Money Doesn’t Buy You Trust

Something about Mary Hitchhiker

“How do I know a hitchhiker won’t dismember me with an axe?”

People who ask this question would never pick up a hitchhiker in the first place. The hitchhiker could sign a restraining order, pinky swear, or offer to underwrite your life insurance policy, and none of it would matter. If you don’t trust a stranger, you don’t trust a stranger.

The people who have used P2P Postal thus far have not raised any questions about trust or insurance. Completed deliveries include several motorcycles, some car parts, a cake, a guitar, and a dog. Not once did someone ask, “How do I know you’re not going to run off with my stuff?” People who are willing to entertain the idea of having a stranger transport their things don’t place much weight on the probability of loss.

P2P Postal does work with drivers to provide insurance options, but in nearly all cases, the customer doesn’t want it. It’s about trust — You have it or you don’t. It’s not for sale.

One upcoming P2P Postal reservation involves a mountain biker who wants to transport a high-end mountain bike. He has requested insurance from a third-party provider, but I suspect he will cancel. The trust simply is not there.

P2P Postal is not for everyone. If a customer can be assuaged by the promise of loss reimbursement, then a professional shipping service is probably more appropriate.

Airbnb also provides insurance coverage in the event that your home gets trashed, but most users would probably prefer that their home not get trashed. Monetary compensation is not a tool for building trust in a sharing economy.

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