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After rewarding customers for slower shipping, Amazon offers same-day in more cities




o9rdPbS-postman-rgb-vk050Amazon, you’re confusing me. Last week, you offered Prime members a $1 video bonus if they passed on their Prime privilege in favor of a slower shipping option. We all assumed it was because you couldn’t keep up with the shipping load. And if you can’t keep up now, in the summer, the slowest time of the year for eCommerce, what’s going to happen in November?

I was worried about the stress all this fast shipping was causing you, so I chose the slower method for my last order and so did my son. Now, I see that you’ve expanded your Same-Day shipping service to Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC metro. What gives?

Ah, now I see. To get Same-Day shipping, Prime members have to pay a $5.99 fee! That’s better than the $9.98 fee for the first item and $0.99 for each additional item everyone else has to pay, but it’s still an additional fee over the Prime Membership fee we’ve already paid.

When I first heard about this service, I thought it was silly. Does anyone really need a DVD an hour after they buy it? If you’re that desperate, go to Walmart and buy it. Then I realized that I was thinking like a suburbanite. Once I started thinking city, the not-so-easily-replaced lightbulb came on.

I used to live in New York City. I didn’t have a car and the only stores in my neighborhood were boutiques and bodegas. Not the best places to buy a reasonably priced DVD or pick up a charger cord for my iPhone. That’s where online shopping rules. But same day delivery?

  • I bought a new TV and I don’t have an HDMI cable – no TV for me tonight unless I can get a cable in the next few hours.
  • Three kids at home and you forgot about the birthday party that starts at 9 in morning. Getting a toy delivered before you go to bed – priceless.
  • Leaving on a business trip tonight and your shaver just gave out? Amazon can put a new one in your hand before the airport limo arrives.

In every one of those cases, I’d be happy to pay the extra $5.99 just to get it done. Brilliant – except for one thing. You have to have your crisis before noon on the day you need the item or it won’t arrive in time. For those of you who like to sleep in, it’s back to two-day (which is sometimes 3-day) shipping.

Random closing thought: why is that woman sitting on a doormat with her packages? Not like they’re too large to open on a table. . . .

Amazon Same Day