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Amazon offers “free delivery” if you pick goods up yourself

Amazon Prime

Amazon will waive delivery charges if you collect goods from a local pick-up point

Amazon has extended its “free delivery” offer – but only if you’re prepared to go and pick the goods up yourself. The new scheme sees the free delivery option extended to the 13,000 Amazon Pickup Locations across the country, meaning there’s now no charge if you’re prepared to visit a local shop, petrol station or other venue to retrieve your goods.

While it seems a bit of a cheek to charge people to pick up their own goods in the first place, Pickup Locations are often more convenient than deliveries for people who work during the day, and don’t want to risk the courier leaving the package on the doorstep or in plain sight.

The free standard delivery option can now be used at all of Amazon’s Pickup Locations – including the 300 Amazon Lockers dotted around the country – but customers will have to pass certain spending thresholds to qualify. Shoppers will have to spend £10 or more on books, or £20 or more on other products to qualify. Prime subscribers will get free next-day delivery to the Pickup Locations at no extra charge. The offer only applies to goods sold or fulfilled directly by Amazon, not the third parties who sell via the site.

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The move is indicative of Amazon further trying to ease its dependence on couriers. One of the UK’s biggest courier firms, City Link, went into administration on Christmas Day last year, at the cost of more than 2,000 jobs, highlighting the painfully slim margins the courier firms operate on. Amazon now has its own Logistics department in the UK making some of the company’s deliveries, but the company is exploring many different ways of getting goods into the hands of customers.

The number of Pickup Locations in the UK has more than doubled in the past year, and the company is reported to be working on an Uber-style system for deliveries, where ordinary citizens would be paid to drop off packages. Amazon is, of course, also developing drones to make small parcel deliveries in the US. 

 Earlier this summer, Amazon introduced one-hour deliveries in parts of central London.

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