If you have ordered something online before, chances are you would have faced this problem: your parcel deliveries are shipped to your house but you are always not home during the day. If that is the case, wouldn’t it be awesome if you can have your parcels delivered somewhere instead?
Online shopping is great, but in reality, 40% of deliveries fail the first time because recipients are rarely at home all the time.
That is what Bumbox aims to help solve. Based in Singapore, Bumbox is like your personal post office box where you can have your online goods and parcels delivered to the nearest Bumbox Station. You can conveniently pick up the parcels from Bumbox at your own convenience, and you don’t have to get stuck waiting for the deliveryman.
So how does it work? Simply sign up an account with Bumbox. When checking out from an online store, use your preferred Bumbox Shipping Address as the “Delivery Address” of your parcel. There is a size limitation though: the maximum parcel size is 54 cm by 33 cm by 60 cm, while the maximum parcel weight is 30 kg. If your parcel exceeds the maximum size or weight, Bumbox cannot accept the parcel.
For example, if you would like Bumbox to ship your parcel for self-collection at NUS Business School, key in “Bumbox@ NUS Business School, NUS Business Canteen, 1 Business Link, S117592” as your delivery address when carting or checking out with your online merchant. Once your parcel is delivered into the Bumbox Station, the Bumbox team also sends collection details to your smartphone.
What About Security And Liability?
We are glad you asked. According to the site’s FAQ, Bumbox stations, a 24/7 self-service system, have powder coating applied on them to offer greater resistance to vandalism. The stations are built of cold rolled steel and there are sensors are mounted on each locker to detect intrusion. If this is not enough, there is also a minimum insurance coverage to insure against any fire, lightning, and extraneous perils.
On top of that, Bumbox also captures the delivery man’s identification and footage of the delivery and collection. If Bumbox is found to be negligent of the parcel, Bumbox will also offer up to $100 in compensation or the value of the good, whichever is lower.
Rise Of Third Party Collection Points
Bumbox is trying to offer a convenient alternative for consumers in a time where online shopping is exploding, and we have a small crush on this company. A similar concept was adopted by online e-commerce store Zalora, where they partnered with 7 Elevens around in Singapore which will act as collection points for customers who are unable to collect their Zalora parcels during day time. Bumbox is extending this capability to everyone else whom are not shopping with Zalora.
Bumbox’s concept is not entirely new though, and we have first noticed Bumbox over a year back. Bumbox operates the same concept as SingPost’s POPStation. Perhaps you might remember POPStation, earlier last week, we wrote that popular online shopping site Taobao had partnered with SingPost, allowing customers to pick up their items from SingPost’s POPStations located in various locations around the country.
In terms of locations, Bumbox has fewer locations than POPStations: with the former present at less than 20 locations while the latter at almost 58 locations in Singapore. Bumbox can cost up to $3.50 depending on how many days you keep your items stored, while POPStation is a free service by SingPost.
“I’ve seen other people use it before, but it’s mostly because the Hall Offices have stopped collecting parcels,” Georgia, resident at the National Technological University where one of the Bumbox is located told Vulcan Post when asked if she has heard of the service before. Although she had downloaded the app on her phone, she hasn’t had a chance to use it yet, due to its extra cost.
“I end up sending my parcels back home instead because I think you have to pay extra for their service and I’m a poor student. And I don’t like paying more money.”
While it might seem as though it is a no brainer to use POPStation by SingPost, from the looks of it, Bumbox is currently targetting university students, and have Bumbox collection points set up at Republic Polytechnic, National University of Singapore as well as Nanyang Technological University.
Bumbox also reminds us of My Laundry Box which we featured a while back: a smartphone-enabled laundry locker service: users download the app (iOS and Android), place their clothes in physical lockers installed in various locations around Singapore, and then send their laundry order through the app. The clothes would then be picked up and sent for laundry. It will be washed, ironed and returned to the same locker where users can then pick them up again in two to five days from where they left it.
When we spoke to My Laundry box, the team told us that from a costing perspective, My Laundry Box eliminated the need for a physical shop front and front line service staff, and as a result of that, their operational costs are lower compared to brick and mortar laundries. These savings are passed on to customers, resulting in a 30-40% cheaper price point than premium laundries while offering the same quality of washing and dry cleaning.
We are unsure about the economics of Bumbox so far, but we are definitely keeping an eye out for Bumbox on its battle against SingPost the goliath.