For a few moments, I had such high hopes that my grocery shopping was about to become so much easier. Then all my dreams were dashed with these two sentences: “Sorry. We do not provide delivery service to this address.” That’s the message I received from Amazon when I looked into the AmazonFresh program that delivers fresh groceries to your home. When I heard Amazon was expanding the service, I had visions of organic milk being delivered to my front door along with other fresh groceries, making my life perfect.
But no, I won’t be getting what they call “attended delivery” to my home any time soon. No one will come to my house within a one-hour time slot that I chose and gladly bring my groceries into my kitchen, taking with them any totes and shipping supplies when they leave. I won’t even be getting “doorstep delivery” in a 3-hour time slot where the groceries are left on my doorstep in temperature-controlled tote bags.
Nope. Not me. I’m going to have to schlep to the grocery store and the farmers market for my groceries, and I’m so disappointed.
Am I being overly dramatic? Yes, I am, but I actually am a little disappointed. There are weeks when getting to the grocery store is a difficult task because there isn’t one conveniently located. I live in a well-off suburban neighborhood where the local grocery stores have been dropping like flies like lately.
A big box store with a full grocery store in it opened about two years ago nearby with cheap prices and a horrible selection of fresh produce; the grocery-only stores couldn’t compete. If I have to just grab milk or a few items, I either need to go to that big box store or drive 20 minutes to a good grocery store. I don’t mind the 20-minute drive when I’m doing my every-other-week shopping, but to just grab two or three items, it’s not convenient.
So, yes, the idea of AmazonFresh appeals to me, but for now it’s only offered in a limited area. It's been in Seattle for a while, and Amazon says they are “branching out as fast as we can” to other areas. NBC News says the service will be available in Los Angeles, perhaps sometime this week, and the San Francisco Bay area by the end of the year. If all goes well, they have 20 other urban areas targeted for 2014. (Philly/South Jersey, please!)
Orders will be delivered in totes, and doorstep deliveries will include frozen water bottles inside that are free-of-charge with water in them that is safe to drink. The bottles can be recycled. Attended delivery orders will not be packed with frozen water bottles. Totes that are left during delivery will be picked up during your next delivery.
Right now, the delivery charges in the Seattle region for the doorstep delivery and the attended delivery are very reasonable in my opinion. For orders under $50 the delivery charge is $9.99 and it gets less expensive with orders over $50. Doorstep delivery is free with orders over $100 and attended delivery is free with orders over $125. Other Amazon items can also be delivered with your order so if you want order all the ingredients to make your own pizza and watch a DVD while eating that pizza, they’ll deliver a DVD bought from Amazon with your groceries.
Local foods are also included in the Amazon Fresh. Fruits from Tiny’s Organic, Beecher’s Artisan Cheeses, and seafood from Pike Place Fish Market, all within the Seattle region, are available. If the program makes its way to the Philadelphia region, and I’m able to order local produce, cheese and other foods through it, I imagine I would definitely be using the service.
I do understand there’s something incongruent about me whining about losing the grocery-only stores to a big box store in my neighborhood and then getting excited about Amazon delivering my groceries.
If you live in the Seattle area, have you taken advantage of AmazonFresh yet? How did you find the service?
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