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BufferBox (YC S12) launches deal with transit system (financialpost.com)
61 points by mmccauley 1850 days ago | hide | past | web | 15 comments | favorite

Very clever move. Ideally located, (presumably) with security cameras etc already there, and provided by a transit authority- which are almost permanently cash-strapped.

In short: bring it to New York, please. But expect them to get dented late at night.

Thanks for the comment! In your opinion, where would be the most ideal location in New York?

These are similar to Amazon lockers in seattle right? Interesting business model (would love to hear more about it somewhere)

It looks like Amazon Lockers are available in SF as well. What differentiates BufferBox from Lockers?

Lockers are just for Amazon packages. BufferBox has partnered with many shipping companies.

Amazon lockers though are free to use I think. This added cost of the service has to be factored in to people's mental price-comparison. How much is it likely to cost?

in their pilot, they used a "Credit" system. I think it worked out to a couple bucks a package.

The service is free till the end of 2012. I imagine partnering with shipping companies is in the works. If I recall correctly, the founders are also partnering with some major retailers (I believe Wal-Mart Canada was mentioned), so this could mean free BufferBox services or just a partnership for locker placement. I doubt it's simply locker placement, why would Wal-Mart want you to pick up your Amazon packages in their store?

Contrary to the parent, the company hasn't partnered with any major shipping companies, but a courier company to handle the fulfillment to the actual BufferBoxes.

I've worked in close proximity to these guys, but the math behind their business still boggles me.

There are about 10 slots in their largest box, and they are charging $4 per slot. The average package will occupy the slot for a day before it is picked up. This gives a max revenue of $40/day/box, or $1200/month/box. Slash that figure in half because it is impossible to have all slots occupied simultaneously all the time, and you get $600/month/box.

If they can turn this into a profitable business, they are truly visionaries that see what others cannot.

I think the pricing right now is mostly to encourage behavioural change. A more sustainable model would be subscriptions (e.g pay $10-$15 a month like a P.O Box and get your mail on your way from work instead of delivered to your house without notifications on arrivals etc) and I think once they see enough repeat behaviour they would go there right away.

Still wonder why they don't just encourage that behaviour right away by giving people free for a number of months then encouraging them to pay once trial period is over. Will probably hasten behavioural change process (people like to make maximum use of free whilst building dependency unintentionally).

Anyway, I'm just a lowly idiot. Def don't know as much about their biz as they sure do.

I wouldn't have thought this would have ever got of the ground with potential security issues. An underground station would be the perfect place to plant explosives. In London they don't even have rubbish (trash) bins in the stations.

Perhaps only pre-approved retailers can deliver to it. That system's still open to abuse though.

Coin-operated lockers are commonplace in commuter stations - this is no different. Your argument seems like a problem specific to the UK, or other countries with such draconian laws.

I don't think it relates to law, just common-sense after decades of terrorist attacks in London. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_...

I'm guessing that the risks are far lower in the US

In this case, GO Transit runs a commuter rail network (on the surface) so underground bombings shouldn't be a concern.

OK - we have left luggage in large train stations but all bags are subject to security inspections. They have to go through a TSA body scan ;)

While it's mainly designed for packages, I use it for all my mail now. Would have a hard time going back to not having it.

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