Amazon Fresh

I’d like to hear other Dopers’ opinions and experiences in using Amazon Fresh.

I like the convenience factor, and the fact they don’t charge any additional delivery fees on top of what I’m paying for Amazon Prime. . Frequently my situation is such that a grocery run to a regular store is not in the cards for several days running, so it’s nice that this option is there.

Downsides I’ve discovered: the selection and/or availability of items I actually want and need SUCKS dingoes balls. Seriously. Because of this, I have a hard time filling up their minimum $35 order with in-stock items I both want and need without overstocking my larder. If I get too many perishables, some will expire before I can consume them, and ordering too much of their limited selection/availability of non-perishable items means I end up with plenty left over after I’ve run through the perishables.

About a quarter of the orders I’ve done, they’ve neglected to include something in the order. They’re very good about issuing an instant refund when they screw up, but I’m still stuck without that item I wanted and that pesky $35 minimum order keeps me from just putting in a new order right away.

I’m always three or four stops into a delivery driver’s run, and I’ve learned not to order certain frozen items unless I want just one of them and plan to cook it immediately upon arrival. Again, they’re good about issuing a refund when something arrives thawed, but that still doesn’t help much when it screws up my meal plans.

Occasionally, I forget to include an item in my order and I think of it during the window of time that you’re nominally allowed to make changes to the order… except that never works. When I try to add items, I get told something along the lines that due to high demand, they can’t alter my order, which I think is a B.S. excuse, and their promise of allowing changes to an as-yet-unpacked order is an empty one. Do any Fresh users have a different experience in that regard?

I also do not like how they sneakily add a tip to the order price that I have to manually undo every time.

I didn’t like it the 2 times we tried it, but we’re due to get an Amazon Fresh store nearby this year. I’ll try it again, then. I think the last 2 years has probably been the worst time to try this service with the pandemic.

I tried Target’s also and that was far worse.

As to the auto-tip, almost every online ordering app/site does that and it is usually at 15%. That seems a little high for restaurant delivery. The supermarket type orders, the person delivering is also picking. So it seems more reasonable.

For me 15% is a minimum tip for just about anything, and under that falls under the “if you can’t pay that, just do it yourself,” IMHO. I’m a low wage hourly worker, and I’m pretty much forced to use services since stores aren’t really open anymore when I’m awake or have the time. Also very frugal by nature and tend to hate paying extra for anything. I might not like the tipping culture or the way the gig economy stiffs their workers/contractors, but I’m not going to take that out on the low-paid workers and expect anyone else (surely not Amazon corporate) to suffer.

Beyond that, I have similar experiences and likes/dislikes. Especially when there is 1 small item they don’t have and you need it. Like, I needed 1 lime for a recipe one time. Cool, they have limes for 39 cents. Order arrives, sorry we were out of limes. So I can’t do anything until the next time I hit a store or get a $35 order together. Maybe they have it. I think that’s the main negative.

Likes: Surprised that a lot of the Amazon brands (I think “Happy Belly” or something like that now, or something 365) are competitive price and quality wise, at least for the main grocers in my town. Sometimes they have some niche things that are a little different than Kroger, Meijer, Walmart selections or at least easier to find. Without it, I would have to lose sleep (at best) or eat from a limited selection of vending and food trucks which is much more expensive and unhealthy.

Has anybody here ever successfully added any items to their order during the time that Amazon Fresh supposedly allows you to change it? Based on my experience so far, it seems to be an empty promise, since it seems to allow me to add forgotten items, but once I commit to them, it says “nope, due to high demand we can’t let you do that, but you’re welcome to start a brand new order.”

I tried using Amazon Fresh at the beginning of the original lockdown, but had that same problem with finding enough in-stock items I wanted to get to the minimum without padding with items I didn’t really need/want.

We used Instacart for a month or two, and it worked much better, especially since the “shopper” kept in touch via cellphone as they were shopping, so you could make instantaneous substitutions. Expensive but it worked.

Haven’t had any reason to re-try Amazon Fresh.