Is Amazon Grocery Delivery Free?
In a word: No. You pay for Amazon Prime so ultimately you pay for delivery (of anything).
But what about the news: Amazon Grocery Delivery Is Now Free
If you haven’t seen the news this week, Amazon has announced that grocery delivery will be free for Amazon Prime members. There are some additional catches until they roll it out completely: you’ll need to request an invitation if you haven’t yet been ordering your groceries from Amazon Prime Now. If you’ve used Amazon Prime Now previously and then switched to Walmart as I did because of price savings, then you’ll need to log into your Amazon Prime Now app to check if free delivery is near your location.
Here are the ten things you need to know before making a decision about having your groceries delivered:
- Walmart has the lowest price on food.
- Walmart has free curbside pickup and I’ve found this to be the most cost-efficient (cost + time) way to get groceries.
- Walmart has organic groceries (and you can check/return an item at curbside if you aren’t satisfied)!
- Walmart has same-day (sometimes within hours) pickup and delivery.
- Walmart employees (performance-based) pick and bring your food to you during curbside pickup (but not necessarily the same person).
- Amazon Prime grocery order will still be from Wholefoods and while that does get you more organic selections, the cost is also higher.
- No matter who you order your groceries from you should always to know exactly WHO is delivering your groceries. (This matters, scroll for more info.)
- Instacart and Shipt add 10-20% markup on groceries that you order from Publix, et al.
- Kroger charges for curbside pickup and delivery.
- It bears repeating, Walmart beats on price 99% of the time. Even in the subscribe and save options with Amazon: I have a friend who used that method and saw gradual price increases after she had subscribed.
Back to number 7 above – I cannot stress this point anymore: you must know who it is that will be picking up your groceries, putting them into their cars, and handing them to you at your door. No one company can be assured that the person who used the delivery app, photograph of insurance and driver’s license will be the person who picks up and delivers your groceries. Whether Amazon Flex, Postmates, Door Dash, etc., any person can hand a cellphone to another person and ask them to deliver.
Still don’t understand? Example: John Doe wants to make some extra cash but he doesn’t have an insured vehicle, has a couple of traffic citations, and doesn’t think the background check will pass. John Doe gets his girlfriend Jane Doe to sign up to be an Amazon Flex, Instacart, Postmates, Door Dash delivery person. Jane uses her drivers’ license, proof of insurance, photo (selfie), and gets approved. Jane gives the cell phone back to John and he can now operate as a delivery person. Think people complain when they see “Jane is out with your delivery” and John shows up? That’s a chance you will have to take. Delivery companies have to work on building integrity and trust in the personal delivery model.
Or, in another scenario, Jane actually signs up to be a delivery driver but is too sick to drive. She hands the phone to her friend Trish and says she can have most of the earnings. Trish happens to have her two kids with her while she delivers. While against the rules, it happens. It is the same reason you see Lyft and Uber vehicles that you are 100% sure wouldn’t pass the minimum transport rules. Until these companies find ways to crack down on this, you can never be 100% sure who will be driving up to your door and handing you the food you plan on eating. Wonder what the requirements are for Amazon Flex delivery drivers? Check out Amazon’s Flex Frequently Asked Questions. I’m sure you are thinking, “The pizza guy never went through such scrutiny!”. Maybe not, but he was an employee of the pizza place.
The very best way to save the most money and ensure security is to order your groceries and pick them up in your own personal car. Save delivery for those days when you are sick or are unable to travel to the store. At the curb, you can check produce, substitutes, and actually talk to an employee without ever having to step into the store. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
No fees, no tips, no fuss. In a word, Walmart has lower prices and is competing with Publix, Kroger, and Amazon to get your business. If I end up in Publix it’s because I couldn’t order my groceries quick enough and I was driving by but for right now Walmart is getting most of my grocery dollar! I suspect autonomous vehicles will fix the delivery at some point anyway!