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Show HN: I lose things constantly, so I built this service (goreturnme.com)
145 points by madchops1 1183 days ago | hide | past | web | 88 comments | favorite

Can you add in how much the service charges? If it is 0$ then make it that. I get the feeling* that you're going to hold my items for ransom after someone finds them. I suggest you make it obvious that you're not a bad actor.

* I think the negative connotation comes from your logo's dollar sign, $. It looks like a scammy pay-day loan or something. I'm not saying to change your logo, or your website sucks -- it looks awesome! -- I'm just letting you know my take on it.

I'll say it: the logo should not show $, it's not about money, it's about getting things returned. Money is just a tiny part of the process. The incentive to get new customers is not "$".

Thanks, we will be adding more and more to make the site feel better. I apprecieat your input. We won't be holding anything for ransom. We charge you exactly what you choose as a reward, and you only pay if your item is successfully returned. So we don't make any money unless you get your stuff back. We just take a small percentage of the payment. To keep it going. Thanks again!

You show picture on website with ID 123456. Right now if I enter this number I'm getting error. You should make it DEMO.

... Why? I don't think at any point did they actually imply that's a real tag ID. You'd get an error if you put in DEMO, as well.

> ... Why?

In order to demonstrate how you would use the site if you found something. Were you expecting a different reason?

It's a good idea.

Still not a bad idea when its moving past the MVP

It definitely is an MVP right now. We are thinking about kickstarting, or something, in the future. First we are making the whole service as smooth as possible for all parties. So we really appreciate all your input. Thanks!

My headphones came with a service like this. https://www.rewardtag.com/

well this is awkward...

There's plenty of lost item services that use tags, and there have been for many years. I remember being able to buy some tags from London Drugs like 10 years ago.

Yeah, there were plenty of coffee shops before Starbucks. Just make your reward tags the best!

Actually I've never seen this before, it sounds pretty smart.

Small typo on the "How it works" page:

You make up your own reward value per item. If someone find's your item you can choose to release the reward or not.

Should be "finds"

Yeah it's a nitpick but for some reason these kinds of things really catch my eye.

Edit: Heh... and right above that: Nobody can compete with us! We'll give you free tags and therefore free protection of your item's. Guess my eye isn't as sharp as I thought.

Also says "item's". We may be pedantic, but I tend to not trust services that don't have proper grammar and spelling. To me, it makes me wonder what else is sloppy and may come back to bite me.

Nice idea though; good luck!

The "123456" tag seems to work now.

But then the first thing you see is a tab about creating an account. The reward information has errors in the text:

"You've found an someone's stuff."

I think you should show reward information first rather than try and get new users. I also think the whole thing needs to be more concise for the person returning the item. Bullet list of steps that are easily actionable.

Edit: Formatting

Off-topic, but poor spelling and grammar is sometimes done deliberately as an attempt to potentially to weed out clients that may be too intelligent.

I'm unsure of the exact name of this marketing technique, but it's definitely a dark-pattern.


thank you!

The website says:

"People are returning lost items to owners through GoReturnMe everyday."

Is this true?

So? One day and 9 upvotes later, still no answer to that question. Doesn't breed much confidence, tbh. ;).

Ha - this makes me think of the story about Hiram Maxim, the great inventor. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks09/0900131.txt Search for "ยง12". The entire book is great too, definitely worth the read.


I'm a bit confused --- other than the pretty pre-printed labels, how is this service better than offering a reward and paying it directly myself?

I've used waramps key tags since I was introduced to them 6 years ago. I'd like to think making it easy to return lost keys is enough to encourage their return, but the reward offer and support for other devices strikes me as a good idea for high value items.

I thought of this as well (happy customer) but the economics are a bit different: My understanding is that Canada Post absorbs the cost of mailing keys to the War Amps as a deal it makes to support this charity. I also guess that War Amps pays the cost of actually returning the keys and yet comes out ahead, based on expected rates of keys being lost and found (though perhaps Canada Post subsidizes this part as well).

This service is going to have to cover that cost as well as the cost of returning the lost item.

A Dutch supermarket does this too with the discount card you can attach to your keys (or put in your wallet).


Quite a few supermarkets do it in the US/Canada too. Most people don't know it, though, because it's usually written in fine print on the keychain tags.

Looks great! We released something similar last year - https://loseproof.com

Did you do much research into rewards vs. no rewards?

I was wondering about that as well - intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation - which would work better.

Did you do any research into it?

I'd also be curious if including the reward amount on the tag would increase or decrease the likelihood of an item being returned. Or does it decrease the likelihood if the reward is under a certain amount but increase it otherwise? And if that's the case, what's the amount, and is it a percentage of the item's value, or is it a constant?

It would be fun test.

The idea is nice, I bet it is one of those things people (including myself) will say "Hey I thought of that too" but never did anything with it. You did!

Also, something that holds me back from using your service is that I don't like the design for something like my wallet. It looks a bit sporty so I don't want to stick it on my nice leather wallet or slick laptop. What about creating a few different styles?

Or a business-card-thingy that slips into my wallet?

Nice idea. When someone finds an item, what happens next? It wasn't clear from your site. They enter the tag number and then they're connected with the person who lost the item? Or do they send the item to you and you forward it to the person who lost it? Or something else entirely?

Also, I really think you should consider changing your logo (and matching color scheme). As another commenter mentions, it looks like a pay-day loan logo which has some pretty negative connotations. In addition, you've geared the logo towards the person finding the lost item, when ultimately, your customer is the person with items they're afraid they might lose. For them, you're selling peace of mind, but your logo is not at all reflective of that. You don't really need to worry yourself too much about the people returning lost items as the mention of a reward should be enough to motivate them to visit your website and return the item, if they weren't already inclined to do so.

Really simple and cool service; does anything like it exist? I'd imagine you'll eventually take a small % of the reward itself (processed through the site). If people ever marked their item "totally lost" you could also hit them with affiliate marketing replacements.

I think it's a fairly narrow use-case. I'd always just write my name/phone # on a large % of my stuff; but I suppose I would rather put a sticker on some things (phone, wallet, electronics, etc.)

Pretty cool - how long have you been live? And how are you coming up with this 80% "return rate?" Do you have a sense of when things are actually marked "actively lost?" as opposed to "if it ever is... this sticker will come in handy" ?

We actually did a test run earlier this year. Our metrics are pulled form our experience during the test run and worthy consumer data sources.

Same concept as belon.gs but your site is more clear and better designed. I have several of their tags from a startup event a few years ago but haven't lost anything yet. http://belon.gs/

It asks me for a state to ship the stickers to. I don't live in a state.

CODE-No.com [0] has been doing this in Germany for quite some time (and from the looks of it they are by now active in all of Europe)

[0] https://code-no.com/

Doesn't this create a new incentive for people to steal your stuff?

If they were willing to steal they'd probably hold it for as much ransom as they'd like.

This provides a clearly certified contact info and opening bid to streamline the random process.

I think the worry would be that it might make your item more of a target than a random item. In practice, I doubt that would be true, as it would be more lucrative to the thief to sell your item than to return it for whatever reward you're offering. Also, the thief will probably not relish the prospect of meeting face to face with the victim as they might be recognized.

They were selling keychains and stickers exactly like this for several years now. I saw them sold in Canada and they are also sold in every post office here in Switzerland. I'm yet to see a single person to be actually buying them.

The only difference in your case seems to be that you are targeting online audience and it might be more receptive to the idea, but otherwise I'd say it's a pretty crowded space already.

One difference I can see is that if someone tries entering an ID of something they've found to check the reward, it notifies the owner automatically. Someone who's 'found' a wallet or phone might want to check the reward amount, and then feel obligated to follow through with returning it once they realize the owner has already been notified. This contrasts with a contact number, as the person in possession of said item might decide they'd rather keep it than phone the owner when the reward is unspecified.

I think this is very clever, I've never seen anything like this. Great work, your site does a nice job of explaining itself quickly.

Marketing idea: create a case study where you buy a bunch of crap, label it, lose it in various places and then blog the results of how long it took to return and what came back and what didn't.

You wouldn't have to spend a lot if you did it with items with fictional sentimental value or old generation throw away technology.

I was actually thinking about that line of marketing too. He'd still need to give out decent rewards though for each item.

Thanks everybody. Your response and input is awesome. I will implement as many of your good ideas as possible!

What happens when I sell the phone? Can you take the tags off? Or am I obligated to use the service if someone sends it back (as the new owner)? Also what happens if in the time that I lost the item, I've replaced it. Then do you keep my phone? Sell it?

The we got tags box has a typo "We have tags that are disigned for all types "

Great idea. I don't usually watch Dragons Den but one of the few episodes I watched had this exact thing and they said they were already partnering with Sony and that their tags were in the box of every Sony laptop (I think).

I'm amused that the average reward for tablets is higher than phones, and the average reward for phones is higher than laptops.

  Phone $100-200
  Keys $40-100
  Wallet $40-100
  Tablet $200-500
  Laptop $40-100

Laptop being the lowest makes sense from a business perspective. The cost of returning a laptop is much larger than a phone.

How does that justify a lower reward price even from a business perspective?

Probably because people are paying more for not having to deal with restoring their stuff.

Maybe it's much harder to get a new phone to be like your original, so you'd rather pay more to get it back as is.

On the other hand, maybe, getting a new laptop is more desirable than getting an old one back (if you have backups or don't care about what you had).

any of those numbers is way too high

A small typo on the how it works page:

>Nobody can compete with us! We'll give you free tags and therefore free protection of your item's.

Should be "items", not "item's"


Would be great if you had some way like RFID to scan for those tags, so that when you lose your phone in your house, you can quickly locate it :)

Does RFID work over 10 meters? I thought the issue was that the reader needs to power the tag. If the tag is self-powered, that means it runs out of batteries and that you're carrying something that constantly sends signals everywhere you go.

Directional antennas and high-power radios can increase the range a lot. Access-control RFID readers have low-power radios for obvious reasons: any time someone with the right card walked by, the door would unlock itself.

I think the RFID on most phones (that even have it) is very short range. http://www.thetileapp.com/ uses Bluetooth.

It's like Bungie tags but gamifies it with a reward. Love it. That simple incentive will for sure increase the rate of return. Congrats!

I had this idea a couple of years ago. I'm so glad someone's making it happen, good luck!

PS - I would pay for a small card and/or keychain.

Pretty sad we need to pay people to do the decent thing. I would be happy to reunite someone with their lost item.

Why can't we all be like Japan...

So you find a set of keys. How do you return them, if they aren't tagged somehow?

In Japan? Just take them to the nearest koban (police box). Should be one within a few hundred meters in a city. Whether loser or finder, the entire population is conditioned to use this process, so it works.

Having had a brand new Gary Fisher bike stolen when I was living in Japan: Why can't we all be like Iceland...


Iceland? Really? They have angry vulcano's!

This is AWESOME! All you pay is shipping for tags? BEST idea I've seen all day. Ordering mine now for my forgetful ass!

Helping people and getting $ for it. I can't wait till those get big and I find phone or keys.

Dose GoReturnMe take a cut out of the rewards or we need to pay a fee to receive the lost items?

I am amused by "Our system is safe and secure because we use: stripe".

Typo on the front page: "notice there is a reward if they reurn it".

oh shoot thanks

The period before the time on the twitter post makes it look like the posting was .9 days ago - doesn't seem to be a carry over from the tweet either.

Just got my tags :) looking forward to sticking this on my phone and laptop!

Wow, what a fantastic idea. I'm gonna be ordering a few myself.

Currently violating stripe's ToS

I'm way to lazy to find out why. Please tell the rest of the class why.



Probably because you are seeing we have no SSL yet. Stripe suggests using an SSL, ours is on the way but the stripe payment system is Secured via SSL, so we are not violating their TOS I checked.


>Do I need to use SSL on my payment pages? >Yes, for a couple of reasons:...

Although I don't see a way to test it, I'm guessing that the payment page itself is secure and does use SSL but the sales pages don't. Probably using stripe.com directly instead of hosting the forms locally.

Edit: Okay, I was wrong and right at the same time. The page itself is not secure just http. It does, however, have an iframe with the stripe CC stuff in it. That is served over SSL, so the data is encrypted. The user just can't easily tell.

Yup I know. Our SSL is in progress. For "Stripe Checkout" their documentation suggests: "we suggest that you also serve the page containing the payment form with HTTPS as well"

Thanks for letting us know. We are on it Our SSL is on the way thanks!!!

Great site btw ;)

Great idea

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