Cloud storage for your clothes - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Jonathan Lee, Nov 10, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jonathan Lee

    Jonathan Lee Member

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    If there's one thing we spend too much time on when traveling, it's packing.

    A year ago I started a service called Packnada, which helps frequent travelers fly without packing. It's quite simple - leave a set of clothes that we take care of, and find it waiting at your hotel every time you arrive.

    There's been some interest in the U.S and I wanted to find out sentiments on a service like this. It's pretty niche, for frequent travelers with specific patterns. So far in Singapore our users range from business travelers to medical tourists.

    What do you guys think? Would you use it? Anything we can do better?

    Here's the U.S page that explains it in full detail.

    I would really love honest feedback. Perspectives would be super welcome!
     
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  2. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Are you affliated with this company ? Just curious ? ("our", "we" etc)
     
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  3. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I think it is made relatively clear that this person claims to be the founder.

    Doesn't seem like a useful service for my purposes.
     
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  4. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Remind me not to post when jetagged :(
     
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  5. Jonathan Lee

    Jonathan Lee Member

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    Apologies if that was unclear. Full disclosure that I'm one of the founders!

    Wanted to hear more feedback from veterans, really. I think we have some way to go, and I'd really like to do better.
     
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  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I recall posting about a similar service earlier but I don't know what ended up happening to them.

    I guess it can be useful for the business traveler that has a very specific travel pattern and doesn't mind wearing the same set of clothes on every trip or something.

    I'm intrigued if just for the novelty of it. Then again I get my groceries delivered to my house, so I'm not opposed to some further extension of my laziness. :)
     
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  7. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    (This is not a service that I'd use, but I'm interested in new services.)

    Is it limited to specific hotels, i.e. the comment on the concierge having the bag?
    On your first trip to Singapore as a Packnada user, simply bring along 20 clothing items of your choice. When you first arrive and check in, you will find a Packnada bag with your name at your hotel concierge. Go about your business as per normal, there’s no change to your routine.

    Also how are you going to deal with lost shipments? I could see how in Singapore you could have immediate recovery and have someone drive over with a package, but how does that work in the US where you might be a five hour flight from the distribution point? Also how will you handle redirects, i.e. someone says they will be in SFO (San Francisco, CA), then on that morning ends up changing plans to be in SEA (Seattle, WA) on a different client site?

    This might be more of a question for the business travelers, but can you trust a hotel to get you the package each time you arrive? And will they deliver the package at no cost or will you have an additional hotel fee on top of the Packnada fee?
     
  8. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    My travel patterns aren't routine enough to make this appealing - I'm rarely in the same area time and time again, and, even when I am, I can have gaps with little travel (e.g. December/January/February). The latter wouldn't be a problem if you made some T&C changes. I also occasionally have back-to-back trips: e.g., a week in London followed by a week in Taipei - having my laundry done between destinations would be great, but somehow the clothes need to follow me.

    The item count is also a bit frustrating. I'm usually on week-long trips, and having socks and underthings count as separate items means I can't store enough with you for the whole week.

    I think the real value would be in being able to bring and leave bulky and/or seasonal items for those occasional times when they MIGHT be needed. I don't need a raincoat on every trip (nor does it need to be cleaned), but having it there just in case would be delightful. Same with some warm winter gloves. Likewise, I may not need hiking/outdoor clothes on every trip, but having those boots on the occasion when I do have a weekend day free would be great.

    And will the hotel fee be a surprise? I have had hotels charge notable fees for receiving luggage in advance ($40!), and I have had hotels misplace postal mail sent in advance of my arrival.

    Speaking of "advance" - what's your minimum lead time? If I decide today that I'm going to NY tomorrow, can you have my stuff there?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Honest feedback: Don't call it cloud storage. Misappropriating a buzzword to try to make yourself sound cool does nobody any good.
     
  10. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah the posts above highlight some of the problems that this service would have...

    My guess is they'd have to start in the US in a limited fashion, like what Silvercar does. Target a few cities first and expand later, and this would (mostly) alleviate the problems that I'd see with having this type of service nationwide.

    I think the issue of climate is also an important one. You have people here that travel a lot (duh) and to very different destinations at different times of year. Being able to "refresh" your storage would be a must, even if you only travel to ORD and MSP all year, because the weather experiences such drastic swings.

    There also has to be some sort of referral conga business to drum up business, and perhaps different tiers with different prices. The price of $99 per trip is steep IMO, especially when you consider the audience. The convenience factor is nice, but most travel-heavy elites have a degree in Packology, so they don't have a problem with a small carry-on that has everything they'll need, and they have no bag fees anyway because of status. To these people, paying $99 to take a smaller carry-on and have someone else do a load of laundry might not be worthwhile.

    There are some hurdles, but it does sound interesting, but like I said, it's probably the novelty of it.
     
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  11. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    It might be interesting to have a no-dry-cleaning (laundry only) variant for those of us who can get away with (business) casual. Paying $99 to have ten suits dry cleaned and pressed is one thing. Paying $99 to have some jeans and chinos laundered is less appealing.
     
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  12. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    A similar service has been offered for years by Owners Locker for people who frequent the Walt Disney World area in Florida. In their case they store a bin for you and hand-deliver it to the hotel for your arrival. Owners Locker works well so well because there are so many frequent visitors -- and while there are a lot of hotels it's all in a rather confined area. Might be worth exploring their business model for ideas.
     
  13. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    What point is avoiding milepoint when jetlagged? Remind me not to be a grouch when jetlagged...
     
  14. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I remember now, it was Eclozets (who has since apparently gone out of business) that was offering exactly this same service in the US. There was even a few posts on BoardingArea about it, but I don't think anybody actually got to try them.

    There was another courier service that did the same thing, but I can't recall who it was.
     
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  15. Jonathan Lee

    Jonathan Lee Member

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    No limit on which hotels in Singapore. So far we haven't encountered a hotel which has imposed a penalty for keeping the bag. We did a closed beta before launch to make sure everything would go smoothly logistically. We quickly found that the hotels are really quite used to handling baggage for guests. Most will leave a remark that will prompt during check-in. Have you encountered a hotel doing this?
     
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  16. Jonathan Lee

    Jonathan Lee Member

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    I think fluctuating travel patterns are quite normal in the business, and we're happy to accommodate on that part. But I hear you on clothes following you, and on the item count. Would a per item charge be better? We originally opted for a flat fee because we didn't want it to feel like we were nickel and diming our travelers. We were looking to make it as simple as possible.

    That's crazy on the $40 charge. Is that normal for U.S hotels? I've never encountered a thing with the hotels here, and I'm genuinely surprised.

    We have a 24 hour lead time in Singapore, and it's easily achievable because of Singapore's size. I hesitate to say it'll be the same in other cities, but it's what we'll target. As you can tell, it's pretty early on and these questions help a ton in planning!
     
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  17. Jonathan Lee

    Jonathan Lee Member

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    Thanks for this. It was originally borne from us being stuck in an airport queue and thinking if we could have our files wherever we go, why couldn't we do the same with our clothes. But I agree it's too much of a misnomer to be used.
     
  18. Jonathan Lee

    Jonathan Lee Member

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    I'm quickly learning that a one size fits all might not be best! How do you feel about a per item basis? We've avoided it so far because we didn't want to be seen as simply a 'laundry' company. We're really aiming to make travel less complicated.

    Thanks, I'll check them out! :)

    bigx0 - did you try them out? What was it like?
     
  19. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    No, I don't think so - the (semi-)flat rate is very appealing. Maybe instead cap the number of items dry cleaned - at least in the US, dry cleaning is usually much pricier to provide than laundry - and be more liberal with the volume of regular laundry. Or specifically don't count/measure things that don't have to be cleaned (e.g. the raincoat and boots spoken of above).
    Absolutely not. It's moderately common to be charged for receiving a package, but "luggage" usually does not trigger such a charge. Even so, you should be aware of the exceptional cases.
     
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