Apparently 11am on Wednesday morning is the most common time for parents of babies in Birmingham to run out of essential items like nappies and baby food, according to figures released by Amazon. For me as a parent it was tea time on Bank Holiday Monday when I realised that I was in a bit of a mess. I’d invited a friend and her four children to come round for the day on the Tuesday, plus not content with that I’d invited my sister and her five children for the day on the Wednesday. Before either family arrived I needed to clean and ideally make a good start on lunch. I couldn’t quite see how I was going to do all that and make it to the shops, but I was going to have to find a way because I had no food to serve them.
Then I remembered that I’d been asked to review Prime Now and it seemed like the ideal opportunity to put it to the test. I’d order what we needed and get it delivered before my guests arrived, thinking that would be a Tuesday morning slot. In fact, I got actually got the stuff delivered that evening (yes, on a bank holiday) and I was good to go. Prime Now launched in Birmingham in summer 2015 and offers one-hour delivery on thousands of items including daily essentials such as coffee, batteries and nappies, as well as other popular items like games consoles, toys and sports equipment – all via a simple and easy-to-use mobile app. Prime members can choose delivery within one hour of ordering for £6.99, or free delivery within a choice of two-hour, same-day delivery slots between 8am and midnight, seven days a week.
So I planned out what I needed to buy – I’d been thinking I’d have to buy in things like pizza, but I was impressed by how much in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables was available, so I decided to make some salads. Prices were very reasonable too with a whole cucumber at 42 pence and an iceberg lettuce for 49 pence, so it wasn’t like I was paying over the odds for the convenience. I got a little more adventuresome and decided to have a look at some things that would make our get-togethers be a bit more fun. We planned a day of water fun with H’s cousins, but I wasn’t sure if they all had water pistols I ‘invested’ in a new one for H, so we could lend one out if need be. I had a look around the Prime Now app on my phone and found some really good deals for buying tea and coffee in bulk. I stocked up. There’s no charge for delivery, but you do need to spend £20, although that is easily done as you can buy tins and things to stock up your store cupboard if you need to add a few more items.
What wasn’t available that I might have bought? Running out of houmous is a bit of a disaster in our house, as H eats it most days, but I couldn’t find it on the app no matter how I spelt it. It did cross my mind to see if they had a paddling pool, as mice had shredded ours in the shed over winter and I thought the kids would enjoy it, but there was no pool. I thought of buying a nice cake to serve as pudding, but there was only a limited range and nothing really caught my eye. Since I wrote this post though they have added both paddling pools and houmous to the offering, so I’m a happy girl.
What might I buy in the future? I love that they sell kettles. You know how it is when your kettle breaks, you need another asap. If you are stuck at home with a baby or a sick child or just waiting in for a parcel when it goes, then it becomes a major issue, so being able to get one delivered so fast is a real godsend. There are other things too that I can imagine breaking or needing in a hurry and not wanting to go to the shops for at short notice. A new school water bottle maybe or batteries for a new toy (or an old one). Just before your holiday you might remember you need a travel adaptor or sun cream, you can get these. Maybe there has been a power cut and it’s mid-afternoon in winter, but you can’t find the torch, you can order one. Another situation I can see myself using Prime Now for is when I forget to buy a birthday present, perhaps for a party or a birthday treat that H is going on. You can order a reasonable range of gifts and toys, so you should be able to find something and it can be with you within a couple of hours without having to pay delivery charges.
Amazon Prime Now is available in Birmingham and also in selected postcodes which surround the city including Lichfield, Cannock and Tamworth. On your app you can do everything from choosing and ordering to tracking the driver’s progress towards your house. I have Amazon Prime membership for the coming year and I’m already enjoying some other benefits, like quicker free delivery on my normal Amazon orders. I’m also looking at taking advantage the Kindle library and Prime Instant Video, so that we can read and watch for free.