www.WeGoLook.com WeGoLook now lists the UK as one of the countries that it provides services too!
What WeGoLook do for fraud prevention.
In case you have not heard of this, then they offer a service for people who are thinking of buying larger, more expensive items via the Internet, but who want some re-assurance on the item and the seller, to avoid fraud. This service started in the USA and is now in Canada and Australia and now the UK.
Like many new Internet services, WeGoLook links up two sets of people, potential buyers who want a product review, and Lookers, i.e. people who live locally to where the product for sale is located. The Lookers go to the item and inspect it and prepare a report on it, including ten photographs, for the potential buyer.
Lookers are not going to be experts in the items they are reporting on, but they can assess risk and ask basic questions. So this is not like for example like getting a RAC Vehicle Inspection where a mechanic will check over a car, instead its just asking a normal person to check the VIN Number and take some photos and other basic checks that anybody could do.
How it works?
It works like this, if you live in Scotland and want to buy a boat in Southampton, you can use WeGoLook, to get a Looker in Southampton to review the boat and do some basic checks, ask questions and provide a report and ten photographs. At £49 its cheaper than the cost of a flight or fuel for the journey and gives you reassurance that you are not wasting your time. Other WeGoLook services, like verifying dimensions, or a video of the item are available at extra cost.
Whats in it for Lookers?
For Lookers its a nice way to earn a little extra income, though I doubt anyone could make a living off this. In the USA lookers get $25 out of the $49 fee for each inspection and report, so I assume that this would translate to £25 in the UK plus extra income from other services if sold.
WeGoLooks Local UK Offering
In terms of the website and process, it seems still very USA oriented, for example Lookers are asked to provide a US Social Security number, which is not something people in the UK will have.
In addition the contract for Lookers states it will governed by laws of the State of Oklahoma. I think many UK residents, buyers or Lookers, would be reluctant to sign up on that basis.
Finally quite how WeGoLook will vet UK lookers is not quite clear but it needs to be different than from in the USA. So I think WeGoLook have some way to go to localize (or even localise!) their offering to the UK market but that this is possible with some effort.
Will it work in the UK?
I think one key difference to the UK, from WeGoLook's other markets, is geography, in that buyers can be thousands of miles away from items on the opposite coast in the USA, Australia or Canada, however the distances in the UK are only a few hundred miles, which reduces the need for the service somewhat.
There are some similar information products in the UK, for example services to check car history, which provide automated responses so consumers are aware of similar services so consumers will be used to similar concepts which counts in WeGoLook's favour.
At £49 is not that cheap, but for some items I am sure that there is market for it. By comparison the RAC charge from £149 upwards for a full vehicle inspection by a mechanic. Both offer different services, but both are probably a lot cheaper than losing thousands on a car purchase that turns bad. For both companies to sell their services however, they require buyers to be proactive in fraud prevention before buying over the internet, which many times they are not. Sadly even today there is a story of high value cars being sold with outstanding finance on them, the buyer first knew of this when bailiffs turned up to collect them, a nasty shock! A friend of the fraudster lost £225,000 on two sports cars, when they could have prevented this with a quick car check check costing £4.95.
I don't have any connection with this company. I welcome any new service that prevents fraud and I wish WeGoLook every success in the UK market but personally think the opportunity is somewhat limited. What do you think, how could this service be used in the UK?