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Wed Nov 28 2012 22:27:04

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

By: Brian Cohen

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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.

Summing Up
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."




Comments (6) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples   Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Nov 29 08:11:34 2012

Interesting article. :0) Thanks, Brian. (I enjoyed the video too.)

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples   Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 29 14:42:00 2012

dumb idea !

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples   Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Nov 29 14:52:26 2012

For me, this would be a very convoluted and inconvenient way to accept a package. Considering the options that are available to ME, then this would be a ''dumb'' option for me to choose.


But for those folks who work odd hours and cannot be home to accept delivery... or who don't have a way to drive to a nearby Post Office to retrieve their item from the clerk... or who live in ''less than safe'' neighborhoods (or apartment complexes) where packages left at the door would become an easy target for thieves... I think it's a BRILLIANT idea.

There's definitely more steps involved, and more effort required on the part of the recipient... but if the alternate choice is having your item stolen, or having your item returned because you couldn't accept delivery... then this makes perfect sense to me.

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples   Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Fri Nov 30 10:07:17 2012

Hi Brian Cohen: You're so funny with} But what if I didn't have a doorman or I need to ''guarantee'' that my purchase is safe from sticky fingers?

The solution?
Make sure your purchases come from merchants offering sticky-boxes. This way, if sticky-fingers attempt a run, they'll be stuck to your packages (including confirmation) that is!

LOL, TGIF...thanks for the laugh!

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples   Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri Nov 30 10:58:19 2012

When I worked at Amazon in 2009, I recall hearing that this sort of pickup option was fairly common in Japan. I don't know if it was an automated locker, but people would routinely have packages delivered to a convenience store, where they were also able to pay for the purchase. These kinds of COD deliveries were fairly common there. It's a great idea if you live someplace where receiving packages can be an issue. Convenience stores are appealing for this, since they're open very late or 24x7. I use a mailbox service, myself, since I was tired of having packages left on my doorstep in the rain or worse, dropped next to my mailbox at the end of my driveway where they'd be a tempting target for thieves.

It's interesting to contemplate what is normal in other countries compared to what we see here. Europe, for example, really likes using direct bank transfers to pay for things, as opposed to the credit cards that are more common here.  

Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples   Taking Amazon Delivery Lockers for a Spin at Staples

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 30 12:27:26 2012

So these stores (such as Staples) are going to dedicate floor space to their competitor, amazon, who sells the same things. If people are going to the store, why dont they but their things there???  



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