Jastip, which is short for ‘jasa titip,’ has recently become a widespread phenomenon in Indonesia, ASEAN largest economy. The informal service, which offers assistance to people who need or want to buy something but cannot go the intended place to buy for themselves due to various reasons, is gaining more and more popularity.

Did you ever want to buy a branded bag that is on sale in Paris but could not go to Paris yourself? Or, did you ever wish to go to a midnight sale event in one of the high end malls in the city, but you never made it? From now on, you no longer have to be disappointed for not getting what you wish for, because you can use #jastip services that are available around you. The #jastip service provider may be your friend, your relative or a person who is a total stranger to you.

How does #jastip work? The process is actually simple and easy. A #jastip service provider will promote their service through a social media account. The most friendly and popular media channel for this kind of service is Instagram.

These #jastip service providers usually visit the malls or shopping centers, strolling around to find out items under great sale or those that are ‘hot’ among the netizens. They will then take pictures of the items and upload them on to social media channels such as Instagram. However, please note that Instagram is not the only social media channel used by #jastip providers as they may also use Facebook and other channels.

Besides regularly doing window shopping, these providers can also hunt for ‘great-sale’ events that may be taking place in the near future.

What is great about such service is that it is not limited within the country. Depending on the providers, they may offer assistance to help buy items you want from overseas locations. You, as a user, have to be the one who actively searches for these providers and contact them.

When you are able to successfully contact them, you and your provider will then reach an agreement. This includes the details of your order and the payment (whether you are required to transfer your money first or later upon receiving your order). The service fee between one provider and another provider may vary depending on the location of the item, the difficulty to find the item and other factors.

Major players in the #jastip industry are netizens, who are non-formal individual providers. But, since this industry is promising, the opportunity is open for established or new companies to enter the #jastip business.

The industry has a potential network effect. The more individuals or companies offering #jastip services, the better for the buyers as they do not have to visit the shop that sells the item, avoindg long queues that usually happen during sales season. Buyers can sit back and relax, use a smartphone and place orders.

This article was first published by Global Indonesian Voices.