As you may have heard, we’re creating a iPhone/iTouch app called Eat The World. We were only traveling with an iTouch. The last time I had an iPhone was two years ago but unfortunately it broke during my travels. I wanted the new iPhone 4S and I needed a new hard-drive but we’re in Ecuador.
Apple has recently released the iPhone 4S and I was due for an upgrade on my network. Because it’s a world phone that has both GSM and CDMA, my network allowed me to unlock one part of it which then allowed me to use any SIM card as I travel. I also ran out of hard-drive space so I ordered a Western Digital My Passport 1 TB hard-drive. The problem is, I wasn’t in the USA to receive the phone and hard-drive. I ordered the stuff and thought it’d be easy to ship to Ecuador. I was wrong.
UPS and FedEx was charging $100 for a tiny package. Ecuador is notorious for having horrible regular postal service so I didn’t trust that either. To add to the disaster, Ecuador doesn’t allow you to receive personal items from the USA whether you’re an American or not. It would just be counted as a regular package and the government has the right charge you taxes and duties for anything that you receive. That would be mean I would be made to pay the regular price for the products as it’d cost in Ecuador. Shipping UPS and FedEx guarantees that I’d be charged but regular postal service is a hit or miss whether they would check the package or not (some claim to have their items stolen from the package). I didn’t want to take the risk. Since I’m traveling, I didn’t know where I was going to be in the next few weeks as the packaged arrived. It has to be shipped to an actual location, not a post office or drop off location.
At first I thought I’d never be able to receive the package but I had an idea. I sent out a message on Twitter if anyone was coming to Ecuador from USA anytime soon and could deliver the package to me. Within a few minutes, I got a reply from a follower I didn’t know. He was arriving in Quito in 4 days out of Texas. I got my parents to mail him the package next day. I was meeting him in Quito at his hotel with my package as he arrived. I was only 4 hours away from Quito so I took a day trip to the city. That couldn’t have possibly worked out any better.
I avoided paying high shipping costs, duties, and taxes for my package and I got my package way faster than having it shipped. All I had to really do is trust the guy to actually come. I checked his general Twitter profile and just made a fast instinct to go with it. I felt good about it and he seemed like a nice guy through the tweets. Now I’m sitting here with my new toys and absolutely loving it. Perhaps going a little too app crazy.
Thank you @scrappy325!
Would you trust someone to deliver your expensive electronics?