An innovative new peer-to-peer delivery app called Boomerang enables people to request specialist products from London and Paris to be delivered by travellers using Eurostar’s cross-Channel trains.
Eurostar suggests that items people might want to get hold of could be a French moisturiser or a jar of Marmite.
There could be demand for gifts from specialist stores such as Colette in the French capital or Fortnum and Mason in the English capital.
According to Eurostar’s Facebook page, top requests from English people so far include coquillettes panzani (a form of macaroni pasta), Petit-Ecolier du Lu biscuits, green clay paste and duck rillettes from Paris.
Meanwhile, French people are requesting tins of spaghetti hoops, Yorkshire puddings, Battenberg cake, Percy Pig sweets, British bacon and marmalade from London.
How much the item will cost to be delivered is set by the person advertising the request. Eurostar suggests that the amount be “reasonable and realistic” but it would obviously have to be great enough to be an incentive for the person picking the product up.
Is there anything you can’t order? Eurostar says in its terms and conditions: “Boomerang is all about getting your hands on small but much-loved things you can’t get in the country you’re living in.
“It’s not about getting things cheaper abroad or taking advantage of the local market rate – it’s more about getting that special brand of cereal you grew up with or that lovely French moisturiser you just can’t get in London.
“That’s why there’s a maximum value of £30 or €40 on any single transaction, and we classify a transaction as the transfer of one item or more.
“We’ve also got some prohibited items for legal reasons, including alcohol, tobacco products, taxable imports and exports, and more.”
If for whatever reason you don’t receive the item you paid for (in advance by Paypal) Eurostar says it will refund you. The app is free to download and Eurostar earns no fee from people using it.
The technology, logistics and consumer response will be tested over a three-month period before Eurostar will decide whether or not to continue it. Here’s how it works…
Request an item
Step 1: Browse the suggestions made by travellers or list your own and select a date when you want this item delivered.
Step 2: Set a price and submit your request. Then just wait for a traveller to make an offer.
Step 3: Accept an offer and make a payment by PayPal. It will be safely held until your item’s delivered.
Step 4: Arrange a delivery time and location with the traveller.
Step 5: Meet up, collect and mark your item as delivered in Your Orders.
Deliver an item
Step 1: Take a look at all the user requests and choose some, depending on when you could deliver them.
Step 2: As soon as you offer to bring over an item, Boomerang will tell the requester.
Step 3: Once your offer’s been accepted, you’ll get the other person’s email address.
Step 4: Arrange when and where to meet and drop off their item.
Step 5: Meet up, mark the item as delivered in Your Orders and you’ll be paid right away.