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Paying For Convenience

Not many cities have capitalized on delivery services quite like Manhattan, where people have the luxury of grocery or laundry delivery, or even a delivery from their shopping spree at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Yet it seems that the delivery market has not been completely tapped, because there's now a new service that delivers your spare keys, just in case you lock yourself out or misplace your keys.

The company, NewYourKey, has a very clever and practical idea and they claim that they will save your butt in any location, at any time. Their process is simple. First you make an appointment with the company so your keys can be copied and you can create a profile of yourself for identification purposes. Your keys are then housed in a secured storage facility — a high-tech vault — where the company's website says there will be 24-hour personnel and electronic surveillance.

And, you don't have to worry about anyone accessing your personal information, which will be encoded alphanumerically and stored on a separate server. All you have to do is call and give your password when, and if, you lose your keys. Hopefully you didn't lose your I.D. either, because you'll have to show that before your keys are handed over.

NewYourKey will charge $20 for the service. Not bad if you don't make losing your keys a habit. You can get an upgrade to a more exclusive membership, which costs $60 a year and enables you to have your keys delivered to an authorized third party. It seems that you'd be able to hand spare keys out to your friends yourself, although, if you're the paranoid type and don't trust your friends or family to keep your keys safe, you're probably better off going with the service.

At first thought, I'd be inclined to use a key delivery service, but then too many questions start going through my mind about this kind of idea. Will the company be able to attract enough clientele to make a profit? Are there that many absentminded people? Besides, in Manhattan, there are tons of people who leave spare keys with their doormen or have a significant other with an extra set.

But then there's always the worst-case scenario when the people who have the spares are not in town, or can't get to you quick enough. It could happen. But then again, this is all a business of what ifs. Like so many other things in life, it's all about how much you think convenience is worth.

Is a key delivery service a good idea? Businesses need a good marketing plan that focus on a target market. What is the target market for NewYourKey?