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Author Topic: Shipping Companies as Escrow Services  (Read 2425 times)
oldbute
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September 18, 2014, 02:40:03 PM
 #1

Would UPS and FedEx be in a good position to become bitcoin escrow services?  They already know the time a package was delivered. They are trusted by most buyers and sellers to deliver the goods.

Which escrow method would work the best for this? pay to address (you pay UPS at checkout instead of the merchant), multi-sig, or pay to script.  Which method is available now with current wallet software?

Process for pay to address would be: Payment is made to UPS address instead of seller pay to address.  Merchant creates tracking numbers which get linked to the transaction.  Merchant ships packages.  An autonomous UPS process sends transaction total minus shipping and escrow fee to merchant when they do the final package delivery scan. 

Just because the package shipped doesn't mean you received what you paid for, so there would be arbitration involved but for majority of transactions delivery equals A+ seller.
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johncarpe64
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September 19, 2014, 02:45:51 AM
 #2

Fedex and UPS are not in the escrow business. They likely will not want to deal with the hassle of attempting to resolve disputes.

Your scenario would also not protect the buyer because the buyer would not have the opportunity to inspect what is in the box prior to paying.

If you are going to use bitcoin to pay for something that is going to be received via the mail then you should buy from someone reputable (or be reputable yourself to be able to get the seller to ship to you prior to sending payment)

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hua_hui
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September 19, 2014, 12:44:49 PM
 #3

It means they will broaden their business scope to bitcoin. They will take more risks. I don't think they are interested at bitcoin business.

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▬▬     WHITEPAPER    ▬▬
FACEBOOK     TELEGRAM
TWITTER     SLACK     MEDIUM
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PRE-SALE.
PUBLIC SALE.
chennan
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September 19, 2014, 01:21:01 PM
 #4

They are famous big companies who has credibility and accountability by customers. If they provide escrow service, they will attract many customers.

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OrientA
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September 19, 2014, 05:26:23 PM
 #5

If they can charge 1-2% of the goods value, then it is worth it for them.
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September 19, 2014, 06:10:17 PM
 #6

Some smaller courier services in Europe provide this type of service, not for bitcoin though. The courier stays with the customer for a limited time during opening of the shipping box and has the camera to document any discrepancies on the spot.

Neither FedEx nor UPS are in the position to offer it because:

1) legal complexities involving international shipping
2) employee time/productivity management that is uniform worldwide

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
leannemckim46
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September 19, 2014, 10:55:57 PM
 #7

Some smaller courier services in Europe provide this type of service, not for bitcoin though. The courier stays with the customer for a limited time during opening of the shipping box and has the camera to document any discrepancies on the spot.

Neither FedEx nor UPS are in the position to offer it because:

1) legal complexities involving international shipping
2) employee time/productivity management that is uniform worldwide

I cannot imagine this kind of service being cost efficient. Most escrow services will never have any kind of employee involvement unless there is a dispute, and this would require that employees be involved in every single transaction. This would greatly increase costs to the escrow service, which would increase the fee that they would need to charge to customers. I just don't see any scenario where the escrow service would be both profitable and charge little enough that customers would be willing to pay for their services.

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2112
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September 20, 2014, 01:24:41 AM
 #8

I cannot imagine this kind of service being cost efficient. Most escrow services will never have any kind of employee involvement unless there is a dispute, and this would require that employees be involved in every single transaction. This would greatly increase costs to the escrow service, which would increase the fee that they would need to charge to customers. I just don't see any scenario where the escrow service would be both profitable and charge little enough that customers would be willing to pay for their services.
Apparently fees are competitive enough when compared with maintaining a physical retail location in a large European city. I heard about the plans of expanding it to the sending side, where the courier will witness and photograph the shipment before the box is closed and taped-up. Thus far the "sending side" is typically a phone/mail/web-order operation that does volume shipments and there's not much chance of fraud but more of miscommunication; overselling or general buyer's remorse.

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
jbreher
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September 20, 2014, 03:43:23 AM
 #9

Fedex and UPS are not in the escrow business. They likely will not want to deal with the hassle of attempting to resolve disputes.

They already are intimately familiar with the escrow business. Google "Cash On Delivery". It used to be A Thing.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a known extortionist. Read my Trust for details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglyFwTjfDU
bornil267645
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September 20, 2014, 03:49:13 AM
 #10

That's a cool idea, I would love that Cool Cool

RevengerX
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September 20, 2014, 04:40:16 AM
 #11

Would UPS and FedEx be in a good position to become bitcoin escrow services? 
Yep. You can use your imagination to see what will happen with their position. Their profits maybe won't get a way higher, but they will become very popular.
dankkk
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September 21, 2014, 07:44:44 AM
 #12

Would UPS and FedEx be in a good position to become bitcoin escrow services? 
Yep. You can use your imagination to see what will happen with their position. Their profits maybe won't get a way higher, but they will become very popular.
They are already popular. Even more so when you consider the fact that USPS has a monopoly on being able to use mailboxes that are attacked to every house in the US.

A company generally does not care about how "popular" it is, their main concern is their overall profits, so if their profits will not increase then they will likely not enter into this business.
snappa4ever
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September 22, 2014, 04:02:37 AM
 #13

Fedex and UPS are not in the escrow business. They likely will not want to deal with the hassle of attempting to resolve disputes.

They already are intimately familiar with the escrow business. Google "Cash On Delivery". It used to be A Thing.
There was probably a reason why they got out of this business. I would think that for one, many delivery men/women would get robbed when they attempt to deliver a package. Not only would they be holding items of value from the package, but would also likely have a lot of other cash from other COD deliveries.

Another issue would be people "trolling" delivery services by ordering things from people and having them sent to random addresses. The person receiving the package would not be aware that the package was coming and would not be willing to pay

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jbreher
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September 23, 2014, 04:29:44 AM
 #14

There was probably a reason why they got out of this business.

I rather imagine the most prevalent reason was that credit cards killed off cash as a transaction medium for mail order.

But Bitcoin is digital cash. We might be wise to learn the usage patterns that our grandfolk used to take for granted.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a known extortionist. Read my Trust for details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglyFwTjfDU
zorke
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September 24, 2014, 02:25:40 AM
 #15

There was probably a reason why they got out of this business.

I rather imagine the most prevalent reason was that credit cards killed off cash as a transaction medium for mail order.

But Bitcoin is digital cash. We might be wise to learn the usage patterns that our grandfolk used to take for granted.
I would think it would be very risky for shipping companies to accept bitcoin "COD" in this manner. In order for this to be cost efficient the shipping company would need to accept a 0/unconfirmed TX once the goods are inspected. This would not be a good idea as transactions that require escrow are generally larger in size. If the shipping company even required one TX before giving the buyer the package then the driver would effectively need to wait at least 10 minutes, but also potentially up to an hour (blocks can and have an hour to be found from the time the previous block was found).

Also if you argue that COD delivery was killed by the credit card then I would argue that COD was a mere payment method and not an escrow service as it would be inefficient for the customer to mail payment, then wait to have the product shipped. 
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September 24, 2014, 08:02:30 AM
 #16

There was probably a reason why they got out of this business.

I rather imagine the most prevalent reason was that credit cards killed off cash as a transaction medium for mail order.

But Bitcoin is digital cash. We might be wise to learn the usage patterns that our grandfolk used to take for granted.
I would think it would be very risky for shipping companies to accept bitcoin "COD" in this manner. In order for this to be cost efficient the shipping company would need to accept a 0/unconfirmed TX once the goods are inspected. This would not be a good idea as transactions that require escrow are generally larger in size. If the shipping company even required one TX before giving the buyer the package then the driver would effectively need to wait at least 10 minutes, but also potentially up to an hour (blocks can and have an hour to be found from the time the previous block was found).

Also if you argue that COD delivery was killed by the credit card then I would argue that COD was a mere payment method and not an escrow service as it would be inefficient for the customer to mail payment, then wait to have the product shipped. 

The shipping company can use some centralised payment processor to speed up the process.
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September 26, 2014, 02:11:57 PM
 #17

I can see it now:

Package delivered
Escrow released
Box holding your shiny new asic miner is actually a 'box of rocks'

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October 16, 2014, 04:28:23 AM
 #18

If they can charge 1-2% of the goods value, then it is worth it for them.

Do you think 1-2% is big?
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October 17, 2014, 03:09:27 AM
 #19

If they can charge 1-2% of the goods value, then it is worth it for them.

Do you think 1-2% is big?
1-2% is not very much to charge, especially considering that most goods that shipping companies ship have very low values. The cost of a shipping company facilitating an average transaction would be much greater then the revenue generated from an average transaction. This would mean the shipping company would be forced to operate at a loss for most transactions.

Another issue is that when a fee is charged for escrow people are much less likely to tip the escrow service and tips on "free" escrow service can generally add up to a lot more then 1 or 2 percent
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November 03, 2014, 12:10:23 PM
 #20

The escrow service would tell the seller how to ship logistics.In order to adopt to the comprehensive competition in the market, they are services to manage the self-owned containers land transport services.

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