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First look at Amazon’s Treasure Truck: Getting a deal from Jeff Bezos’ ‘four-wheeled joy machine’

7 February 2016

From GeekWire:

My Saturday morning routine was interrupted with an alert from Amazon’s notoriously shy Treasure Truck, announcing their very first deal, a GoPro HERO4 Black for $179. That is a screamingly good price on a cool gadget that currently sells for $429 on Amazon, so a perfect opportunity to try the Treasure Truck on its debut. The process was easy and fun.

Wait a second, you may be asking — what the heck is the Treasure Truck? In short, it’s a delivery vehicle for deals, the latest move by Jeff Bezos & Co. to expand beyond their digital roots and into the physical world. The Treasure Truck finally launched in Seattle on Saturday, after an unexplained seven-month delay.

. . . .

Amazon says the Treasure Truck is like a “neighborhood ice cream truck” — a “four-wheeled joy machine” dishing out deals and bringing e-commerce into the mobile era, literally.

. . . .

Here’s how it works. First, to find the Treasure Truck, you have to be in Seattle, and you have to have the Amazon app installed on your phone. You can find it in the main menu of the app to see what’s on the truck today. You can also get alerts about the current deal. Today’s alert came promptly at 11AM.

You actually buy the item on your app, which then instructs you to visit the pickup location. Today the Treasure Truck was setup in a parking lot at the south end of Amazon’s South Lake Union campus. I was lucky that I ordered the GoPro right when I saw it, as the deal sold out in the first 45 minutes of the offer.

Parking lot attendants directed me to a parking spot next to the Treasure Truck which was setup next to a couple of white tents. The tents were staffed by cheery Amazon staffers in blaze orange Helly Hansen jackets toting Fire tablets.

. . . .

Pickup of my purchase was remarkably easy. Literally all I did was give them my name which they checked off the list on their tablet.

Link to the rest at GeekWire (including lots of Treasure Truck photos)

PG usually tries to avoid loading up on too many Amazon stories in a single day, but all too often, Amazon seems to be the only organization in the book business that does anything innovative or interesting.

Big Publishing announces a new idea every year or two. Adult coloring books was the most recent example.

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18 Comments to “First look at Amazon’s Treasure Truck: Getting a deal from Jeff Bezos’ ‘four-wheeled joy machine’”

  1. I went to Seattle U. for college.

    Apparently, I should have stayed there.

    I’m missing half the fun.

  2. “Big Publishing announces a new idea every year or two. Adult coloring books was the most recent example.”

    Even in that, didn’t they have to be shown the way? 😉

  3. This might be a non-starter. 30 minutes or it’s free pizza delivery promotions ended up banned in many places as they encouraged dangerous driving by the delivery drivers. I can see this running into trouble as well if people chasing the deals act stupidly.

    • Yeah, but there’s a neat thing they could do if the stood this idea on it’s head. Why bother sending you to the truck? I’m reminded of the radio-dispatched beer trucks they used to have in Chicago. Their slogan was something like “we’ll have a 6 pack to you by the end of the next inning.” Imagine a small fleet of trucks stocked with one great deal, app-dispatched within a metro area. You buy it and you have it within two hours, with no extra delivery fee, unlike current ‘instant’ delivery.

    • If the item is bought via the app, there is no need to rush to pick it up.

  4. @ PG

    “Big Publishing announces a new idea every year or two. Adult coloring books was the most recent example.”

    Adult Coloring Books… [snicker}

  5. This is a neat thing. I wish they were doing it in other cities, but Seattle makes sense, too. Getting local deals like that spreads a lot of goodwill amongst locals who might otherwise get a bit frustrated with what the influx of tech workers has done to the city they remember.

  6. I wonder how GoPro is actually such a good deal. Their stock has tanked big time. Not sure why.

    • @ USAF

      Overpricing? Too narrow a niche? Competition with cheaper cell phone cameras? Bad management?

      Could be any or all that and maybe more.

      Research in Motion and the Blackberry is a previous biz meltdown.

      • thanks James. I was looking at Moment lenses. Very nice. For iphone. Crystal clear lenses … macro, 2x and wide, beautiful wide angle

  7. PG, there’s no such thing as too many Amazon stories per day.

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