Teapot Partners with ManyShip to Build Greater Trust in Peer to Peer Shipping

by Pranav Dandekar, Creator of Teapot

ManyShip enables its members to send things with people like them going that way

ManyShip enables its members to send things with people like them going that way

Teapot is a Stanford University research project where our mission is to enable trusted transactions on the web. We at Teapot are excited to partner with ManyShip to help make it the most trusted service for peer to peer shipping in the world.

How Teapot works

Teapot fosters trust between shippers and carriers on ManyShip using their social networks. When you view a trip or a need posted by a ManyShip user, like Michael Bennett, ManyShip allows you to “See how you’re connected” to Michael.

Traveler Profile with Teapot Integration on ManyShip

Teapot enables ManyShip users to “See how you’re connected”

Teapot will show you a trust score between you and Michael when both you and him have signed on to Teapot in your ManyShip account using the Facebook log on. The trust score is based on your shared connections, social interactions and common background.

Photo: Trust score between Manyship user Dan Denizen and Michael Bennett, powered by Teapot.

Trust Score between Sender and Traveler on ManyShip

Teapot enables ManyShip users to see a Trust Score, Degrees of Separation, and Which of your Friends are Connected to other users

This score leverages cutting-edge algorithms developed by researchers at Stanford University. These algorithms take into account a number of things about your social network and interactions: which friends of yours are connected to Michael, how well do you know them, and how well do they know Michael. The trust score captures the idea of transitivity of trust:  if you trust someone and they trust Michael, then you should probably trust Michael too. Additionally, the algorithms also take into account if you and Michael have a common background (e.g., you both went to the same high school, or worked at the same company, or are part of the volunteer organization).

In addition to simply showing you an opaque score, Teapot and Manyship also provide you more information about how you are connected (how many degrees you are separated by, which friends of yours are connected to the other user), so you can better understand this score. Like ManyShip, Teapot believes that knowing these shared connections and common background brings us closer, and creates greater trust in a transaction.

Your Privacy: We understand that if we are going to be in the trust-building business, we must first earn your trust. We promise that we will not share your data with a third party that you have not explicitly approved. Moreover, we give you total control over your data: if you sign in to Teapot, and click “Forget Me”, we will delete every single piece of information Teapot has about you. That’s one-click privacy brought to you by Teapot!

We look forward to helping ManyShip users build greater trust and enable a world class experience for senders and travelers alike. Get started building trust with Teapot by visiting ManyShip today.


Pranav DandekarPranav Dandekar is the creator of Teapot and a research scientist at Stanford University.  He has been thinking about trust, reputation and incentives in online marketplaces and social networks for more than 7 years. Previously he worked at industry leading technology companies including Google and Amazon.

Before It’s News features article on ManyShip

Before It's News Features ManyShip in Article

Before It’s News Features ManyShip in Article

In the past few weeks ManyShip has been seeing a lot of coverage in the press.  Recently, BeforeItsNews.com did a piece on focusing on how we are connecting travelers around the world with people who need to send goods. The article features some awesome points on how high prices, obligations, and a lack of efficiency in the shipping market have created problems for senders, and “many of the uncertainties and high costs are eliminated with ManyShip, which even supports international delivery”.

Here are some other highlights of the article:

” ManyShip, is attempting to offer similar revolution in connecting travelers with cargo”

“ManyShip could surely be one of its kind, Social Shipping Platform”

“Travelers can go to the site and make a post detailing their trip, how much extra space they have and how much they want to be paid to carry a package for someone”

“Travelers stand to earn money as well as rewards, apart from making new connections and friends.”

They also commented on the trust and safety factor which is our number one priority at ManyShip saying “ManyShip is offering similar services in the cargo shipment segment. Platforms like AirBNB have already proven that such innovations do work against the obvious factor of distrust. Do give the platform a chance and let us know your views.”

Read the full article here: ManyShip Attempting to Connect Travelers with Cargo.

ManyShip pre-releases The Definitive Guide on Peer to Peer Shipping

By Michael Bennett, CoFounder of ManyShip, The P2P Social Shipping Platform

Peer-to-peer-300x300

This is a pre-release of “The Definitive Guide on Peer to Peer Shipping” which will be available on the ManyShip site next week.  In the official release, we will include updated content including how to have something delivered and visual guides as well.  For now, enjoy the guide and begin to learn more about the wonderful process of P2P shipping.

What is Peer to Peer Shipping?

Peer to peer shipping is the process of connecting people needing to send things with people near them who are traveling to the destination they are sending to. In essence, it is the process of applying the peer to peer model (also known as person to person or P2P) championed by organizations such as Peers.org, to the global postal services industry.

Where did the idea originate from?

Peer to peer shipping in a technology platform has only began to be implemented in the last year, but the concept has been around for over a while.  ManyShip founder Prasad Kopanati (@pkopanati) coined the term peer to peer shipping or social shipping over twelve years ago when he started to send things back to his family in India after coming to the US as a graduate student. You can read more about his story here.

How does it work?

Peer to peer shipping is based on leveraging technology web platforms or mobile applications to connect people needing to send goods, packages, presents, and items, with people that are traveling to those destinations.  People sending are referred to as “senders” or “shippers”.  People that are traveling are referred to as “travelers” or “carriers”. By creating a platform, companies attempt to bridge the supply and demand aspects of the market, which are the supply of people traveling, matched with a demand for people needing to ship goods.

When someone needing to send something joins a site like ManyShip, they can search the current inventory of travelers, or post their need. If someone is traveling and wants to make money, meet new people, and help others, they post their trip. The site matches these people and allows them to communicate and then do a transaction. We created some simple guides to help you learn How to Send and How to Carry with ManyShip.

What are the benefits?

There are various benefits of peer to peer shipping for both senders and travelers. The most common advantages for people sending are a faster, greener, and more inexpensive shipping process. Travelers earn money, help others, and make great connections around the world. Let’s examine more in-depth the benefits for both types of users:

Senders

Faster: Peer to peer networks help you send your things faster by using pre-existing travel patterns which are a lot more efficient than the big, centralized, postal carrier. You can send your things pretty much anywhere in the world in 20-36 hours internationally (3-14 times faster than postal), and in 1-2 hours locally (12-48 times faster than postal).

Greener:  Traditional postal services emit 492 million tons (megatons) of CO2 emissions per year. Yuck! The hundreds of thousands of trucks and plane trips that are made directly impact and harm our environment. By using pre-existing travel plans, P2P shipping has practically no net carbon dioxide output.

Cheaper: At ManyShip, we have seen decrease in the prices of shipping by anywhere from 20-75% internationally when weighted for comparable travel times. Locally, instead of paying a courier $75+ to take a package from San Francisco to San Jose, you can find an individual who has a preexisting travel route between the cities and pay a fraction of that price anywhere from 12-48 times faster than USPS for example.

Simpler: No more stamps, filling out numerous forms at post offices, waiting for delays in long lines, and trying to figure out how much it will cost to send your things to Destination X in Y number of days. Technology and peer to peer methods streamline this process.

Travelers

Earn money: People who travel with extra space that carry goods earn money and rewards.  People make anywhere from $5 dollars locally to $100+ internationally depending on the necessity of the sender and items being sent. The model creates a strong incentive for people to carry, and helps to pay for a coffee, those horrid bag fees from the airlines, part of your ticket, or can help you put some money in the bank.

Make connections: Want to meet great people in your local community or across the world. Travelers have constantly reported making great connections with the people they carry for. This is a legitimate benefit for those interested in expanding their personal network and relationship pool. A famous story from one of our ManyShip carriers is that he got an internship that led to a job offer from the individual he delivered to India.

Help others: You can make money, meet great new people, and in this process you are helping others! It is a win-win for everyone involved, and travelers are doing more than just providing a personal service, they are helping others.

In conclusion, senders are enabled to have a faster, greener, and more affordable shipping experience. Travelers earn money, help others, and make great new connections throughout the world. Now who wouldn’t want that?

What are the risks?

The biggest concern we hear on a weekly basis is how carriers prevent someone trying to ship illicit goods with them. In order to prevent these type of things from happening, peer to peer shipping platforms should have a strong foundation in safe, secure, and trustworthy processes. Unless an item such as an iPhone is in the original sealed case from the seller, carriers should inspect the goods to prevent anything illegal being transported.  In order to better educate our users about the various processes we use at ManyShip, we list directly on our website the trust and safety measures we take to protect our users, senders and travelers alike. You can read about these practices on our ManyShip Trust page.

Where is the future of peer to peer shipping headed?

The future of peer to peer shipping holds great promise. Alternative methods of business and the sharing economy model championed by companies such as AirBnB for rooms and Lyft or UberX for rides have completely changed the way our society and economy will do business forever.  At ManyShip our vision is to build the fastest, simplest and most inexpensive way of sending your things anywhere in the world while protecting the environment.

Now that you understand how the peer to peers shipping process works, give it a try on the ManyShip today.

ManyShip Featured on the NextBigWhat

This past week ManyShip was featured on the NextBigWhat, India’s biggest platform for tech entrepreneurs. The article titled “Peer to Peer Network ManyShip Wants to be the AirBnB for Posts & Parcels” marks an important step of progress for ManyShip and our peer-to-peer (P2P) social shipping platform, as it helps to validate and establish our presence as an up and coming reputable startup in the international market.

Here are a few of the highlight quotes from the article:

“If you love sending stuff to relatives living abroad, you are going to love ManyShip.”

“The site has an intuitive user interface and makes things easy for both travelers looking to earn some extra bucks on the side and for people wanting to send stuff abroad. ”

“…the service has many things going for it. It saves time and money. It’s also environment friendly.”

The article also covers our vision, by quoting Michael Bennett, who focuses on ManyShip’s business and growth, saying “By connecting the millions of people traveling each day on local, national, and international levels, we aim to create a global network of people sending goods and helping others by becoming ManyShip travelers” and makes reference to the value that trust networks and scale play into making sharing economy based companies like ManyShip successful.

Click on the link here (http://www.nextbigwhat.com/manyship-peer-to-peer-for-posts-and-parcels-297/) to read the full article from NextBigWhat writer Jayadevan PK.

NextBigWhat-logo

Everything You Wish to Know About ManyShip – The Infographic

On popular demand we created this Infograhic that summarizes the functions of ManyShip. ManyShip is about better shipping experience. When you ship with your friends you get green, quick, cost-effective and smart shipping.

Click on the image below to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


View an enlarged version of this infographic.

Click here to download a pdf version of this infographic.

Want to display this infographic on your site?
Simply copy and paste the code below into the html of your website to display the infographic presented above:

This infographic is brought to you by ManyShip.

Manyship enables international shipping of a toy in record time and at an affordable price

Overseas shipping using ManyShip

Kids love the mini indoor helicopter – photo courtesy Amazon.com

Roopali, a 30-year-old Indian working in USA, sends a lot of things to her family and friends in India. She says that they love American goods. Their favorite items are clothes, candy and toys. Roopali buys them in the local stores or malls and ships them to India. Lately the shipping costs have increased and she started seeing a rise in her expenses.

In one occasion, Roopali wanted to surprise her friend’s son on his birthday. She bought a wonderful toy, a mini indoor helicopter, and planned to ship it to India. However, the shipping cost estimate seemed exorbitant and was higher than the cost of the toy itself. So, she dropped the plan of shipping it.

Coincidentally, the next day she heard about ManyShip via Facebook from one of her friends, Swaathi.  Swaathi had posted her travel plans to India on ManyShip and was willing to help out Roopali with her toy delivery.  Roopali was delighted and immediately became a member of ManyShip community and placed a request to ship her helicopter.  Swaathi responded and accepted Roopali’s request to take the toy with her.  ManyShip enabled Roopali to pay a modest amount to Swaathi for the wonderful and timely help she provided.

ManyShip is a social shipping and delivery platform that connects friends to ship for each other. It leverages your already existing social network and enables its members to send messages to all your friends.  This is how Roopali and Swaathi were able to work with each other and solve their shipping problem. ManyShip, is built on the premise of making all exchanges a Win-Win exchange. Roopali was able to send the toy at an affordable price and Swaathi was able to get a little bit of extra money that compensated her for her efforts and travel.

ManyShip members also report that an exchange such as this also builds stronger relationships and bonds between people as the whole transaction is done primarily with the purpose of helping out each other more than for profit.  That’s the kind of social transformation that ManyShip takes pride in bringing about.

Disclaimer: Names of people in this article have been changed to protect their privacy.

 

4 ways to transport your moped or scooter

Cheap moped transport ManyShip

Transport your moped – photo courtesy http://www.mopedarmy.com/

Here are 4 ways to transport your scooter or moped.

Use a moving company
A simple Google search will give you a long list of moving companies that can transport your vehicle. These companies typically charge you anywhere between $400 and $800. This option can be expensive and time consuming.

DIY moving
Try moving the moped (or scooter) yourself. Rent a U-Haul truck, van, minivan, pickup truck or similar and load the moped into the rented vehicle. Check out this video that shows how to load a moped into a pickup truck. This wiki article talks about various methods for loading a scooter into pickup truck.

You can read experiences of other people who have transported their mopeds. For example, Martin Olkowicz says “put the [mo]ped in the center of the bed, put the center stand down, and just hook one end of each strap to one side of the handlebars or triple tree and the other end into the stake pocket/tie down eyelet/cleat depending on what your truck has, ratchet them down evenly”. You can read the complete discussion here. There are several other discussions on this topic such as this onethis one, and this one.

Transporting a moped yourself is less expensive, but can be very time consuming.

Find someone on Craigslist
You might get lucky, and it’s not uncommon, to find someone who can pick up your moped and drop off at a place and time convenient for you. If you are lucky, you might get your moped delivered cheap and in a much faster way. However, finding someone on Craigslist and establishing a trust might be tricky.

Use a crowd shipping company

ManyShip is a crowd shipping company that specializes in connecting people who are going to places with people who need to send stuff with them. You save on shipping and get express delivery for less. This is a smart and cheap way of shipping.

You can find someone on ManyShip who is traveling that way and request them to deliver your moped. You can also post a need to get your moped delivered. You have complete control on how much you wish to offer and the time frame for the delivery.

Additionally, you help protect the environment too. When you get your moped delivered from a traveler, who plans to travel that route anyway, you help eliminate the need for another vehicle to travel same route. Thus, you help reduce the carbon emissions and thus create a greener environment for all of us.

ManyShip is a cheaper, faster and greener way of shipping.

Check out how Kyle, a ManyShip user, is trying to save on transporting his moped. Someone who is traveling the same route may transport Kyle’s moped and can easily offset some of the travel costs.

Check out more about
 ManyShip or simply sign up now.

7 tips for a pleasant road trip

Most of us will be on the road driving to a location for the upcoming long weekend. Here are 7 tips that will help make your road trip better.

1) Rent a vehicle: Renting a vehicle seems like a better choice for multiple reasons. First, rental vehicles are up to date on their service schedule, clean, and newer (most rental car companies rent out newer models with very low miles). Second, you have a choice to rent a bigger and spacious vehicle, which gives you extra comfort on a long drive. Third, renting a vehicle over a long weekend is not very expensive either. Thus for a small price you can save on the wear and tear of your own vehicle.

A spacious car is comfy and better on the road.

A spacious car is comfy and better on the road.

2)  Start in the AM: People tend to start their long weekend around 3 PM on a given day. As a result, most of the drivers are on the road around the same time. No wonder the roads get clogged and result in huge delays. Unless traffic jams don’t bother you that much, slightly modify the start time of your trip. Instead of starting on a Friday (or Thursday), you may choose to start at a different day and time. For example, you may start around 5 AM on the next day.

Early AM for a ride

Early in the morning is a perfect time to start your trip.

3. Drink coffee: Starting early in the morning around 5 AM, means a quick stop at the gas station to pick up coffee. It’s a great way to start your trip. First, sipping coffee as the sun is still trying to break out is simply fun. Second, the caffeine will try to fight your sleep. Moreover, you can use this opportunity to fill up your gas tank.

A nice coffee is wonderful

Wonder why coffee is so wonderful early in the morning? Umm… never mind.. Just enjoy..

4. Use rest areas: Map the rest areas on your way. Rest areas are not only scenic, but they provide you with quick access to the facilities. You don’t want to be wandering in the gas stations and waiting long lines for the restroom.

Rest areas live up to their names

Rest areas, mostly situated in scenic locations, give you the much needed quick break.

5. Listen to music: Be sure to have your favorite music CDs handy. Don’t rely on the radio or on the smart phone. Radio may be unavailable due to loss of signal, while your smart phone might be out of juice! Music is fun on the road.

Listen to good music

Music helps break the monotony of driving.

6. Take a quick lunch: If you start early around 5 AM, take the needed breaks for coffee, rest at scenic areas, etc, then you would be very close to your destination by noon. You may choose to stop for a quick lunch at a fast food place. Fast food is not only quick, but also lighter than a full course meal. You save time and money!

Great tasting food

Pick the healthy fast food place. You will love the rest of the ride!

7. Check in at a hotel after noon: Perhaps by 1 PM or so you should be able to check in at a hotel, leave your luggage, and start your memorable vacation. This way you can save a day’s worth of hotel costs.

Follow these 7 tips to receive the following benefits:

  • Avoid the most dreaded traffic congestion.
  • Save money on your hotel charges. (You might think you could start your vacation earlier by traveling on a Friday, but in reality you would reach the destination late in the night (thanks to all the traffic jams), wake up late and, start late the next day.)
  • Enjoy the early morning ride and the nature on the way.
Beach and sun are real fun

Waste no more time. Crash into your vacation.

Hope you will have a safe and fun trip. Enjoy the long weekend!

ManyShip is an online venue that connects people who need to send something somewhere with people going that way. It’s a smart and cheap way of shipping stuff. If you are traveling then it’s a simple way to start earning money. You can offset some of your travel costs. Sign up now at ManyShip.

Trust / Travel networks – what the heck are they?

At ManyShip, there is a lot of talk about “travel networks” or “trust networks”. In fact, travel networks form the crux of the working principles of ManyShip. Thus their purpose and need has to be clearly understood.

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As said in a previous post, Trust, security, risk, and ManyShip, ManyShip puts significant emphasis on connecting people who know each other already; either very closely or to some extent. Close relationships may be found inside a family, within friends, colleagues, or classmates. Distant relationships may be common at a workplace, worship places, universities, etc.

ManyShip attempts to connect those people that already form a part of “some” network, such as a family or friends network (e.g. Facebook), colleagues or co-workers network (e.g. corporation, enterprise, or company ), students network (e.g. schools or universities). And in almost all cases, a user may belong to at least one network.

ManyShip’s users, when signing up, must select a network they wish to associate with. The network may be the company they work at, the school they attend, or the social network they participate in. For example, a user may associate to a company and may consider their company name along with the company’s specific location when assigning the travel network. For example, when selecting Microsoft Corp. as their travel network, user may select Microsoft Corp. Redmond, WA if primary work location is Redmond office. On the other hand, if the primary work location is Sunnyvale, CA then the user may select Microsoft Sunnyvale CA as their travel network. (A user may belong to multiple networks.)

SelectTravelNetwork

A travel network begets trust and lets other users seek or provide services with confidence and reliably. And it eventually helps creating happy users.

So, choose a travel network and have a safe & happy manyshipping.

Trust, security, risk, and ManyShip

At a meetup in the silicon valley yesterday, May 22, several people asked about how ManyShip fosters trust among its users and create a convenient and safer platform for users to transact. Here’s a little background on how its done at ManyShip.

The emphasis is on connecting people who know each other already, either closely or distantly; users, for example, that work at the same company, attend the same school, or belong to the same social network (e.g. Facebook) share a network. There exists an inherent trust and comfort among these users that belong to the same company, a university, or a social network.

For the purposes of transacting on ManyShip, an employee of ManyShip may connect with their colleagues at ManyShip. Similarly, a student at Stanford University would transact with their friends at Stanford. This concept may be extended to users at Microsoft, Google, Northern Illinois University, Satyam Infotech, Tata Consultancy Services, Fiverr, Ebay, and so on.

ManyShip utilizes the “trust” that has been established already in the networks and users of which feel comfortable connecting with their friends or colleagues. This notion may be evident from ManyShip’s sign up form that requires a user to select their “travel network”, which essentially refers to the trust network that the user already belongs to;  users enter  their association with a company, a university, or a social network.

Users, however, must assume the responsibility of doing their due diligence when accepting goods from others and or entrusting other users with their personal goods. 

Act responsibly and in turn help create a safe platform.