How Does Amazon Locker Work? Understanding the Service
Amazon packages are something that have become a part of our daily landscape. The massive e-commerce platform delivers millions of packages every day around the world, and that brown box is something we’ve grown used to seeing on porches, in apartment building lobbies, and at front desks no matter where we go.
Considering how prevalent they are, Amazon packages aren’t always easy to deliver. Some buildings don’t have secure locations to drop off the packages and not everyone is home all day to monitor their front porch deliveries. As a result, theft of packages has become an issue for many people.
To combat logistical problems and theft, Amazon has introduced its Amazon Locker program, which allows users to ship items to a locker where packages can be picked up safely and securely.
How does Amazon Locker work? In this article we’ll give a brief introduction to Amazon, and then dive into Amazon Locker. We’ll show you how to ship an item to an Amazon Locker location, how to use the self-service kiosk to retrieve your item, and how to find out if there are Amazon Locker locations near you.
A Brief Guide to Amazon and Amazon Prime
Amazon is an e-commerce platform and web logistics company. It has become one of the major success stories of the digital age, sitting alongside other tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google.
The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Washington, and is still headquartered in Seattle. It first was founded as an online book marketplace but quickly began selling electronics, toys, household goods, and more. It’s now one of the largest e-commerce platforms on Earth.
Amazon not only lets people buy items on their platforms, it also offers web logistics services, and is rapidly expanding into the field of voice recognition technology. Its service Alexa allows customers to play music, get weather forecasts, set reminders, and make an Amazon order simply by speaking to Alexa products.
It’s also become a marketplace not only for buyers but for sellers as well — it’s now possible to quickly set up a small business selling items on Amazon. Read our guide to using Amazon as a seller to learn more.
Amazon Prime is the company’s premier membership program. Prime members pay an annual fee of $119. (The original program was $79 per year, then $99 annually, and has grown as Amazon has added more features to the program.)
For that fee customers get unlimited two-day shipping on qualified orders from Amazon. They also get access to Amazon Prime original content — the company has begun producing original shows and movies — which can be watched online. What’s more, Prime members also automatically have access to Amazon Locker.
What Is Amazon Locker?
Amazon Locker is a delivery option that lets customers send their Amazon packages to a secure “locker” where they can pick them up. For people who have had packages stolen from their front porch, or who live in an apartment building where it’s difficult for a UPS driver to gain access and safely leave packages, Amazon Locker delivery can be a lifesaver.
The “lockers” are secure, self-service kiosks located in cities around the U.S., and only accessed by a special code that is sent to the recipient.
Another nice perk: Some Amazon Locker locations allow for easy returns. Instead of having to find a UPS store or wait in line at the post office, you can simply drop your packaged return in the locker and have it picked up that way.
Prime members get free shipping to Amazon Locker locations. Other Amazon customers are welcome to ship items to an Amazon Locker location, but they must pay standard shipping costs to have deliveries go there.
Restrictions to the Amazon Locker Program
While Amazon Locker can be a great program for people looking for a secure place to pick up their packages, there are some restrictions.
For one: Not everyone is located near Amazon Lockers. If you live in a remote area, you may find it especially difficult to find pick-up locations near you.
Even if you’re a Prime member and have Amazon Lockers near you, there are still some items that are not eligible for the program. These items include:
- Products shipped internationally
- Orders from third-party sellers
- Subscribe & Save items (Amazon’s product subscription service)
- Packages weighing more than 10 pounds
- Packages with dimensions bigger than 16 x 12 x 14 inches
The bottom line is that items must be (somewhat) small, must be shipped to and from the United States, and must be provided and fulfilled by Amazon.
How Does Amazon Locker Work?
Using Amazon Locker can be done simply by using Amazon as you normally would — you just have to remember to set the delivery address to an Amazon locker when you place your order.
Go through Amazon, find the items you want, and fill your cart as you normally would. When you go to check out, you’ll see that an address book will pop up with any shipping addresses you have used in the past, including your default address.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see a category for “Your pickup locations.” Under that, you’ll see an option to “Look up a new Amazon Pickup location” and a field to enter a zip code to search for a pick-up location near you.
Provide your zip code and a pop-up window will show Amazon pickup locations — including Amazon Locker locations — near you.
Find the location you want, select that as your delivery address, pay for your item, and you’re good to go.
Once your package is delivered to the Locker, you’ll receive an email notification with a specialized code to access the package. Head to your Amazon Locker, pick up your package, and rest easy knowing that your item is secure.
Picking Up at Amazon Lockers
Once your item has been delivered to an Amazon Locker, you’ll still need to go and pick it up. Luckily, the process is a simple one.
Amazon Lockers are self-serve kiosks which anyone who’s successfully used an ATM machine should be able to figure out without too much trouble. They are typically large, yellow clusters of lockers with a touch screen located in the center of it.
Once you’ve found your Amazon Locker location, go to the touch screen. Using the screen, let it know that you’re there to pick up a package, and it will cue you to provide a unique pick-up code.
Enter the code and your locker will automatically open. Grab your package, shut the locker, and off you go.
Run into problems? Call the Amazon helpline at 1-888-280-4331 and they’ll make sure you get access to your package.
Amazon Locker Locations
Finding an Amazon Locker location near you is an easy process. The company has built an online database of Amazon Pickup locations, and if you follow this link, you can enter your home or work address and see what options are available near you.
Pick-up locations do tend to be clustered in metropolitan areas, though they are expanding the program rapidly. Amazon Lockers now appear in Whole Foods grocery stores, as well as convenience stores like 7-Eleven, all over the country.
While the lockers are self-secured, if they are located in a store that is open 24 hours, you should be able to access them at any time.
Safely Shipping With Amazon Locker
It would be great if we could ship anything to our front porch and know that it would be waiting for us when we got home. Unfortunately, that’s just not the world we live in. The Amazon Locker program eliminates the stress of worrying about a package. You’ll know that your order has been safely deposited in a locker that only you can access.
So why not give it a try? You can first find out if there are Amazon Locker locations near you. If there are, you can add that location to your address book on Amazon, and select it as your shipping address the next time you place an order. Use the self-service kiosk to access your locker, and that’s it — you’ve successfully used Amazon Locker to securely ship a package. Now you’ll no longer have to ask yourself, “How does Amazon Locker work?”