Saturday, September 15, 2012's new plan is experimenting with off-line retailing, including brick-and-mortar stores and a locker pickup service for people who can't be at home when the UPS or FedEx truck rolls around.

Instead of shipping to your house, Amazon will ship to the locker.  It will also charge an extra $2-3 for the privilege of picking up your stuff, although if the lockers are located inside stores, the store owner may choose to eat the cost to get more customers into the store.

It'll be cheaper for Amazon to deliver to a locker, and "Amazon could entice customers to use the service by offering discounts or freebies, such as same-day delivery at no extra charge, Harvey said."

Let's review:

  • To buy from a traditional bookstore: Drive to bookstore, browse, pay for book (including sales tax), and take book home for instant reading.
  • To buy from this future iteration of Amazon: Go online, browse, pay for book (including sales tax), pay for shipping unless you have Amazon Prime. Wait a few hours or a few days, drive to pickup center, pay pickup center charge, take book home for reading. 
  • Or as above, with an extra charge for shipping this to your house, because a "discount" for picking something up at a locker center translates into an extra charge for what's now free if you have Amazon Prime: shipping to your house.
I can see how this would work for unusual or hard-to find items, but for most books? How is Amazon's plan more convenient? I'm not seeing it, unless you're ordering an academic book or something that you might otherwise buy at Madio Mack if they hadn't irritated you beyond belief in your previous contact with them. 


Z said...

OK, maybe this is the future of online courses. They will develop into hybrid courses, with all the bureaucracy, all the work and all the costs of face to face and online, all at once?

Historiann said...

HA! I love it. Excellent point, Z.

I agree with Undine: and this helps me HOW? Pretty dumb on Amazon's part.

undine said...

Z--you could be right!

Historiann--So far, Amazon's business model has made sense to me, but not this part.

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