I stumbled across a report today about a new project Amazon is working on, one that has pretty cool implications for my life and the lives of other yuppies everywhere.
No, it's not their new tablet (although that also sounds pretty cool)
New Delivery Lockers
As the report explains, a Seattle 7-11 store has a bank of lockers in the back. The lockers will serve as a drop-off point for Amazon purchases, and allows the customer to select a drop off location, receive a bar code via smartphone, and use it to pick up the package.
It's unclear whether they based their design for the system off a complete analysis of my life, but it seems highly likely at this point.
What this would mean is the end of package receiving as we know it for tons of city dwellers everywhere. For those of us who live in high-rise apartments, it means we finally might have somewhere else to pick up a package beyond the cramped building receiving room run by the dry cleaner downstairs (which would allow them to focus on ripping you off for your dry cleaning instead of manhandling your packages).
That's been one of my biggest hesitations around ordering from Amazon for certain items, the fact that it comes to my dry cleaner downstairs. A dry cleaner who closes at 6 (i.e., before people with jobs get home), and isn't open on Sundays. This would free up a good 20 minutes of my Saturday morning when I ask the dry cleaning lady for our packages and then she stumbles around trying to find where they might be.
The idea that I can just walk a block over to my 7-11 and pick up the packages on my own terms. Xanadu!
Of course, the idea is not without its questions.
Is there going to be a time limit for picking up your packages? I'm a self-entitled elitist liberal, which means I order a lot of books but I want them on my terms!
Also a concern, is whether a bunch of package lockers that hold Amazon goods would attract people who would love to crack me over the head and take the contents of my locker. To them, it could be anything and could be super expensive (even if it's just a used copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants.
And couldn't people use this service for evil? I don't know Amazon's shipping policy or security all that well, but I feel like that merits looking into, just to ensure I don't go over to the 7-11 and pick up my books right next to some enriched uranium.
Lastly, and this might just be me, but building Amazon lockers in 7-11 stores would dramatically increase my exposure to 7-11. Normally not a bad thing, but I have a habit of buying their Buffalo Chicken Wraps for meals when I don't want to make anything or walk across the street to Jimmy John's. And for whatever reason, buying them drives my wife absolutely crazy (not that she has to eat them, just that I'm willing to). It gets her unusually upset.
Maybe if I buy her gifts from Amazon, she'll be OK with it