The Backpack Blog

Posted by Dustin Whitehouse on May 26, 2014

Backpack is a recent tech startup that allows you to get ahold of whatever you want from anywhere in the world, as well as enable less expensive international travel. Possibly you want some authentic ancient artifacts from Argentina to act as props in a film, but Amazon doesn’t stock it. Backpack’s got you covered. Maybe you have a great desire for some microbrew from your hometown in China? You can get it at the global marketplace Backpack creates. Or you need the less expensive international version of a textbook and cannot find it in the US (for those who don’t know, most textbooks have an “international” paperback version that is much cheaper). Backpack can get you that, too.

Members of Backpack’s global network can take one of two roles: shoppers, who are people who want products from overseas, and travelers, who transport those products and make a bit of money out of the deal. By connecting with one of Backpack’s ever-growing network of international travelers, you can find someone to bring your favorite products from overseas to you. The traveler may charge you a small fee as a compensation for luggage space and the effort it took to find the product, but it is certainly worth having your favorite products from anywhere in the world.

In many cases, products are manufactured overseas and are available for less money in their country of origin than in the US. This is another reason to utilize Backpack’s network: you can get foreign-produced products for a lower price than they are sold for domestically. Once again, the traveler will charge a small fee, but it will definitely be less than the money you are saving by getting the product for the overseas price.

The fees received by travelers delivering backpack products provide the opportunity to make international travel more cost-feasible. By joining Backpack’s network of travelers and arranging to bring items overseas to people at your destination, one can earn some money to offset the cost of an international air ticket.

As USC’s international student body makes up a gigantic portion of the total student population (more than any other US university), knowledge of Backpack and the ways in which it can help foreign or study abroad students is very important. Whether it is by bringing locally produced products from overseas to southern California or by making visits home less expensive, Backpack is an invaluable tool for international college students.

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