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Amazon Tests Two-Hour Booze Delivery In 12 US Cities (foodandwine.com) 74

An anonymous reader quotes SFGate: Thanks to the Prime Now service, Amazon will now deliver booze to the home, failing house party, mundane family brunch, or other occasion of Prime members in the Bay Area. While Prime Now (a delivery service that comes with a $99 annual Prime membership) is available in 30 different cities across the U.S., the alcohol delivery service can only be accessed in a select 12 of those 30, including San Francisco... Two-hour delivery on booze is free of charge, but if you find yourself in a truly desperate situation, one-hour delivery is available for an extra $7.99. ID's are checked upon delivery by couriers.

A minimum of $30 is required for a delivery, which shouldn't be a problem to hit seeing that prices are slightly higher than standard for what you'd find in your corner liquor store. $26 for a 12-pack of Coronas, $15 for a six-pack of Angry Orchard, and $23 for a bottle of chardonnay, for example... Delivery hours match those of regular Prime Now services, which run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Amazon is competing with local liquor-delivery services in the Bay Area, according to the article, as well local services in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Amazon began testing liquor deliveries in March in two Ohio cities, then slowly began rolling it out to more, according to Food & Wine magazine (which has a complete list of the 12 cities). "Unlike other markets such as Seattle, which was the first to get alcohol delivery via Prime Now back in 2015, and Manhattan, which just got Prime Now alcohol delivery this past June, Portland can only order beer and wine, and not spirits, through the service. If Portlanders want spirits in a hurry, they'll have to hunt it down a different way like some sort of bourbon-loving caveman."

Amazon is also testing two-hour liquor deliveries in Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, and Richmond, Virginia.
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Amazon Tests Two-Hour Booze Delivery In 12 US Cities

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  • If you deliver too late, you can't keep the buzz going.
    • whats real is having a housekeeper to take care of things like this.
      • Well, there are more extreme cases. I heard of a wedding party 2ky ago where they ran out of booze; such estimations were mastered even that long ago thus I expect the housekeeper's error to be minimal. Yet the shortage, in modern units, was between 450 and 680 liters. Even assuming the whole village and the village next to it had been invited, the amount of alcohol per person must have been of truly biblical proportions.

        • The best part is that there wasn't a 2 hour wait, nor a requirement to have Amazon Prime. And I doubt any ID checking went on.
        • It is a good bet the one who saved the day, simply had everyone turn away while he quietly removed a cauldron of water and replaced it with a cauldron of wine he had stashed.

          Just ask Sea Man.

    • I prefer my alternative.

      Get in my car, go to the liquor store, chuckle again about them being between a bank and a convenience store, choose bottle of Kraken, pay the $20 (or less if it is on sale) for it; make a little bit of small talk with the nice elderly lady running the place, then head home. Total time involved, anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Bah (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26, 2017 @01:52PM (#55090003)

    I have 30 minute weed delivery in Denver.

    • We grow our own here in Oregon. Been nearly 2 years since I had to pay for weed. And back then, it was a pretty steep $100 an ounce.

      And on that note, it is time to go both break and fulfill Mosaic law. In other words, I finish this work that I am doing on the sabbath, and then I can go get stoned. (And I don't even believe in any deities. If I did though, I would put together my own pantheon consisting of my perception of various beings from Sumerian, Egyptian, Earth/Nature Based, and other mythologies

  • Canadian prices to US soil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26, 2017 @01:54PM (#55090011)

    *Yawn* Call me when they get drone delivery of booze.
     
    If Dominos can figure out how to deliver a hot pizza, Amazon should be able to figure out how to deliver a cold beer.

    • I think beer would be a little more difficult. A 6-pack of beer probably would be about the smallest unit amount you'd want to deliver. 1 fluid ounce of water is about but not exactly 1 ounce (can we just switch to the metric system already) and a lot of American beers are pretty fucking close to water anyhow, so the beer comes out at around 4.7 pounds and a bit more extra weight depending on whether its in glass or cans. Most large pizzas won't get much above 2 pounds unless they're loaded with toppings.
      • I think beer would be a little more difficult. A 6-pack of beer probably would be about the smallest unit amount you'd want to deliver. 1 metric fluid ounce of water is about but not exactly 1 metric ounce (can we just switch to the metric system already)

        Better?

  • Election night: "Sorry, we've received too many orders, the earliest is Friday."

  • The main problem with Amazon food delivery (and apparently booze too) is the cost. They need to make back their delivery charges, obviously, but the costs mentioned in the article are 25-50% above retail in liquor and corner stores which is already 15-25% above supermarkets. And the only reasons corner stores stay in business is because they accept food stamps as payment for liquor whereas larger retailers like Walmart don't.

    • The regional difference is interesting - here in sunny england i have been using this service for some months. Prices are comparable to local stores, and often cheaper...

      With the added advanfage of not having to leave the house, pay petrol, etc... ...amazon delivery ftw!

    • The same is true of the rest of Amazon's grocery offerings. I figure the break-even for my time is less than a third of what I get on an average weekly trip (for two adults and two children). Maybe self-driving delivery trucks will make prices more compelling.

    • And the only reasons corner stores stay in business is because they accept food stamps as payment for liquor

      No.

      Maybe there are some less than reputable stores who do, but as a matter of practice, this is not the case. In most states, you will lose your liquor license for this -- not worth the risk.

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        As a matter of practice, in the inner city it is very common. Some food benefits do not have restrictions on purchasing alcohol and most stores will simply trade the value. I've seen it done plenty of times across plenty of corner stores in plenty of cities across the US. I'm sure not all of them do, but most will. There are plenty of stories of journalists finding EBT cards being used at dog tracks, casino's and bingo halls.

        Most states simply don't enforce and fewer stores do. Even major stores like Wal-Ma

    • We have one liquor store here. And if someone on public assistance were to try to buy booze with their food benefits, she would probably be turning their (possibly) lazy asses in.

      I'm confident the convenience store personnel around town would as well.

  • Then I read "only 12 cities" and my heart sank...no fuckers...no -- DON'T YOU FUCKING DANGLE THIS IN FRONT OF ME AND SNATCH IT AWAY

    FUCKING DAMMIT. Why isn't the CITY LIST on the post (click) LOAD FASTER DAMMIT!

    oh shit -- here -- skim...fucking advertising elements - huh? why the FUCK am I on the dev BROWSER....skim....where THE FUCK IS THE FUCKING CITY Lis- -- oh there and YEEEEESSS!!!!!

    THE END

    A real true 15-second story from Tales of the Prime

    P.S. I love you Jeff Bezos. I have loved you for
  • $26 for a 12-pack? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by intellitech ( 1912116 ) on Saturday August 26, 2017 @02:23PM (#55090119)

    That is way more than slightly higher than most places near me in the midwest.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      D*mn. That's an insane price for even the snootiest of beers.

      If it's only beer, I can walk to the nearest grocery store and back in only half an hour and pay reasonable prices.

      I don't even live in a "walkable" city.

      Of course I am not holding out high hopes for their selection. That seems to be their weak point with anything in this area.

  • Remember the era when eBay commissions were based only on the sales price? Half the products on eBay were a penny plus $14.99 shipping, $49.99 shipping, etc. etc.

    This is pretty much the opposite -- "free delivery" for a product overpriced by 40-50%.

    • Higher price plus "free" delivery is identical to how "free" shipping works on any ecommerce site. The worst case scenario shipping (otherwise farthest domestic zone especially of weight based) is calculated and added to the price. Anyone with even 2 brain cells to rub together knows that there really is no such thing as free shipping.

      • Higher price plus "free" delivery is identical to how "free" shipping works on any ecommerce site.

        Except for the inconvenient fact that you pay an annual membership fee for Amazon Prime. Keep rubbing those brain cells.

  • When I think of Amazon, I think of a store with more variety of products available than retailers with a physical presence. i'd be happy with two day delivery, but first they have to catch up with local physical retailers Total Wine [totalwine.com] and BevMo [bevmo.com] on selection.
  • Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday August 26, 2017 @05:55PM (#55090723)

    I live in a small country in Europe and I can get any booze or wine/beer in 5 minutes at the nearest gas station at a much, much lower price or if I'm to drunk to walk or drive, any pizza delivery guy or China/Indian/French restaurant delivery guy will bring it with or without any food to my door in under half an hour at a slightly more expensive price without any proof of age and if he wanted one, the age is 16 for alcohol.
      (more expensive than the gas station, not as expensive as in the article, Chardonnay is between 6 and 16 bucks)

  • I know the twin cities have had Prime Now alcohol delivery for over a year now [startribune.com]. I wonder how many of the other markets are actually new?

  • You know its ethanol, right? Am I on slashdot...I thought this crew had more respect for themselves.

  • Since the summary mentions that this is being tested in Los Angeles, how can they not mention that L.A. already has such a delivery service and has for many years now: Pink Dot [wikipedia.org]? I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if Amazon ends up deciding it's more profitable to just serve as another front end for Pink Dot orders.

  • Homer: "Siri, have Amazon drone me a beer!"
    (seconds later a small quad copter flies through a conveniently already-opened window, dangling a can of Duff).
    The only thing left is to switch to drones to reduce the delivery time.

C++ is the best example of second-system effect since OS/360.

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