Amazon looks set to test click-and-collect system for picking up packages

amazon open source product recommendation tech prime price increase
Constantly looking for ways to get its goods to customers speedily and conveniently, Amazon looks like it could be about to launch a new service allowing customers to pick up items instead of waiting in for a delivery.

Last month we learned that Amazon may be planning a so-called “click and collect” service for its AmazonFresh grocery service, but this latest scheme, which goes by the name “Flex,” would cover masses of items on its main website.

The e-commerce giant hasn’t made any official announcement about the service, but a sign spotted at its new Kirkland distribution center near Seattle certainly suggests Amazon is prepping the launch of a new system for getting goods into the hands of customers.

Reported first by GeekWire on Tuesday, the sign reads, “Please take a ticket number located behind you. Please look for your number on the top corner of the wall on your left. Proceed to pick up your package once your number is displayed.”

Like Amazon Lockers at 7-Eleven stores, Flex would allow you to collect your item at a time that suits you, but unlike the lockers, there’ll be smiling Amazon staff – well, hopefully they’ll be smiling – waiting to greet you when you arrive.

If the expected service proves a hit with customers in the Seattle area, Amazon would likely build similar facilities at more of its distribution centers across the country and beyond.

Of course, with the company gradually rolling out its super-fast Prime Now delivery service to addresses close to its distribution centers, Prime members in the area need only wait two hours at most for an item to arrive at their door. Still, such deliveries don’t cover all items, and there may be occasions where it’s simply more convenient to collect it yourself.

For Amazon, Flex would help it cut costs, eliminating last-mile delivery charges while at the same time offering customers a new way to get their goods.

But as we’ve said, Amazon is yet to offer any official word on the apparent plan, so let’s wait to see if it actually comes to fruition.

Smart Home

You can soon take your Amazon returns to any Kohl’s store across the U.S.

Amazon has offered returns via a limited number of Kohl's stores since 2017, but the service is about to expand to all 1,150 of its outlets across 48 states. The service is free, too.
Smart Home

You can now have your Amazon packages delivered in your garage

Amazon is expanding its Amazon Key service with Key for Garage. Eligible Amazon Prime subscribers in 50 U.S. cities will be able to sign up, assuming they have a myQ-enabled smart garage door opener.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.