Amazon Same Day Delivery: Convenient, But Costly

Dennis Faas's picture

When you buy something online, sometimes waiting is the hardest part.

Waiting several days, a week, or even longer is simply painful for many consumers, particularly as the holiday season approaches -- which is why Amazon announced late yesterday that it would begin shipping packages to homes in seven select cities, arriving the same day.

Residents of Boston, Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Seattle, and Las Vegas will soon have the opportunity to order and receive goods from in the very same day. It's expected that those living just outside these cities will also be able to enjoy the service, which is scheduled to spread to Chicago, Phoenix, and Indianapolis "in the coming months."

Plan Could Change Shopper Behavior

The same-day service is good for both consumers and Amazon, but particularly the latter. Because the popular site has no physical retail chain, unlike major rivals Sears, Best Buy, or Indigo, they're at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to customers who simply need their goods immediately. (Source:

Unfortunately, speedy deliveries aren't free. Amazon, which calls the new service "Local Express Delivery," is requiring its Amazon Prime members (who already pay $79 each year for unlimited 2-day delivery) shell out another $5.99 per item.

It's not yet known exactly how much everyone else will be charged for the service, but JPMorgan Chase analyst Imran Khan believes the cost could be quite high. "Purchasers who are not Prime subscribers will be charged $15+ per shipment (depending on category), making the service less economical." (Source:

Ambitious Plan or a Push for Prime?

Thus, it appears Amazon is making a concerted push to get more people on its Amazon Prime plan. Surely the company hopes that those signed up for it will feel obligated to take advantage of the service, and purchase more of their online goods, rather than driving over to the nearest brick and mortar store.

There is a schedule for this scheme: in order for New Yorkers to get their purchases on the day they order them, they'll have to complete the transaction before 10am ET. However, Seattle residents will have until 1pm PT. Residents of each included city should check with Amazon for further details.

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