eBay has launched eBay Now, a local delivery service that lets you order from physical stores for a $5 delivery fee. It’s only available in San Francisco.Amazon.com has no real equivalent, in terms of speed or convenience. Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak recently said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that it doesn’t “see a way to do same-day delivery on a broad scale economically.”
But it does have a same day delivery option of sorts available. It is called “Local Express Delivery” and it is available for some markets, for some items. It’s more expensive, at $8.99 and up per delivery (gift cards can be had for a $3.99 fee). The convenience factor is far lower—you have to order by a morning deadline. And most of the markets served are close to Amazon’s physical fulfillment centres, suggesting that Amazon is piggybacking the order on its existing delivery infrastructure.
We think Szkutak is playing coy, frankly. Right now it’s not economical, because Amazon would have to start collecting sales tax everywhere if it had a local presence—warehouses and so forth—in all 50 states. But many states are moving to close the so-called “Amazon loophole.”
If that loophole was closed, that would change the economics—and Szkutak’s statement would no longer apply.
Here’s where you can sample the service today:
- Baltimore: Order as late as 11:00 a.m. local time
- Boston: Order as late as 11:00 a.m. local time
- Chicago: Order as late as 7 a.m. local time
- Indianapolis: Order as late as 7 a.m. local time
- Las Vegas: Order as late as 10 a.m. local time
- New York City (and parts of New Jersey): Order as late as 8:30 a.m. local time
- Philadelphia: Order as late as 10 a.m. local time
- Phoenix: Order as late as 9:30 a.m. local time
- Seattle: Order as late as 12 p.m. local time
- Washington, D.C.: Order as late as 11:00 a.m. local time