Starting today, a startup called WunWun plans to make instant deliveries for free. Instead of charging customers for their delivery, WunWun will charge brands for their users’ business.

WunWun cofounders Calvin Lai and Lee Hnetinka

When you place an order in WunWun’s app, a “helper” buys the item at one of the startup’s partner stores. That store pays for the referral and your delivery is free. If you’re picky about where you get the item, however, you need to pay a $20 fee.

WunWun employees about 200 part-time "helpers" in New York City who retrieve and deliver your orders.

Unless you request otherwise, WunWun shops for you at its partners' stores, which pay a referral fee.

WunWun Helpers communicate via text message as they complete the task.

WunWun’s Brilliant Take On Instant Delivery Makes Brands Pay The Fee

A startup aims to put the expense of delivery on its vendors, rather than users.

Bringing the instant gratification of the Internet to physical deliveries isn’t cheap. Ebay Now charges $5 for each delivery. Amazon same-day delivery starts at about $10. And startups that deliver, like Postmates and TaskRabbit, charge various fees.

Starting today, however, a startup called WunWun plans to make instant deliveries for free. Instead of charging customers for their delivery, WunWun will charge brands for their users’ business.

Here’s how it works: When you place an order in WunWun’s $.99 app, a “helper” buys the item at one of the startup’s partner stores. That store pays for the referral and your delivery is free. If you want food or dry cleaning pickup, however, you need to pay a $20 fee.

Google Search ads work partly because searching is something people do before buying. WunWun has potential to do one better. “We know what people want before they buy it because we buy it for them,” says cofounder Lee Hnetinka.

Eventually, WunWun plans to add search ads and special offers to its brand value menu. Its app may, for instance, ask if you’d like a helper to deliver a complimentary sample of a partner’s new ice cream flavor or, after you request razors, offer you a promotion for its partner’s shaving cream.

WunWun is only available in New York City, and so far only about 10 partners have signed on. A white-label delivery service for brands like Anthony is helping to pay the bills while the company builds its referral business.

[Images courtesy of WunWun]

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  • Missy

    WunWun now charges $5 for indoor delivery. You have to meet the WunWun helper outside your building to get free delivery now (even if they are just delivering to your doorman).