Amazon Hopes Delivery Lockers Will Fix That Whole "My Package Never Arrived" Problem

If you live in a few certain metropolitan areas, perhaps you’ve seen large metal lockers emblazoned with Amazon’s logo on it in your local grocery store, drugstore or 7-11 and thought maybe the company was just keeping a change of gym clothes on hand. But as we reported last fall, Amazon has been testing a new locker system to avoid the often frustrating experience of trying to get a package delivered on time.

Sometimes you’re not home when the delivery shows up, or the carrier decides for whatever reason not to deliver your goods. So Amazon’s large metal cabinets, which began showing up in New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle about a year ago, are the company’s attempt to fix that system. San Francisco customers should be seeing the lockers around town as well.

It’s seen as a good fix for apartment dwellers or anyone who doesn’t have a back door or a safe place to leave a package in. The item is just delivered to the Amazon locker and the customer can then later pick it up, reports the Wall Street Journal (check out a picture of the lockers in the source link).

After you choose to pick up your item at a locker, you’ll receive an emailed code that will unlock your locker door. Customers then have several days to get their goods. There’s a weight limit, however — only items less than 10 pounds, so that TV won’t fit.

This move is similar to steps other retailers are taking to make it easy for customers to get their goods — Walmart and Best Buy both have pickup sites for online customers to come and retrieve their items. Since Amazon has no physical stores, it’s found partners to house its lockers instead.

The lockers are currently in states where Amazon already charges sales tax or will soon. The simple act of having a locker in a physical store might trigger a sales tax in a certain state — it’s unclear how that would pan out so far.

If you spot a locker or have tried the system out, let us know in the comments or via how it worked out for you.

Amazon’s New Secret Weapon: Delivery Lockers [Wall Street Journal]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.