as a proof,’ he said.
Happy shopper: iPhones, luxury handbags and even perfumes are being requested
A police report would be sufficient proof for theft. In the case of lost luggage, confirmation from the airline would work.
Such an outcome hadn’t yet happened but the company is insured for when it does, Mr Sehly explained.
When it comes to keeping everything above board Mr Sehly told This is Money that the AirWayBill team ‘inspects each request to assure that nothing is going against the regulations’.
The name, he says, comes from the official document that accompanies goods shipped by an international courier to provide detailed information about it and allow it to be tracked.