Why should the finder always get a reward from the owner? This follows from live tests that we performed, in which we deliberately “lost” items in the street and filmed and analysed the behaviour of finders.
The purpose of Spotty tags is not just to get your items back some time, but to get important items such as a keychain back as quickly as possible. Without a reward, we’ve seen many honest finders who want to help but often take the easiest option. When you lose your keys in front of a building, they’ll often bring it to the reception desk, the theatre’s box office, etc. When the staff are very busy, or when they have an internal lost & found office to transfer the item to, it can take days before someone really takes a good look at your item and returns it to you. Or your item is simply kept in a drawer until you show up and ask for it, assuming that you know where you’ve lost it.
By offering a reward, we try to encourage finders to take action themselves instead of shifting the responsibility to someone else. This is because, if they did pass your keychain on to someone else, they’d know that the reward would also go to that person. But when the finder notifies you, the reward is theirs. And that way, we can save precious hours or even days.
What does the reward consist of?
The minimum reward, which is automatically awarded, is a number of “credits” that the finder can use to protect a few of their own items with Spotty. You’d want the finder to get the same great service that they’d given you, wouldn’t you? This reward is deducted from your credit balance. That’s why it’s better to keep a number of “spare credits” in your account. You can then get in touch with the finder immediately instead of wasting time adding credits to your account first, when your lost item could already be on its way back to you.
On top of the standard reward of credits, you can also offer an additional monetary reward at your discretion. You can define this reward when registering the item on Spotty or when you report it as lost. Although this is at your discretion, you should be aware that a finder’s fee is legally defined in some countries.