Amazon Fresh Review – Should You Use It?
Amazon Fresh is a new Amazon service that delivers fresh groceries and other food items directly to your door. Here’s our Amazon Fresh review.
What is Amazon Fresh?
Amazon Fresh is a food delivery service that offers next-day and early morning delivery of groceries, food items, and other goods. Whether you need milk or electronics, Amazon Fresh promises to get it to your door as quickly as possible.
Amazon Fresh works with local retailers to ensure speedy delivery times. One of the big benefits of the service, according to Amazon, is that you can “discover products from neighborhood shops and restaurants.”
Amazon Fresh has been around since August 2007, when the e-commerce giant introduced it to the Seattle suburb of Mercer Island in an invitation-only trial run. Over the years, it expanded to include other regions of Seattle – like Kirkland and Bellevue.
Starting in 2013, Amazon started to rapidly expand Fresh across major cities in California. By 2014, it was available in many parts of New York and Philadelphia.
Today, signing up for Amazon Fresh requires a mandatory $299/year membership. You can check whether or not Amazon Fresh is available in your area by entering your zip code here. That membership is also known as Amazon Prime Fresh.
The move to a $299/year membership fee was controversial. Many customers who had been using Amazon Fresh for years were disappointed by going from “free to fee” overnight. These customers had previously enjoyed free Amazon Fresh deliveries on purchases over $50 with an Amazon Prime membership.
What Does Amazon Fresh Deliver?
Amazon Fresh delivers grocery items to your home from local retailers.
A small selection of items from the main Amazon store are also available. After ordering Amazon Fresh items online, they’ll be delivered the same day or the next day (depending on what time you ordered and the availability of trucks in your area).
Reviews for Amazon Fresh are generally positive about the selection of food items available. The company is praised for its extensive selection of basic items as well as more unique food items – like items required for Hispanic or Asian recipes.
Amazon Fresh Pricing
Amazon Fresh is priced at $299 a year.
If that price seems steep, well it is. Other grocery delivery services competing with Amazon Fresh offer cheaper rates.
Google Express, for example, charges $95 a year or $10 a month for membership. That service provides free delivery on everything except cold grocery items.
Other competitors like Instacart Express charge $99/year and offer free deliveries on orders over $35 (non-members can also access Instacart Express without signing up; they just pay a delivery fee).
Amazon Fresh Versus Amazon Prime
In addition to competing with Instacart Express and Google Express, Amazon is competing against itself with Amazon Fresh. Amazon Prime ($99/year for the standard plan) offers free two-hour delivery and $7.99 one hour delivery on a wide variety of products – including many grocery items. The main difference between Prime and Fresh is that Fresh has a much larger selection of grocery items.
What Do Customers Have to Say About Amazon Fresh?
Customer reviews online for Amazon Fresh are generally positive. This Yelp listing covers Amazon Fresh for the Bellevue, Washington area, although reviews for Amazon Fresh services all across America also appear on the page. The service has an average rating of 4 stars out of 5 with a total of 149 reviews.
Positive reviews mention things like:
“ I've been regularly using Amazon Fresh since last fall, and they've nailed the formula. Once you order a few times, you can pull up past items, or when you search, past purchases appear first in the search results. If I'm not doing anything special Ina given week, I can knock off my grocery shopping in 15 minutes, sometimes less.” – Jessica S.
Another review attempted to justify the $300 a year delivery fee by stating,
“First let's address the $299 issue that people complain about… I order once a week so that's $5.75 each delivery. I'm saving at least 1 hour (and that's a modest estimate) a week in time shopping… My time alone is worth that much. They also have fairly competitive pricing especially in organic, natural and gluten free. Overall it sounds like a lot of money but in reality it's not. You also get all the benefits of Amazon prime, movies, 2-day shipping free…. That's not even factored into the $5.75 per deliver”
Meanwhile, unhappy customers typically complain about two things: high pricing ($299 a year doesn’t seem worth it if you’re only ordering once or twice a month); and poor customer service (many customers complain about the frustrations of dealing with a large company).
Prior to the introduction of the $299 a year fee, customer reviews were very positive. Customers have consistently praised the food selection and variety, for example, while also mentioning the friendliness of delivery drivers. Items like cold milk are left in insulated containers to preserve their freshness – even if you’re not home at the exact moment of delivery.
Ultimately, if you order once a week, the $299 a year delivery fee is more justified. However, customers who only order once or twice a month may find they’re paying more than they would like for the service.