Yet another innovative company taking advantage of the free market has launched, helping people obtain products from all around the world through the help of travelers. Grabr, launched in July in San Francisco, connects shoppers to travelers and allows them to get products from other countries brought by people traveling to their cities. One example shown on the website was a Dell computer brought from the US to Moscow, Russia and the traveler earned $150. This is extremely useful for people who find a good deal in another country, or just really want an item that is primarily sold in another country. Products that people have had shipped to them via human traveler with Grabr range from watches and country-specific shampoo to electronics such as MacBooks and Kindles. The range of availability is what will draw consumers into the service, because you can have whatever you want from across the world delivered to you at a very low price. The travelers either use their carry-on or a checked bag to capitalize on the space they would have wasted in the bag during their travels. This is yet another example of consumers utilizing the free market to help both buyers and sellers.
Grabr recognizes the safety concerns associated with what their company does. They have made the statement that they do not condone going against custom regulations. One issue that has been voiced by others considering using the service is that airlines advise you to not ever carry packages for others. This shouldn't be as much of a concern because the traveler purchases the item to then transport, but it could still be a potential issue among users. Another drawback is that the traveler has to spend their own money on the product at first, and then once they deliver it they get reimbursed in addition to the money they make on the delivery. This protects the buyer from paying for the product and never receiving it, but this could be a drawback for travelers who would be willing to transport items otherwise.
With government interference and regulations, businesses and innovation are being stifled. In 2014, a company called Flytenow began an attempt at ride-sharing in Aviation. They talked about consumers being able to travel from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard in less than 1 hour and for less than $70. There are other companies with this idea as well such as BlackJet, Skyuber, and JetSmarter. The basic idea is paying for a seat on a private jet or plane that is going to the same destination as you without having to go through commercial airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration of course intervened and made the argument that by taking other passengers they are now “common carriers” and have to conform to the same regulation that commercial airlines have to, which then makes sharing flights impossible. This is the exact same situation that has happened with Uber in New York and will continue to happen as long as free market innovations are undercutting programs that the progressive local or federal government benefit from. Luckily, Grabr has not received the push back that Uber, airbnb, and others have had. When asked about any government pushback, Antonia from Grabr replied “Fortunately not ;)”.
Liberal governments have been against free market innovation forever. The largest example is the pushback against Uber in New York, Chicago, and LA. Airbnb has the same issues with cities that have subsidized housing and rent controlled housing, because short term rentals make the issue of affordable housing bigger. On the contrary, renting out a portion of your living space is a good way to lessen the cost of a bigger, nicer housing situation. Grabr plays into this with offsetting the cost of travel if travelers can make money from the flight they have already paid for. Despite the benefits to travelers and consumers, government pushing liberal agendas is a guarantee. Rather than letting consumers benefit off of free market innovation and enterprise, liberal big government would rather push them out to make way for the silly, outdated companies and regulations that have always been at the expense of all consumers and taxpayers.
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