Unless you’re the sort of crazy person who enjoys tedious things like emptying the dishwasher and alphabetizing your bookshelves, packing sucks. It is, however, the price we pay to travel to amazing destinations. But what if you didn’t need to pack for your next vacation? What if you didn’t need to pack a thing? That’s the goal of Locarry, the latest “Airbnb of <insert industry here>” website to take advantage of the sharing economy.
The site is admittedly crude at the moment with a booking process that’s almost too straightforward. Lenders post the inventory of items they’re willing to let. This can include anything from jeans and digital cameras to camping tents and surfboards. If it’s of potential use to travelers, it can be shared. For clothing, they detail the sizes and other relevant details. Travelers (borrowers) are then able to search the site’s database of users and filter only those lenders that match their body size and luggage needs.
Unlike sites like Airbnb, there is no option to immediately confirm an order. Every share request is sent to the lender, and the traveler must wait for manual approval. Once their order is approved, they arrange payment and a return date, then meet in person to exchange money and the items. For quality and security, the network relies on a simple star-based feedback system. Travelers who return their borrowed goods in the same condition they received them rank higher. For lenders, a consistently high-quality inventory scores them a better ranking.
Locarry is the brainchild of Japanese startup entrepreneur Shimpei Watanabe. On a short trip to China in 2017, he realized that he had to pack a large variety of clothing and goods to plan for every contingency. This included business attire, workout clothing, and casual threads for going out at night. It seemed like a lot of baggage for what amounted to a weekender. When a friend told him that he would’ve lent his clothes to the traveler, Watanabe knew there had to be a market for “luggage sharing.” With a little inspiration from Airbnb, Locarry was born.
For now, the network is limited to the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and a handful of other Asian countries. The company is looking to grow globally, so for now, it’s not taking a cut of any transactions, and there are no registration or membership fees. All payments take place directly between each user once they’ve met and exchanged goods.
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