Darrb Shipping 2.0

12 Jul, 2008

Darrb Logo

You know UPS, DHL, ARAMEX, well meet Darrb which means “way” in Arabic. It is a crowd based shipping online community, or shipping 2.0  which was beta launched recently.

Unlike conventional shippers who have paid staff to deliver items, and charge a predefined charge. Darrb shippers can be any one (including you !) who is welling and can deliver items in exchange for payments. While people who wants to ship items, can get better rates compared to DHL and others, through a reserve auction based marketplace, where members who wants to deliver items (Darrbers) can bed price and delivery time.

The user who asked for a delivery can sort the bids based on time (delivery duration) or cost. At the end of the auction, the user could choose the Darrber (deliverers) who best fits his requirement.

Darrb Homepage

Becoming a Darrber is an easy process, you fill up a profile: About you, choosing your delivery method, Aeroplane, car, motorcycle, public transportation and/or others, and which areas you can deliver the items to.

Sending an item is also an easy process: you fill up info such as: weight, quantity, dimensions, description. Then you define from where and when the item is sent from and to where and when it is to be delivered. You also decide when the bid ends and your expected charge.

As for payment methods Darrb does not provide one, it is to be decided by the delivery parties, where the payment can be any method from paypal to barter.

The item page shows  details the delivery requester has entered, also he/she and Darrbers can post questions and answers, privately or publicly. Besides that Darrbers can post their beds (I described above.)

To insure trust with Darrbers, senders are able to rank the service of the deliverers (Darrbers) and leave comments on their profiles once the deal is done. This ranking system will allow the public to see how other people, that have used the service of a specific Darrber, found the quality, price and speed of the delivery. If a Darrber is proven to delinquent or misbehave, Darrb.com has the right to immediately suspend the Darrber’s account and stop dealing with him.

Darrb platform is free for both people who add delivery orders and Darrbers. But it is planning to charge  membership fees for Darbbers.

Darrb recently added Statistics and some miner design issues:

Statistics:

Now Darrbers can know how much money they can make if they delivered all the items available! This is an indicator that helps Darrbers know how much money is available to run for.

Some other changes are like showing the number of new items available instead of items delivered.

We thought Darrbers want to know what is new to deliver, not what was delivered.

According to Darrb:

One of our main roles main roles is to help reduce the unemployment rates worldwide.

And this is true, people can do it on part-time bases to earn an extra cash delivering items. For example you can use your car, public transportation, bicycle or any other method to deliver items, or may be you it happened you are going to the same location that an item needs to be delivered to, where If done, you can at least cover your gas/transport cost.

Some other people might even make it as a living. For example in major US cities, you find people cruising the city with bicycles to deliver couriers; they are self employed or work with a small courier company. To them Darrb would be the market place to find customers. And it would be an opportunity for others to start a business out of it, just like many others who started their businesses solely auctioning at eBay.
Now here is some of my tips to improve Darrb:

1-    Chian Darrbers (multi Darrabs) for one delivery:
Currently the system allows one Darrber to deliver the item if he is qualified by the item submitter. But in many cases there would be a Darrber who can deliver the item halfway or partway, at which point another Darrber can collect the item from that location and deliver the item to the final destination or to another Darrber who can advance the item further along the chain. This would be the case in big cities, or across cities or even across countries. And to make it happen it requires coordination between the Darrbers who can deliver items from point A to B to C,.. etc. until the final point.

SMS and GPS:
SMS: For serious Darrbers, it would be great for them to get SMS notifications of recent matches to the locations they can deliver to, at the same time be able to accept/bed on them. This also helps item submitter to get Darrbers bed in real time. (Integration is Twitter is an option.)
GPS: You know when using UPS you can track your shipment online, it would be beneficial for the item submitter to track his/her item in real time, and Darrb do not need to develop their own Mobile GPS platform, they can use existing platforms such as WeNear or Brightkite and Yahoo’s FireEagle through their APIs.
Knowing the Darrber Location would also help other Darrbers coordinate in a (Chain Darrbers) situation I described before.

Integrating with existing e-commerce sites:
You know currently in e-commerce the delivery option is even free or charged via traditional delivery. In the latter case it would be an added value to have an option to use Darrb platform to deliver the purchased item/s, This requires Darrber to publish an API where other e-commerce sites can use to do the integration.
Existing e-commerce sites Darrb can use: Souq El Arab (tag), Souq.com, Amazon, eBay and other small and big e-commerce players. And by doing so, it would a win-win for both. For Darrb it would be a great viral marketing, and an added value for its users. For the e-commerce company it would give the option to their customer to get cheaper delivery rates, and once Darrb goes mainstream it would be even faster than traditional delivery companies.

Finally Darrb should reach those self employed bicycle couriers in USA, for example they can Google them. Or even try to make new once through finding the most active movers, and that could be done by targeting them with an Ad on BrightKite, or any other LBS (I do not know if Brightkite started to deliver ads yet, but Darrb team can contact them, and if you guys needs an invite to Brightkite privet beta just ask me : ) )
Will shipping 2.0 like Darrb.com go main stream and be a killer to big players such as UPS, DHL, Aramex? I’ll leave that to your comments.

#Darrb is a UAE based company .

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  1. Murshed  |  July 12th, 2008 at 1:33 PM #

    Many Thanks for featuring Darrb.com on arabcrunch.com:) i have to say that this is a great review!

    focusing on the points you mentioned on how to improve darrb.com, many of them where actually in mind, but we thought it would be better to wait and see the reaction of people and how they use the website before taking any further action.

    for example, we didn’t even think that people will use darrb.com for “purchase+deliver” items. if you see, many people ask for someone to buy them some items from their countries and deliver them to their country by normal mail!

    i had the multi darrber idea from the beginning, but i thought lets wait and see how people use the website, especially that the idea needs a lot of thinking on how to actually make it practically feasible.

    The SMS and GPS ideas are also great, we should look at those options when we charge membership fees in the future (no plans to charge anything in the near future).

    Integrating with other marketplaces is my dream! i wish we could make this happen soon. since our concept is very new, we are focusing on increasing the number of items being delivered and making the process of adding items easy for people. this step will pave the road for integrating with other marketplaces:)

    Many Thanks again for the review.. i’ll be very happy to see other comments and how we can improve the way we work.

    Murshed
    Co Founder – Darrb.com

  2. Gaith Saqer  |  July 12th, 2008 at 3:54 PM #

    i mentioned these features as suggestions that you can add later.

    Adding Darrb to e-commerce web sites definitely would be a great plus for you, but since the members base have not reached critical mass, big players might be hesitant.

    So for a start you could do it with small e-commerce sites.

    and the best and the most cost effective way to grow members and create a brand for a startup is PR, which is FREE.

    I recommend you contacting TechCrunch, Mashable readwriteweb, CNET, Redherring..etc. you can email me to get some tips ( when you do plz mentions AC to them :).

    By the way i did a quick googling and have not found any one doing what you do is there any?

    further more i recommend you to use Shipping 2.0 as a slogan and may be find out if you can TM

  3. Darrb.com reviewed at ArabCrunch.com : Don’t send it, Darrb it!  |  July 13th, 2008 at 9:55 AM #

    […] article reviewing Darrb.com was added on Arabcrunch.com covering the features offered by Darrb and how Darrbers can benefit from delivering items on their […]

  4. eMapia location based marketplace | ArabCrunch  |  August 9th, 2008 at 11:38 AM #

    […] is a new startup from the people behind the delivery services marketplace  Darrb. eMapia still in beta, is an enhanced Do-IT-your-self e-commerce site but with GoogleMaps, It […]

  5. susanna  |  August 29th, 2008 at 4:52 PM #

    congratulations to your publication on springwise.com – all startups please submit your startups to me so that I may submit them to springwise.
    Susanna
    (website unrelated to trendspotting)

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