|Wed Nov 28 2012 22:27:04|
Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples
By: Brian Cohen
I'm quite fortunate when it comes to mail delivery. I have a doorman who can accept oversized deliveries while I'm at work during the day. When I get home at night, half the boxes piled up next to the lobby's front desk are from Amazon. I can usually rest assured that my deliveries are safe and secure.
But what if I didn't have a doorman or I need to "guarantee" that my purchase is safe from sticky fingers?
Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin
The major advantage of the Amazon Locker is "Location, Location, Location" ... it is available in NYC and I was able to take it for a spin! Amazon Locker does have requirements and restrictions for its use:
- Is sold or fulfilled by Amazon.com
- Is not a Subscribe & Save item
- Has product dimensions smaller than 11.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches
- Has a shipping weight that is less than 10 lbs
- Doesn't require special handling
At first I tried to process my order through Amazon Mobile via a Cellphone Web Browser (Android/Dolphin) and was surprised to find that I was not offered an Amazon Locker as a shipping option. However, once I fired up my PC at home I was given a choice to ship to a Staples hosted Amazon Locker, and I chose a location in lower Manhattan.
I am an Amazon Prime member and therefore automatically received Two-Day Locker Delivery. Technically, Two Day Delivery is two business days and Amazon sent a locker delivery notification Monday, the first business day after my Saturday evening order.
I had about a week to retrieve my item from the locker before the Staples closed at 6 PM on a Sunday otherwise it would be returned for a full refund (in this way, refusing the item, "returns" are possible). During the weekday I had until Staples' store closing which is 8 pm.
As noted in my locker delivery notification email from Amazon, the locker was located in the center of the store. I assume that Staples wants Amazon customers to go to the heart of its stores so that they might happenstance make a Staples purchase.
I entered the pick-up code that Amazon provided and in true NYC Automat style, my package was automatically spit out of the machine. See this video of my experience on YouTube.
I found Amazon's Locker system easy to use (with exception of the touch screen not exactly picking up my initial presses), there is no guesswork that needs to be done as this is a straightforward system that even your grandparents can use.
Other Delivery Options
Some employers allow personal parcels to be delivered to their workplace. But sometimes the mail you are receiving necessitates an additional layer of privacy (e.g. a gift for a spouse or adult-themed mail) or extra security for valuable items.
You could purchase a Private Mailbox or persuade your landlord to purchase a Cluster Box. (Mailboxes.com, a reseller of USPS licensed Cluster Boxes, has a great video showing how these mailboxes work.)
However, there are free turnkey B2C solutions in addition to Amazon's self service parcel lockers - such as USPS gopost "Pick up. Ship Out. Get Going."
Major advantages of gopost over Amazon Locker Delivery is that gopost is available 24/7, has the ability to process returns and is not limited to a particular vendor (e.g. Amazon or Fulfilled By Amazon). However, if you want to prepare a package for a return you would need to do so at home because oddly, gopost does not "currently" dispense postage. Gopost can also handle larger sized packages with maximum sized dimensions of up to 12"W x 15"D x 18-1/2"H. Letters or flat-sized envelopes less than 3/4" thick must be shipped by Priority or Express Mail.
I will definitely recommend Amazon Delivery Lockers to friends of mine who live in the city. The Locker can be easily added to your Amazon Address Book so that Locker deliveries can be shipped to your preferred location in the future (one-click is not an option however).
About the Author
Brian Cohen has been an active member of the eBay community since May 1998. He currently trades under the member name Bidofthis.com. His first AuctionBytes article was published in May 2002. Brian can be contacted through his website at BidofThis.com where he always has a "little Bid of This and little Bid of That."