Online shopping typically causes a conundrum: You’ve found what you want, but you’ll have to wait days for delivery. You could buy it in a store, but you’ll spend more time and potentially more money too. And that’s if what you’re looking for is in stock.
Soon, this dilemma may be dust. Several large retailers are testing a same-day delivery option, combining the ease of online shopping with instant – or near instant – gratification.
Want to get your order today? Same-day delivery is now available for select retailers and locations. Here’s how and where you can take advantage.
1. Amazon.com Local Express Delivery
Already famous for its two-day “Prime” shipping service, Amazon.com now offers a faster option. The online retailer’s “Local Express Delivery” provides same-day service in 10 U.S. cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Thousands of items are available for same-day delivery, but not everything Amazon sells. You’ll have to check the product detail pages or look for the same-day option at checkout to see what’s eligible.
Order deadline times range from 7 a.m in Indianapolis and Chicago to noon in Seattle, with all other locations falling in between.
A shipment of eligible items costs $8.99 plus $0.99 per each item in your order. Amazon Prime members enjoy a flat rate of $3.99 per item.
2. Walmart To Go
Walmart’s “To Go” same-day delivery service offers a wide selection of products including electronics, furniture, and groceries. Customers are guaranteed the same prices found in their local Walmart store without the hassle of making a shopping trip.
Shoppers select products on Walmart’s dedicated To Go website. At checkout, customers choose a four-hour delivery window.
Walmart To Go costs $10 per order for an unlimited number of items, and there’s a minimum order total required to qualify.
Walmart To Go is currently available for select locations in Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Jose, and San Francisco. Users can check availability at their address using the Walmart To Go website.
Walmart says it’s adding new zip codes all the time, and you can sign up for an account to be notified when service becomes available in your area.
3. eBay Now
The service costs $5 per order during the beta testing period. Returns, which are also handled by the valet service, are currently free.
4. US Postal Service Metro Post
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is getting in on same-day delivery too. The new “Metro Post“ service launched in December with its first retail partner, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, but their site says they’ll soon include others. Customers who purchase items online from participating local retailers before 2 p.m. can have orders delivered between 4-8 p.m. on the same day.
USPS Metro Post is currently only available to residential customers in San Francisco, and delivery costs vary based on the retailer. Check the Metro Post website for updates on partner retailers.
Shutl offers delivery within minutes of purchase from participating local retailers that offer clothing, electronics, and more. This 24/7/365 service lets shoppers choose delivery within 90 minutes of ordering or a one-hour window.
Currently Shutl is only available in the U.K., but service starts in San Francisco and New York in the first quarter of 2013. Shutl plans to expand to at least 10 more North American cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Montreal, and Toronto.
6. Postmates Get It Now
Postmates offers its “Get It Now” service with same-day delivery of 20,000 products from 3,300 stores. This mobile app-based service offers delivery of lunch, office supplies, groceries, and more. Deliveries are assigned to a “Postmate,” and order status can be tracked from the mobile app.
Delivery costs start at $6.99 per order, with dynamic pricing based on the time, distance, and location. Postmate’s Get It Now is currently only available in San Francisco.
7. TaskRabbit Deliver Now
With TaskRabbit’s “Deliver Now,” customers can have same-day delivery from any local business.
“TaskRabbits,” who are regular people vetted by the service, pick up your order and deliver it to you.
Deliver Now costs $10 and is currently only available in San Francisco. However, Taskrabbit’s general service, which can be used to arrange same-day delivery, is available in nine metro areas in the U.S.
Jeffrey Trull is a writer for Money Talks News, where this column first appeared.