Picture this: You’re moving. Being that you’re too cheap to hire a mover, you’ll be the one sending a life in boxes to your new address. You head to the post office, buy up its entire stock of cardboard cartons, return home to empty the kitchen cabinets, and drop the stupid Le Creuset cast iron skillet you never use on your foot before bundling it in bubblewrap and jamming it into a box of now-cracked mugs. You reach for the packing tape, but mother of pearl, you’re out of packing tape. You return to the post office, stand in line for 45 minutes behind a woman who can “never remember” if her son lives in Iowa or Idaho, buy a new roll, try in vain to find the tape’s beginning, throw it against the wall, and then give up until tomorrow.
If the above scenario sounds like your nightmare, consider signing up for Shyp, an on-demand mailing service that has joined the ranks of Uber and InstaCart in delivering convenience at the touch of a smartphone button. The company announced today that it has acquired $50 million in venture capital, putting its value at more than $250 million. Already available in New York, San Francisco, and Miami, Shyp is now beta-testing a pilot version right here in L.A.
So, how does it work? Within 20 minutes of requesting the service, a Shyp hero will arrive to relieve you of a wide variety of parcels (furniture, gifts, fine art, care packages, the things you sell in your Etsy shop—but no alcoholic beverages, firearms, hazardous materials, tobacco products and any other items that are prohibited by law, please). The service’s real coup, however, is that it handles packaging in its own warehouse facility, so Shyppers needn’t have boxes or styrofoam peanuts on hand ahead of time. The company will compare the cost of shipping among major carriers—USPS, FedEx, UPS—and charge customers the lowest rate. What we’re trying to say is that our dreams of never standing in line at the post office again are coming true.
Head to Shyp’s Web site to sign up for the L.A. beta test, and check out their tweet below to see if the service is currently available in your neighborhood.
— Shyp (@shyp) April 21, 2015