Monday, June 2, 2008

A Fresh Idea!


We have been part of a new experiment in grocery shopping over the past few months. Amazon.com has begun a new fresh grocery delivery in the Seattle area and our household has been a steady customer ever since we first heard about this new service. Shopping for groceries on-line has not only been fun, but it has left us more time to spend with Lukas and each other in the evenings or on weekends. Yes, we love our local farmer's market and organic grocery store (PCC rocks!), but it's great to have the staples DELIVERED to our door!
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Here are a few observations that we have noticed:

1. Yes, the price can be higher for certain items as compared to shopping at our local Safeway, with its club card, but there are many items that are actually lower priced than the big chain groceries. Over all though, the price is a bit higher so it pays to use this service only for necessary items. Note: you can't use coupons, so that's a bummer.
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2. The service is extraordinary! You can get online, order the items you need, and select a pre-dawn delivery to your doorstep by 6:00 AM. The drivers are very quiet as well. Our bedroom sits right above our front porch (with wooden steps) and we rarely, if ever, hear them when the delivery is made. Also, if we are ever unhappy with anything that we have ordered, we just shoot Amazon Fresh an email and we are either refunded right away, or they replace the item in the next order, at no charge.

3. Unattended overnight delivery is FREE! This only happens with orders over $25.00 (compare to Safeway.com which is $10 for every order), but with the cost of food items these days, getting an order of this size is no problem at all. This really comes in handy when it is late at night and you realize you need that particular item for morning and can't, or don't want to run out to the store. Tonight we ran out of milk and I will be placing an order shortly.

4. Being a relatively new service, the item you need may often not be in stock. You can, however, get an alternative by using the easy browsing feature of the website. Once we ordered two gallons of Organic Valley non-fat milk and at the time of delivery, the milk was not available so Amazon substituted two gallons of Wilcox organic non-fat milk and didn't charge us for the replacement. This was over $13.00 in value!

5. You can use your preexisting Amazon account to sign in.

6. This service is only currently available in the Seattle, but when you hear about the service coming to your area, give it a try. The convenience you get and the great delivery policy can make a huge difference when you have kids.
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Oh, and no, Amazon Fresh did not pay for this post. Although, Mrs. LIAYF says they can definitely put some dark chocolate in our next order and call it even!!

10 comments:

Phil said...

I would definitely use this if it spreads across the state to North Idaho. I'd like to have more fresh fruits and vegetables, but only get to the store once or twice a week. And we are always running out of milk (like everyone else with young kids).

I think I would actually plan better meals if I knew the ingredients would be ready on my doorstep in the morning.

James Austin said...

Phil - It may take a while, but this is the future of shopping.

Having the alternative is great, along with getting some things from your local supermarket which will always be there.

SciFi Dad said...

How tight are the delivery windows? Like, can you arrange for the stuff to arrive just before you wake up, or is it "sometime in the middle of the night"?

I'm just thinking if it's the middle of August, you don't want milk sitting out on your front stoop for hours, regardless of the time of day (maybe Seattle is different, but here in Toronto we can have lows above 10C some days).

Otherwise, it sounds like a great service.

James Austin said...

Sci-Fi - The items are stored in plastic boxes and the refrigerated items are packed with dry ice.

The delivery window is about 4 hours but with the overnight it usually arrives around 4 AM, although I have slept through the last few deliveries.

Rob said...

James,

Very cool, and sounds intriguing. Here in Austin, we have a produce delivery service that delivers bi-weekly. We love the convenience of it. You make a great point about spending less time at the store, and more time with the family doing the things you want to be doing. It'll be interesting to see if Austin is on Amazon's plate for the future. Thanks for th information.

Whit said...

We used to use homegrocer.com in Seattle. It sounds about the same. It was awesome, but didn't last for some reason. I hope the Amazon version takes off.

James Austin said...

@Rob - It definitely gives addtional options which is always good.

@Whit - To me it doesn't work with out the free delivery on $25 orders or the unattended doorstep delivery in the AM. Without those features, it wouldn't really pay to use. It would be cheaper to just run out to the store if you had to spot them $10.

Roth Family Adventures said...

The milkman is back!!!

We actually recently began delivery service of staple items door as well. It's actually through Winder Farms, which only delivers to Utah and Vegas. The cool part is we still get all the farm-fresh, organic stuff and the price is about the same as the grocery store. We just have to pay a $2.50 delivery charge for our once per week delivery. With the price of gas, it's so worth it.

I hadn't heard of Amazone Fresh. I'll have to check it out.

James Austin said...

Jason - Yes, the milkman cometh! Sounds like you have a sweet delivery service as well.

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