Amazon goes Kozmo in US
Same-day urban delivery
Amazon is now offering same-day delivery - if you live in certain large American cities.
Today, the uber-etailer announced something it likes to call a "Local Express Delivery Option," providing same-day delivery for customers in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Seattle and Washington D.C. And it plans to extend the new service to Chicago, Indianapolis, and Phoenix "in the coming months."
On the east coast, customers must place their same-day-delivery orders before 10 or 10:30am, while Las Vegas residents can wait until 11am and those in Amazon's Seattle home town can press the button as late as one in the afternoon.
Of course, the service is limited to certain items.
For those who've signed up for Amazon Prime - which affords two-day shipping on all orders for $79 a year - same-day delivery is an extra $5.99 per item. Otherwise, prices vary depending on what's in the package. Baby goods, for instance, will cost you up to $16.99 per shipment, computers up to $18.99.
You can see all the details here.
And so, Amazon is harking back to the the heydey of the dot.com, when startups like Kozmo and Urban Fetch raced around New York on bicycles, delivering batteries and doughnuts to people too lazy to get off the couch. But it won't use bicycles. It's tapping existing delivery services from Dynamex and A1.
Amazon nemesis Barnes & Noble already offers same-day delivery, but only in Manhattan. This speedy New York delivery is free for orders of more than $25, $5 a pop for anything less. ®
not quite same day
but I remmeber when I was in California 10 years ago ordering a laptop from an East Coast shop at 8:55pm PST (just before the next day delivery on orders before midnight EST deadline) on a Friday assuming that at best next day would mean monday and was stunned to get back from a shopping trip just after midday on the next day (Saturday) to find a note that a delivery had been left with my neighbours. Admittedly when I looked at the paperwork the laptop hadn't come all the way from the East coast ... it had merely been airfreighted from Indiana!
Notice, no CA cities
This is because Amazon doesn't want to have to pay sales tax in California. Which they would have to do if they had a "substantial presence" here. As soon as they open a distribution center in Cali to provide this service, they have to start collecting the 9.25% sales tax from California customers for all on-line transactions. It ain't gonna happen.
Frequently I can get stuff from Amazon far cheaper than in retail stores here, because the lack of sales tax (at nearly 10%) trumps a higher cost of the item, even when I have to pay shipping costs.