Michelle Cesare can get whatever you need - be it groceries or anything else - and deliver it right to your front door.
In today's busy and fast-paced world, people are always looking for a way to squeeze a few extra minutes out of the day…perhaps to read a book, take a nap, or watch their favorite television show. However, the dull, repetitive facts of life sometimes intrude, robbing people of their precious free time.
But wouldn't it be nice to actually have somebody who could take some of those bothersome chores off your hands once in a while? Perhaps food shopping or other common errands? That's where Michelle Cesare comes in, owner of Michelle Shops.
“I'm a personal shopper that shops for you at food stores, convenience stores, and a variety of other stores and businesses. I can get whatever you need and deliver it right to your front door,” she said. “Perhaps you don't like shopping, or you prefer the convenience of someone shopping for you, you may not just have time to shop, or perhaps you may not physically be able to shop yourself...whatever the reason, I'm offering my services to take care of that shopping for you.”
Michelle has been a gig worker for a number of years, previously working for services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash. However, she had always thought of opening her own business, and one day when she heard about the Dumpling app – which is a versatile digital platform that she utilizes to accept orders and process payments – she knew the time had come to strike out on her own.
“Over the past year, Uber Eats had been sending me ‘shop and deliver’ offers for places like 7-Eleven and other businesses. But then I learned about this Dumpling app, and it allows someone like myself to start a personal shopping business of their own,” she said. “Dumpling allows people to start their own personal small business without any third-party software... it's actually my own business, I'm a personal shopper. I become your friend in a way I guess you could say, because I'll be picking up your goods for you!”
Michelle can pick up anything, ranging from food orders, groceries, personal products, paper products, clothing, and pet supplies…just about anything is fair game when it comes to her services. The only limit is that any store that she shops at must accept the Visa credit card, since that is how the Dumpling app processes customer payments.
Speaking of payments, the Dumpling app allows a smooth and seamless ability for customers to pay for the items they are purchasing by proxy through Michelle. No money is exchanged between Michelle and her customers; instead, the payments are all made directly through the Dumpling app itself, and customers always pay the same prices that they would in a store, in addition to a small extra fee, which is much, much cheaper than any similar service currently on the market.
In addition, there are minor restrictions on the products that Michelle is allowed to purchase- liquor, cigarettes, or adult-themed products are off the table. Otherwise, anything else that you may need, Michelle can surely procure it for you.
Michelle is a very recent adoptee of the Dumpling app, only having started her own personal shopping business this past October. However, she's already reporting great success with her personal shopping service, boasting of several clients already and more currently on the way.
The Dumpling app is currently for cell phones only, and can be downloaded for free for both Android and Apple devices from their respective digital storefronts. And as for the app itself, Michelle says that Dumpling is an extraordinarily versatile platform that is constantly evolving and adding features to make it more user-friendly and effective.
For example, customers can message Michelle at any time directly through the app, much like a standard text message, in case they need to add items to their order while she is out shopping. Or, if they prefer, they can also talk to her on the phone as well.
The order placing process is streamlined and simple; after placing their order through the Dumpling app, Michelle receives it, and drives out and procures the items requested. After she is done shopping, she will drive to the customer's house and deliver their goods straight to their doorstep.
Currently, Michelle's delivery range consists of over 30 towns on Long Island, all situated in the general facility of her home in Freeport. Considering Dumpling’s relative newness on the market, Michelle is one of the few personal shoppers available for the service, which is a responsibility that she said she readily accepts.
“I just really want customers to recognize how hard and thoroughly I work, and what a good job I will do for them if they hire me as their personal shopper,” she said. I'm really hoping to build up a large client base, and I plan to serve them all with great professionalism and respect. I really enjoy being out in the field and shopping for people...I mean, who doesn't like to shop? I love it, so this is a great job for me.”
One of the reasons people may be tempted to hire personal shoppers is due to the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; for those who are health conscious, Michelle is quick to point out that she always wears a mask and uses antibacterial wipes consistently when she is out shopping and when she delivers her orders.
Michelle's enthusiasm for this brand new business model and it's extremely user-friendly app is plain to see, and she's very much hoping to build her client base over time to turn this into a sustainable and very successful career .
“What's so great about this is that I really enjoy doing it...I enjoy helping people, and going to stores for them and getting them the things that they need,” she said. “Back when I was working for DoorDash and Uber Eats, I knew that the concept of a personal shopper was going to become in demand soon, so when Dumpling became available I knew it was exactly what I had been looking for. I'm finally a small business owner, I’ve transformed my life, and I couldn't be happier. I'm doing something I enjoy to earn an income, so that's a win-win!”