Tigerbow Gifting Without Human Contact

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You can send money to anyone in the world through PayPal without knowing anything more than their email address. Why not gifts too?

That’s the premise behind Tigerbow.com, a startup that hopes to capitalize on this idea and turn the anonymous gift-giving popular on sites like Facebook into an Internet-wide phenomenon.

Not a bad idea and one that will probably gain traction, although I doubt that Tigerbow will be the ones to spearhead it. I have two reasons for that assessment: their current tack operationally and their potential competition.

Currently, Tigerbow is offering products through their own site that you can purchase and send to the email address of anyone you wish to send items to. The person is then free to accept or deny the request. If they accept it, then they put their shipping address into Tigerbow and the item is shipped. The sender never sees the personal information and neither does the recipient, so the linkup is secure on both sides. Tigerbow acts as the intermediary.

The idea is sound, but the problem here is Tigerbow’s offering products themselves rather than linking through with large online retailers like Amazon.com (who, I believe, would jump on this idea in a heartbeat). The worry here is trust. I don’t know Tigerbow from Adam and their site gives no information on who they are, just email addresses for “contact.” The company is, to the casual user, anonymous and therefore questionable.

The second problem I’ve hinted at already. This idea is really good. Therefore, one of the current online retail giants like Amazon is likely to take it. Whether that is done by just building their own version into their site or buying out Tigerbow, I can’t say.

So my assessment is that this is a great idea that has some shaky execution so far. With more and more of us keeping only email or cell pone addresses in our contact books, though, it’s clear that this is an idea who’s time has come and will be capitalized upon.

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Tech Guru

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  1. David in Boston

    November 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I love this idea and I actually used it. I was a little nervous about the privacy stuff too, but it worked perfectly. My guess it they're going to have other retailers use their technology.

  2. Craig (lapp)

    November 21, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Would be interesting to hear from someone at Tigerbow if they have been contacted by any of giant retailers

  3. Anonymous & Questionable Execs

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    We're really glad you guys enjoy the concept. And we do appreciate the balanced feedback. All we are permitted to say about our retailer relationships right now is that we are currently enrolling merchants to integrate our technology platform. We look forward to sharing more details with you all very soon.

  4. mattspizza

    November 21, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    I like the idea. Sometimes I want to send a gift to a colleague at work or other acquantance and don't want to ask for their home address.

  5. mattspizza

    November 22, 2008 at 1:28 am

    I like the idea. Sometimes I want to send a gift to a colleague at work or other acquantance and don't want to ask for their home address.

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