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Safestoop Explores Delivery on Demand for Online Shoppers

Package delivery represents the last step in the online shopping process. Companies like UPS, FedEx, and USPS compete to offer the best experience for that final step. But for some shoppers those delivery choices may be inconvenient or even risky should an opportune thief pick up a dropped-off package first.

In Boston, Safestoop is testing their service as a safer option for the final delivery step that connects a delivery with its intended recipient. The company accepts deliveries on behalf of its customers and then hand-delivers packages at the customer’s convenience.

Right now customers might find their delivery handed over by 28 year old company founder Sean Meagher (he and two other internal employees handle those right now), who told EcommerceBytes he stepped away from a five-year consulting gig at Accenture to do, well, something else.

“I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do the rest of my life – so I quit. I had nothing lined up when I quit, no idea what I was going to do next, no idea how I was going to make money. I just knew I didn’t want to waste another day of my life miserable behind a desk working at a job I didn’t like,” Meagher said.

The story likely resonates with the EcommerceBytes readership that likely contains people who reached similar lifestyle decisions and lit out for the world of online selling. Despite not having a conventional logistics background, Meagher got Safestoop going in September 2015. The company began delivering packages November 2nd.

Such curation of the delivery process removes the potential for inconvenient missed deliveries or stolen packages. Deliveries go to a secure Safestoop locker and are then scheduled with the consumer to be handed over within a desired one-hour window, on weeknights or weekends.

Safestoop offers its service on a per-delivery basis, or as a monthly subscription for unlimited deliveries. It currently services a select number of Boston zipcodes. Safestoop does limit the size of packages the service accepts to ones no bigger than 80 linear inches measured as length plus width plus height, and will charge an additional fee for packages measuring 60 to 80 linear inches.

Other options for curating the delivery process exist, as the multi-billion dollar ecommerce industry has a vested interest in keeping its customer base satisfied. Another service, Doorman, offers a similar delivery experience in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

UPS has long offered its My Choice service permitting customers to manage their delivery experience. And of course NPR recently noted how Amazon’s proposed Prime Air drone delivery could someday shuttle small packages to recipients.

Consumers who fret over the potential of being victimized by package theft may find such services appealing.

Safestoop’s nascent operations are self-funded right now. The firm delivers about 30 packages a night, a figure Meagher expects to double as the holiday shopping season rolls along. Meagher expressed optimism about a future where Safestoop ultimately could expand into cities beyond Boston.

“Our biggest advocates are our members. It’s the type of service that once someone tries it, they can’t imagine having their packages delivered any other way,” Meagher said.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.