Recently I’ve had multiple packages delivered to two different shipping kiosks in my neighborhood: Amazon Locker and the U.S. Postal Service’s gopost. Both machines did a better job than the concierges at my apartment. After a couple of videos showing what they do, I discuss how they stacked up against each other and other options.
First, why would people have packages delivered to a 7-11 or a mall instead of to their home (or workplace)? Here are some possibilities:
- The package is a surprise for someone else at home.
- The recipient wants to keep the package private.
- The recipient is traveling.
- The recipient fears theft.
- The concierge desk at the recipient’s apartment complex is amazingly slow to make packages available and sometimes notifies the wrong resident.
In those cases, you might use one of these kiosks – but only if they don’t violate the size restrictions and, for the Locker, the weight limit of 10 lbs.
- Using these kiosks is free.
- They’re available to use during wider hours.
- Your shipper might not work with those services.
The best alternative probably is picking up a package at a FedEx store with liberal operating hours. But this requires shipping with FedEx, which is not always available.
Here are general comments about the two types of kiosk near me:
Using an Amazon Locker is easier than using gopost. It doesn’t require registration – simply choose it as a shipping option when checking out on Amazon. If you don’t see this option, then there probably isn’t one near you (very likely), or perhaps the package doesn’t qualify.
Gopost makes picking up a package fairly easy, but registering for the service and specifying the shipping address are confusing. Nonetheless, gopost claims to work with various shippers, so it’s more versatile. Amazon, as usual, locks the consumer into its world of consumption. Anyway, it hardly matters unless you live in the DC area or New York City, because goposts apparently exist only in these two places.
Presumably gopost is handy for shipping packages, too, for the people who print their own postage.
Here’s my most important observation: I’ve walked past these machines many times over the past year, but I’ve never seen any other person use either one of them – not even touching the screen to figure out what they do. Perhaps it’s the wave of a future that will never come to pass.