Australian startup allows users to verify their online purchases and potential suitors

Australian startup allows users to verify their online purchases and potential suitors

Would you trust these two to approve your potential romance?

A Queensland startup is aiming to fight fraud by checking items in person before people purchase them – even going as far as to take the guesswork out of online dating.

Go to Guy, founded by business partners Garry Harding and Greg Rawlinson, says its contractors will meet prospective partners from dating sites in person to make sure they are really who they say they are for a fee of $55.

The business will also check on cars, real estate and other items for sale before users pay for them. The idea is to give consumers peace of mind when purchasing items over the internet, when they don’t have the chance to see the items in person.

Co-founder Garry Harding says he once bought second-hand items online and drove all the way from Sydney to Melbourne to pick them up – only to be disappointed with what he saw in person.

“The idea came to me through personal experience,” he says. “It was all about shopping online and taking the risk on buying something. I really thought there had to be a better way to actually buy online with some level of confidence.”

In hindsight, Harding says he should have got a friend in the area to look at the items first. Now, Go to Guy has around 350 contractors around the country – covering every state and territory, including regional centres and smaller towns.

“No matter what you want to buy or verify, the Go to Guy Network can independently check that item, person or property anywhere in Australia without you leaving home so you don’t need to worry that something on the net is not what you think it is,” he says. “Online fraud and deception is growing as fast as e-commerce itself but our Go to Guys can now save consumers time and money by verifying the existence, condition and seller’s claims of any item so shoppers can avoid falling victim to misrepresentation.”

Greg Rawlinson, the startup’s other co-founder, was also inspired to push ahead with the business venture after a bad experience shopping online. He once paid in advance for a holiday with his family only to turn up to a dirty villa with broken fixtures.

“We eliminate the guesswork and uncertainty of purchasing online by unearthing any problems and presenting a product as it really is,” he says.

Go to Guy had a soft launch late last year, and Harding says the business has “ramped up” ever since. The project was self-funded.

Go to Guy’s fact-checking service is available 24/7 and users can pay more for video verification or for a valuation report to be sent by the next business day.


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