I’ve Been Using Amazon Fresh for 3 Months — Here’s What I Like and Don’t Like About It
I’m no stranger to grocery delivery services. I love the convenience both because it saves me time, and living in New York City, it means not having to carry my groceries around. As a recipe tester, I’ve been using them regularly at work for a couple years, and last spring when I was pregnant and could no longer carry my grocery bags, I started using them at home, too. Now, with a baby, I continue to opt for grocery delivery instead of going to the store, and find it more helpful and convenient than ever.
I’ve tried several different services, and most recently I’ve been using Amazon Fresh to see how it stacked up. Here’s what I learned, what I really liked about this grocery delivery service, and what I don’t like.
How Amazon Fresh Works
Similar to most other grocery delivery services, you’ll use their website or app to select your items and fill your cart. At checkout, you’ll select your delivery date and a two-hour time window.
Rather than relying on Whole Foods stores, the orders are fulfilled from local Amazon warehouses, then shipped by air and/or truck to your delivery location. There are two delivery options: Doorstep delivery, where you do not have to be home (though the door must be accessible) or attended delivery, where you will be available to accept the box(es).
- Pricing and fees: Free with Prime membership (This used to cost an additional $14.99, but the policy just changed as the grocery delivery wars heat up. Right now, you have to request an invitation, though.). And there is a delivery fee for orders that are less than $50.
- Where it’s available: Select cities and towns. (Use your zip code to see if Amazon Fresh is available in your area.)
What I Like About Amazon Fresh
The thing I most like about Amazon Fresh is the product range, which is pretty broad. In addition to Whole Foods and 365-branded products, you also have access to a lot of widely available items you’d find at major grocery stores but aren’t available at Whole Foods.
The prices were also pretty reasonable and either in line with or lower than what I’d pay at Whole Foods or other local grocery stores. Though it’s worth noting that they’re typically higher than if you’re used to shopping at Aldi or Costco.
Sign up for Amazon Fresh here.
Amazon Fresh also gets points for reliability. My orders were always on time and never late, I never had a problem with missing items, and the quality of the produce was basically on par with what I would have chosen for myself.
Because I often forget to add an item (or two!) to my cart, or realize I’m out of something after placing my order, I love that there’s the option to edit (or cancel) your order up until a certain time before delivery.
What I Wish Was Different
I know this is part of using a grocery delivery service, but there is so much packaging involved. Because the orders are fulfilled from a warehouse rather than a local store or even a fulfillment center (like, FreshDirect, for example), everything is packed up in boxes, as well as insulated bags for frozen foods. And because items aren’t sourced from a store, there’s no option for bulk bin items.
Same day delivery is usually not available. However, if you place an order very first thing in the morning, maybe you can secure a night time delivery.
Other Things to Know
I was especially curious to see how frozen foods were packaged and would hold up in transit. Would my ice cream stay frozen or be a soupy mess by the time it got to me? I learned that when you order refrigerated foods, you can also expect to get a frozen bottle of water.
Frozen foods are packed in an insulated pouch with an ice pack, while a frozen bottle of water is nestled against refrigerated items to keep them cool.
And if you’re also looking to restock your wine fridge or grab a six-pack for the weekend, you’re out of luck. Amazon Fresh does not offer wine or beer, as some other grocery delivery services do.
It’s also worth mentioning that a 10% tip is also added to your order, though you have the option to edit the amount.
My Final Thoughts
Having used other grocery delivery services, it was fun to try this one for a while. But I had a hard time sticking with it for the full three months. Even though the items I wanted were always in stock and I appreciated the wide product selection, I had such a hard time getting past the packaging and the footprint I left by using this service.
I’ve gone back to using Prime Now, another Amazon-owned service tied directly to local Whole Foods stores (as well as other area markets).
Have you tried Prime Now or Amazon Fresh? What’d you think?