Amazon's Prime Now Review | Brad's Deals
Last week, I learned that Amazon Prime Now, Amazon's same-day delivery service, had finally, and without much fanfare, set up shop in my home city of Chicago.
I've written before about how much I love my Prime account, so I knew I needed to try out this new feature of my membership ASAP. Prime Now is only accessible through an app (and PSA: it's not the normal Amazon app) so I downloaded it and set to work. I found out immediately my apartment isn't in the delivery zone--apparently I live a little too far north of downtown for them to be able to guarantee a one-hour delivery time. Fortunately, I work in the delivery zone, so I decided to spend an afternoon shopping the app and live-blogging my experience.
Here's how it went:
12:40 p.m. I browse casually through the app looking for something that I absolutely NEED delivered to me by the end of the day. My coworkers have a lot of amazing ideas but I'm not sure I feel like spending $50 on a case of Monster energy drinks, so I settle for a $12.49 Thug Kitchen cookbook, which will do nicely as a gift for the wedding shower I will be attending this weekend. Satisfied with my choice, I go to check out and am informed I must add $2 onto my order to meet the $15 delivery minimum.
I'm committed now, so I go back to the drawing board and find myself inexplicably drawn to a 40 oz jar of JIF peanut butter. My office mates are quite enchanted by this idea, and there's talk of setting up some sort of peanut butter Slip 'n Slide. I don't have the heart to tell them it's extra chunky.
After taking a moment to marvel at the fact that my job is currently requiring me to purchase a profane cookbook and an oversized jar of peanut butter online, I add it to my cart and press "order."
I'm prompted to choose whether I want my products delivered at no extra cost in two to four hours, or whether I want to pay $7.99 for one-hour delivery. I ponder this for a moment before deciding that, while I could REALLY go for a spoonful of peanut butter right now, I can probably wait two to four hours for my fix. I go with free delivery (although I throw in a customary $5 tip), then sit back and start waiting.
1:58 p.m. About an hour after I place my order, I get text saying my stuff is on its way! I'm freaking out! I go to the Prime Now app and see that a young man named Albano is in possession of my order. At least I imagine him as a young man. He's got a GPS tracker on him and is currently at the warehouse a few miles away from my office. The anticipation is killing me.
A few minutes later, I decide to check on my new BFF, Albano. He's moved a few blocks. That giant jar of chunky peanut butter is so close I can almost taste it. I inform my colleagues that he's on the move and there is collective excitement.
2:08 p.m. The doorbell rings and I spring up to answer it even though the app is telling me Albano is only about a mile away from the warehouse. I figure Albano may be so dedicated to his job that he's defied the laws of nature and is moving faster than GPS can track him, but it's just a package for someone else. Someone who placed their order DAYS ago. How archaic.
2:14 p.m. Albano has gone rogue. He's passed my office and is way too far south. I'm really stressed out. ALBANO WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON HUBBARD STREET THAT IS TOO FAR ABORT MISSION!
Dozens of nightmare scenarios race through my mind. Has he been kidnapped by Thug Kitchen thugs who don't want me to get my hands on their coveted recipes? Was he accosted and mauled by a pack of rabid street dogs who wanted a lick of my chunky JIF? Maybe he fell on his head, lost his memory, and is now aimlessly wandering the street with nothing but a 40 oz jar of peanut butter and a profane cookbook to help him piece his forgotten identity back together. The possibilities are endless, and few of them look good for poor Albano.
As I watch his blinking purple dot move even further out of the way, I realize he's probably making other deliveries to people who have earlier drop off times than I do. DUH. I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Albano.
2:28 p.m. The doorbell rings again, and even though the app is telling me that Albano still is parked a few blocks south, I once again run to answer it. Lo and behold, a man stands there holding two packages from Amazon: one flat and book-like, and one big enough to contain a 40 oz jar of peanut butter. THIS IS IT! I think. I get very excited and ask to take a picture of him holding my goods, and like a good sport he complies. I then run back to my desk victorious, only to find that the packages, while the right shape for my order, are not in fact addressed to me. I just took a picture of a random mailman for no reason, and I am suddenly very tired. I walk sadly over to Abraham's desk and set down his packages.
Where R U Albano?
3:28 p.m. Another doorbell ring. My app tells me Albano is three blocks away, so I know I shouldn't get my hopes up. Still, I spring up from my desk and lightly jog to the front door. When all is said and done, one major plus of my Prime Now experience so far is the amount of cardio I can cut out of my post-work gym session. I approach the door and find a young man, who is wearing a shirt that says Prime Now, standing outside and clutching a large paper bag to his chest. The shirt seems to indicate that this is in fact Albano, but after today's seemingly constant stream of disappointments, I can't be sure.
"Albano...?" I tentatively ask, and to my delight, he nods affirmatively.
"OMG YAY!!!" I squeal a little too excitedly, and, ignoring his attempt to get me to sign for the package, I ask if I can take a picture of him for my upcoming photography exhibit featuring candid shots of confused Chicago delivery men. I mean...for this article. He laughs and concedes, albeit a little bit put off, and I snap an amazing shot of the hero who (probably) fought through rabid dog packs, outsmarted Thug Kitchen thugs, recovered his lost memory, and delivered my peanut butter and cookbook with time to spare. I think I speak for everyone when I say that Albano a national treasure.
After thanking Albano again, I rush back to my desk to open my goody bag. Inside sit the Thug Kitchen cookbook and my beautiful jar of JIF, as promised. It took exactly two hours and 48 minutes to be delivered, and I've LITERALLY never been happier.
My takeaway: Prime Now is awesome, if not totally necessary for my lifestyle. That being said, sometimes things come up and you need something in-hand ASAP. Whether you're a working mom who just ran out of diapers or a party planner who forgot the soda, if Prime Now is available in your zip code, you can get what you need delivered to you without having to break a sweat. The expected tip and $7.99 one-hour delivery fee will significantly jack up the cost of whatever you're buying, but I think it's probably a fair price for such convenience.
As I sit here munching my spoonful of peanut butter, I am very thankful to be able to live in this wacky futuristic world, where everything from peanut butter to profane cookbooks are always less than an hour away from being mine.
Have you tried Prime Now? We want to hear about your experiences, so drop us a line in the comments!