The world just got a whole lot smaller. Now, whether you're craving a baguette fresh from France, a Parmigiano-Reggiano block from Italy, or new sneakers only available in Japan, there's no issue getting them—thanks to Grabr.
The site, which launched this year, is a peer-to-peer platform that connects travelers and shoppers from around the world to score coveted, abroad-only finds from rainbow bagels to iPhone 7s, sans insane shipping prices. And while tech and fashion are in the mix, food is one of the most popular categories. Case in point: Users are clamoring to snag Voodoo Doughnuts from Portland, dulce de leche from Argentina, or Vegemite from Australia.
Daria Rebenok and her husband Artem Fedyaev came up with the idea when they were hitting their own import brick wall. After moving San Francisco from Spain, they were seriously missing the items they left behind, like homemade gazpacho soup from their go-to café and Viña Torres wine from Catalonia. Their solution? Friendly couriers.
"People have been bringing souvenirs or presents to friends and family back home for decades, and Grabr builds upon this," Rebenok says. The couple realized that there were tons of fleers heading to San Francisco from Barcelona every day, and figured that they probably wouldn't mind making a little extra money to bring a memento with them, and they were right.
If you're browsing as a shopper, you can post a "grab" (aka, a request) letting travelers know what you want, where it will be delivered, and how much you're willing to reward the traveler who brings home your desired find. Signing on as a traveler? Search through the posted "grabs," which are filtered by city, and connect to the shopper directly, should you choose to accept the task at hand. The average reward is between $5 and $50, so a few assignments could potentially rake in some serious dough.
A little extra spending money and, potentially, a new friend could definitely offset some of our jet lag grumpiness.