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Testing out Amazon Prime Now

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On Christmas Eve, while wrapping presents, I noticed I was out of coffee. With all of the stores closed for the holiday, I wasn't going to have coffee Christmas morning.

To keep the kids from seeing a very grumpy dad while they opened presents, I thought I'd try Amazon's newest way to shop. I grabbed my phone and the Amazon Prime Now app.

Here's what happened: the app displays only Amazon items that are available for delivery. You can purchase food, produce, ice cream, household items, pet food, electronics, movies and games. When I searched for coffee, I found Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Maxwell House and Folgers. I ordered a 2.2 pound bag of Kicking Horse whole bean for $26.96.

I placed that order at 6:30 p.m., and that order had to be shipped from an Amazon facility about an hour away. I got updates and could follow the delivery driver on a map, and I could even contact them. A little over two hours after I placed the order, the driver showed up at the front door.

I know you must be thinking, 'So what did that cost?" Amazon adds a minimum $5 tip to the order. but as for the price of the coffee, it isn't more expensive than if I'd purchased it from Amazon­.com. In fact, it's cheaper.

To use the delivery service, you have to order from the Prime Now app. It isn't available nationwide, but to a select number of metro areas with Amazon fulfillment centers nearby. If I had been closer to the fulfillment center, my delivery would have taken much less time.

And amazon is moving fast towards it's Amazon Prime Air service, which will employ or deploy flying drones to deliver products. Amazon says seeing these delivery drones will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.

Prime is one of Amazon's best features. The company is claiming it added 3 million new Prime subscribers in just the third week of December. And, with features like Amazon Prime Now that'll bring you coffee late Christmas Eve, Amazon's influence on consumer habits will keep getting larger. 

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