Amazon prime or google delivery etc.
June 18, 2016 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Do any of you use these services? I have three Young children and not believe how many different options there are! It's nice but overwhelming, o mean how many memberships do I need?! Target delivers, Costco will deliver online orders, Walmart does the buy your groceries and pick them up. I'm wondering what is the best to pick and just stick to one. Thanks!!!
posted by tangomija to Shopping (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well, they do different things, and in different places. Do you need fresh food delivered, or do you need free 2-day on most of what Amazon sells? Figure out what you will get the most benefit from, and try the service that comes closest.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:43 PM on June 18, 2016

I have amazon prime. I have a young child, and live an a town with limited shopping. Amazon prime allows me to get thing I need for me or child on two day (four if you live in the middle of nowhere and it's over the weekend). I feel like it pays for itself in gas money and cheaper kids snow pants and boots.

I also like amazon because it's obvious what's cheap and decent and everybody else bought. If it's a pricier item, you can look through the 100s of reviews.
posted by Kalmya at 8:49 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I guess I don't really need fresh food delivered. That would be awesome, but I guess it's not a necessity. I live in a big city so I'm sure all of the companies offer services where I am. Amazon prime just seems so expensive, especially because I already have a Costco membership in and target delivers most things for free ! But I feel like I'm missing out on something by not joining these other services!
posted by tangomija at 8:52 PM on June 18, 2016

Getting fresh food delivered seems odd to me. I like to go to the store and pick out my produce and herbs and be lured in my bagels and donuts I don't need.

But as a mom of three, you do need an amazon prime and costco membership. And by need, I mean, makes your existence as a middle class parent way easier.
posted by Kalmya at 8:57 PM on June 18, 2016

I have Amazon Prime and I allow my mother, my brother, and my adult son to order off of my account. My mother uses her Discover card which has a cash back bonus deal, and I sometimes will order things with her cash back bonus, which makes it free for me. We all love it and can use our own cards. My 13 year old just ordered something with her new student debit card. Things arrive super fast. Prime membership includes movies and television shows. Amazon is working on developing their own programs now which is an added plus.

Because of the free shipping and the fact that the price you see is what you pay (no sales tax), along with being able to see several products from different suppliers, I end up paying less on Amazon for things than anywhere else. Nearly everything that I find to order from Target ends up being a little cheaper on Amazon. There is also so much more variety with Amazon. The selection for anything you could possibly want is there and waiting for you.
posted by myselfasme at 9:09 PM on June 18, 2016

I live somewhere with good shopping but so much congestion that going out on errands is unpleasant. I use both Amazon Prime and Google Express. I got addicted to Google Express when it was free... I might be able to live without it, but it's great for that late-night "oh crap we're just about out of toilet paper" type scenario, and it would have been even better when I had babies.

Honestly a big part of why I use these services is that I am generally too busy to deal with things like "we need to replace that lost flashlight" and "kid has outgrown her bathing suit and starts swim lessons Tuesday" during the day... when it's 10:30pm and I just want to cross stuff off the list, I'm grateful that I can do it right then and the item will be at my house within 12-48 hours.

I'm not familiar with Walmart's services so can't compare, though. And I wasn't aware Target does free delivery...
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:10 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Amazon prime is a lot more than just the delivery. You also get their streaming movie service, their streaming music, and a ton of other stuff. I pay for Prime every year, and the free delivery is probably the part I use the least (although I've never really bought groceries from them, just toiletries and diapers when my son was younger) (but it's nice to be able to get things shipped fast and free when I REALLY need them).
posted by anastasiav at 9:16 PM on June 18, 2016

the fact that the price you see is what you pay (no sales tax)

This is not true in 28 states, in which Amazon customers are required to pay sales taxes on their purchase. These states represent 84% of the US population (and another 3% of the US population lives in states where there is no sales tax at all).

I'm an Amazon Prime subscriber -- in contrast to anastiav, I don't make much use of their ancillary streaming services but the free two-day delivery is what I really like -- there's such a variety of goods and having very close to instant gratification is very tempting and has brought me back to Prime year over year.
posted by andrewesque at 9:35 PM on June 18, 2016 [8 favorites]

Every once in a while I really enjoy using instacart for groceries. Just allows me to sort myself out when convenient and then it just shows up at my door. It stupid expensive, though, but gets the groceries bought.
posted by vunder at 9:53 PM on June 18, 2016

One good thing about Amazon (I don't know if other retailers do this) is that you can set up subscriptions. Suppose you use 48 rolls of toilet paper a month. You can set up a recurring delivery on Amazon so you never run out.

Just don't forget that you have it and be careful about how much you order. I, as a single person living alone, am working through a hundred and twenty rolls of TP and 900 floss picks.
posted by bendy at 11:28 PM on June 18, 2016 [7 favorites]

Amazon just offers so much, and they are absolutely top-drawer when it comes to customer service, the best outfit I have ever dealt with. You have a problem, you call them, together you can get that problem resolved. Esp if they see that you have been with them a while and buy from them a lot. Example: I bought a Dell convertible laptop/tablet for over six hundred bucks, and it was perfect, and it was gorgeous, but within two days it was clear that it was way, way more computer than I needed. I called them, they said "Hey, no problem, we'll take it back." and they did, even paid the postage. I bought some rechargeable batteries but got the wrong set, not the ones I wanted, totally my fault, but I called them, hoping maybe I could send them back and get a credit toward the batteries I did want; they said "Nah, keep those, and we'll just send these others on to you." The list goes on. They bend over backwards to make you happy. It is expensive to have Prime but I find it worth while -- the fast shipping is great, the music thing, the being able to share my account. They stream *tons* of movies and TV but I think TV sucks, mostly, and almost any movie I'm interested in watching does *not* come free with Prime, because the scum beings in the film industry absolutely know what we want to watch and want to hose us; it's beyond Amazon's control, it's beyond Netflix control also.

I held off on buying prime for a lot of years but have not regretted it one minute since I have gotten it.

Just one persons experience with Amazon.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:00 AM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I use Prime to guarantee I will be in to take the delivery (It's next day in the UK)
Friday is prime day, so I order it then to arrive on Saturday when I can be in to receive it.
posted by fullerine at 3:17 AM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I find target's free delivery to be slow - it's often faster to pick it up or order it through Amazon.

Amazon Prime has a monthly option as well, I think, so you could try it out. They also have a prime pantry for groceries. I love prime - Although I am sure I buy more than I normally would because of it!
posted by needlegrrl at 3:32 AM on June 19, 2016

I'm in the UK so my experience will be slightly different (next-day not next-two-days delivery), but I love Amazon Prime. Between me and the friend I share it with, it more than pays for itself even just in terms of the delivery fees on things we absolutely need to have the day after (for whatever reason).

The ability to be 100% sure I'm going to be home for the delivery (like fullerine points out) is a big bonus, as is the convenience of having large or heavy things show up on my doorstep instead of having to lug them home (also translates to extra savings, since I can buy, say, the large bags of cat litter or cases of cat food, which ends up costing less per unit).

There's also the Amazon Pantry thing, which is Prime members only. I've never personally used it but I'm going to be doing the math on whether my big monthly "restock all the usual things" shop would be better off done there in terms of prices.
posted by sailoreagle at 3:38 AM on June 19, 2016

We have young kids and get Amazon deliveries constantly (e.g. I just learned my daughter thinks the USPS truck is called "the Amazon truck." If you have kids, you really don't need Prime, because there's never a time you don't have $25 of things you need to order, in which case the delivery is free anyway. (Update: I just looked and Amazon has just jacked up that limit to $49, presumably trying to squeeze their customers into using Prime.)
posted by escabeche at 4:53 AM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Amazon Prime is a lifesaver for our little family, like many people say above. If I suddenly realize I'm on my last pack of diapers, I can place that Prime order and have more I hand before I run out.

We used to subscribe and save on some things, but found that our usage patterns weren't regular enough so we were always cancelling orders. Also, we used my husbands account for that as he's the main Prime member and we wanted the Amazom Mom discount. Well, he would ignore the emails about upcoming orders and then we'd end up with a case of the old size diapers for example. Easy enough to return, but still a bit of a hassle. So if you do subscribe and save, be conservative about the frequency and stay on top of it.

I like Target order pick up if there's one local to you. They usually have dedicated parking spots for people picking up orders so it can be quick, and I think you can designate someone else to pick up for you if that's ever an option.
posted by cabingirl at 5:22 AM on June 19, 2016

Oh someone did mention Instacart above. We use them almost every week. I keep hesitating on the membership but I am sure I would be saving money on delivery fees if I had done it already.

One frustration is that Instacart is entirely dependent on actual shoppers, not a warehouse. So you hope that your items are actually in stock and that you get a good shopper who knows where things are and makes appropriate substitutions where available. You can give replacement suggestions, but sometimes they go off book and that's why I have those nasty lemon lime FruitWaters taking up space in my fridge. (Lemon lime is not an acceptable substitute for kiwi strawberry.)
posted by cabingirl at 5:32 AM on June 19, 2016

i don't use prime and can't say my life is much worse for it. feeling "left out" isn't a great reason to spend money. sounds like you can manage without.
posted by andrewcooke at 6:31 AM on June 19, 2016

Getting fresh food delivered seems odd to me. I like to go to the store and pick out my produce and herbs and be lured in my bagels and donuts I don't need.

I would have thought so, too, but then I recently started using peapod for grocery delivery. They're the only ones who deliver food in my town, and their delivery fee is steep, plus you have to tip. But our first two grocery deliveries were about half the cost of normal grocery trips to us because it's easy to price match and cuts down on browsing/impulse purchases. They don't have everything, so I still have had to make smaller grocery trips, but they were short enough that they avoided normal grocery shopping tantrums from our 2 year old.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:35 AM on June 19, 2016

I use Prime mainly so that I can get really heavy stuff delivered for "free" to me out in the sticks. We share an account among a few people in my family (you can have multiple delivery addresses and use multiple credit cards) and so it works over a decent delivery range. I live somewhere where there is no Target or Costco.
posted by jessamyn at 6:55 AM on June 19, 2016

Another advantage of Amazon Prime subscriptions is that if you can order things in groups of 5 you get 15% off which is a pretty huge savings.
posted by srboisvert at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2016

If I have to go somewhere not within walking distance to buy something (or wthin walking distance but it's too heavy to walk home with), then it costs me $5.80 ($2.90 per token) to go out and buy it. And I wasted my time. And if it's not in stock, I'll end up wasting my time twice. Even if I need something in a hurry, it's cheaper for me to pay 3.99 for same-day delivery than to go out and buy something myself. (Has anyone mentioned the awesome same-day delivery yet?) So by my accounting, if I need* to buy stuff 25 times a year it's paying for itself just in money, nevermind the awesome convenience. According to my account page, I placed 111 orders in 2015 so I'm coming out way ahead.

*Admitedly, the definition of need varies greatly across orders, but I'm not convinced I wouldn't have ended up spending the same or more in impulse buys if I'd gone out to the store.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:43 AM on June 19, 2016

I'm really happy with Amazon Prime because I can order small items I need without trying to get to the amount for free shipping. That said, let me throw in a plug for Vitacost. Vitacost sells food, personal care items, and vitamins. They're especially great for things with more of a health store vibe (I get dried beans and oatmeal there, and you can search by dietary preferences, e.g., gluten free, vegan, etc. Also, since I prefer to buy toiletries that aren't tested on animals, I search for that as well). They have free shipping if you spend $50. Also, the one time I had a problem with an order that arrived damaged, their customer service was stellar.

Also, for finding the lowest price on Amazon, is awesome. They track Amazon prices and will send you an alert when the price of something you want to order drops to a predetermined amount. When I decided to get a Kindle Paperwhite, I put a price alert on it and waited for the price to drop to $100. I saved $20 on a box DVD set I wanted by placing an alert on it. You can find out what the lowest price has been over the last 12 months and wait for the price to drop that low again. I feel like pays for my prime membership. Of course, I could use and not get the prime membership, so I'm basically rationalizing there.
posted by FencingGal at 8:48 AM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you so much, everyone! This is such helpful information. I am definitely going to use!
posted by tangomija at 10:08 AM on June 19, 2016

I use Prime and have a Costco membership. It is a little steep upfront but it more than pays for itself. I use the Subscribe and Save heavily: never run out of toothpaste again! I find the video streaming to be useless as its all HD and I have caps on my data (goddammit amazon) and the music is merely OK-ish plus it uses a lot of data as it syncs your library 50 times a day. But prime is great. I'm super, super busy and I can do most of my shopping on my lunch hour at work on the computer.
posted by fshgrl at 11:34 AM on June 19, 2016

I think it depends on what your needs are and what you're looking for. Pretty much all of these companies have free trials so you can check them out.

I have Amazon Prime, but I don't use Prime Pantry or Amazon Fresh or any of those. But I don't really use Amazon for food or household stuff.

The one that has been a game-changer for me is Google Express. I live in a tiny apartment in a congested city, so I don't have space to store tons of supplies, and going to Target weekly is a pain. I mostly get weekly deliveries of stuff from Target -- mostly household supplies, OTC meds, some shelf-stable foods. I occasionally get stuff from Walgreens or Costco too.
posted by radioamy at 11:44 AM on June 19, 2016

I use both Amazon Prime and Instacart. Both are life changers. I've had Amazon Prime for years and now take it for granted that I can have anything delivered within 2 days. There's also Amazon Prime now that can deliver goods when you suddenly need something and are too lazy to go to the store.

I use Instacart for all of my groceries. I feel liberated that I never have to go to a grocery store again. In my neighborhood, they deliver food from all of the big grocery chains, and also Target, Petco, and Cosco.
posted by parakeetdog at 1:11 PM on June 19, 2016

I use both Google Express and Amazon Prime. I like Amazon Prime, but I LOVE Google Express.

Google Express cost $95 a year, but it totally pays for itself. You can get stuff delivered from Costco at Costco prices (I have checked, it's not like Instacart where they add a hidden fee to every item's cost, it's the same price as at the store). So I buy way more stuff from Costco than I would if I actually had to go there. You can also browse multiple stores easily to find the best price, which makes it easier to notice sales on items you use a lot and stock up. I would estimate that the Costco shopping and sales save me about $250 per year.

It is so easy to use that I will often make an order even though I know I am going to the store soon. Then instead of loading up my cart with giant packages of diapers and toilet paper I can just cruise in and out with my small pile of perishables.

Getting your items delivered the next day is also awesome. I know prime is two days, but getting things the next day is just much, much better.

I also like that the stuff typically comes in regular paper grocery bags like a grocery purchase, instead of Amazon's many layers of horrible packaging. It's easier to unpack and doesn't make as much trash. (This is not always true though, sometimes they use OnTrac and then it is packed more like an Amazon order).
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 4:06 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

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