A few thoughts about Amazon Prime Now.

For those that don't live in the delivery area, Amazon Prime Now is a new service from Amazon that advertises a free two hour delivery window for Prime members. You can opt to pay an extra fee for a one hour window, or choose to have it delivered later in the day if that's when you'll be home.

I'm a fairly happy Amazon Prime user. I'm not thrilled by some of the moves Amazon has made lately, but I am a fan of their Prime service and all of the bells and whistles it comes with.

I decided to give Amazon Prime Now a try this morning because I was offered a $10 discount code. I learned a few things in the process.

1) There's a dedicated app. That's right, another Amazon app you need to install just to use this service. It's also named "Prime Now", which makes it super confusing when you're looking in the "A" section of your app list for it.

2) The selection is very limited, and there's no mention of the stores your goods are actually coming from. For all intents and purposes, you're buying from Amazon, not Target, Whole Foods, etc.

3) There seems to be a $20 minimum purchase requirement. I was looking to fill up my cart to the $10 threshold and use my discount, but it asked me to select $20 worth of merchandise before proceeding. This could be because I was using a discount code, but I suspect not.

4) During the check out flow, it asks you to choose a tip amount to give to the delivery driver. The default amount is $5, though you have the option to enter $0 if you want. The app states that the tip goes directly to the driver, and you can modify how much you tip up to 48 hours after the order is complete. One additional catch: you can't use a gift card balance to pay that tip.

5) Like many other similar services, you can provide notes for the delivery driver (gate codes, where to leave it, what your secret knock is, etc.).

6) Unlike many other delivery apps, it allowed me to track the driver in transit. I was actually out picking up a few other things at the time, but I can see how this would be very useful if you're home and waiting for the packages.

7) When my items were delivered, they came in a single large bag, and they were just kind of scattered about. Nothing was damaged (though there was a glass bottle that was unprotected), but it did surprise me. I suppose I've been spoiled by Google Express obsessively individually wrapping any items that could leak.

Overall, my item arrived to my door step undamaged. It did take longer than two hours - but it's a holiday weekend, so I'm more than okay with that (I was also warned ahead of time).

I will admit that I do a fair bit of my shopping via Google Express, and this service is very comparable in pricing. I'll likely look at them both the next few times I need something, and check the pricing on each.

I'm happy to answer any questions. I would have included some screenshots of the app, but oddly, the app disallows screenshots.

#Amazon #PrimeNow
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