September 15, 2015

Amazon Prime NOW review

Amazon is now offering 2 hour local delivery for some products via their Prime NOW service.    You can even pay $7.99 extra to get delivery within 1 hour.   From what I can find it seems you can only order via a smartphone app.  

The Prime NOW delivery service is only available for Prime members.
If you're not a member you can sign up for a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime

Prime NOW is only available in limited areas.    Cities include :
Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Indianapolis, Baltimore, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia Washington DC, Atlanta, Tampa Bay
There are more on the list as Amazon is expanding too.   To see if your city is covered you can put your ZIP in the website to check.

Right now they have a deal for $20 off a $50 order with promo TRYITNOW
The deal is for first time customers and only good for items direct from Amazon.

I tried Prime NOW myself and this is my experience.

The app works just fine.   I used the android version but I'd assume the Apple version is similarly easy to use.

Item selection is more limited than the entire Amazon store but they seem to have some stuff there in the perishable grocery category that isn't on the normal Amazon store.  I decided to get some grocery items we normally buy that are priced similarly (probably +/- %5) to our local grocery stores.

I searched for items and put them in my car and scheduled a delivery.

It seems that you need a minimum order of $30.  

Scheduling delivery gives you an option for a 1 hour delivery with $7.99 extra charge or a free delivery in a 2 hour window.    Right now its about 4:36PM as I'm writing this article and the options are for delivery at 6-8PM or 8-10PM tonight.   It also has delivery window options starting tomorrow at 8AM every 2 hours.

The order process prompts you for a tip for the delivery person.    They automatically filled in a "$6 (recommended)" tip.   I am not sure how they figure their recommended tip amount.   My order was for about $36 after the $20 off or $56 originally.   I tested a cart amount of $32.50 and they recommended a $5 tip.  But in any case they seem to expect a tip as this model is more like pizza delivery than UPS driver apparently.

I ordered perishable items and it indicated that someone would have to be home to accept the delivery.   That only makes sense as you don't want your food sitting on your front porch in the heat going bad while you're at work, or elsewhere.

My order was on Sunday and I put in my order at 11:35AM.    The delivery was made about one hour later around 12:30 PM.  

I'm not really sure how Prime NOW compares to other grocery delivery options like Instacart.  I haven't done a more thorough investigation.    But my one test worked just great.

Bottom Line:    The service works just fine.  Using the $20 off of $50 deal makes it worth trying.  Even with the $6 tip cost I saved about $14 off of some grocery items.

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