We ordered from Whole Foods using prime now and here’s what happened

Bags of groceries from Whole Foods using  Prime Now (Bham Now)

I got a code for $10 off my first ‘prime now’ order from Whole Foods so thought I’d give it a try.  Prime Now is a service offered to Amazon Prime members to place orders from Whole Foods Market for pickup or delivery.  The code is SAVE10WF.  Here’s how it went.

Ordering

Category Screen

Ordering from Whole Foods is fairly straightforward though navigation could be easier. There are categories that you can browse but once you drill down into a category there’s no way to get out without going back to start page or using search.  Using the search is the easiest way to go.

I ordered some random fruit, nuts, cheese and peanut butter.  When the total was $25 I checked the cart – it showed a $1.99 charge for pickup, $4.99 for delivery.  Adding a few more items crossed $35 which gave a choice for  free delivery.  I ended up with a total of $48.23 and was given a choice of 1 hr delivery window for $4.99 or 2 hr window for free.  Both windows began at 12pm (I was ordering at 10:58 AM). 

I then tried to use the coupon which I was told was not valid on this order.  Upon checking the fine print, I saw that the coupon was good on a minimum order of $50.  After adding a couple more pieces of fruit the total was $50.77 and the code worked.   They added tax and $7 tip so total ended up being $61.56 – $10 for coupon for a net of $51.56.

Unfortunately, it was now after 11 so I was given a new free delivery window of 2-4pm.  Around 3 minutes after placing the order, I received a text message that they’d begun working on it. 

Item Substitution

A few minutes later, I got a text message that one item was out of stock.  They ran out of organic pears, but had conventional pears so gave me an option to take that instead, along with the price difference.

Out of organic pears

Two more messages about out of stock.  I didn’t want the peanut spread so I declined that.  I’ve never gotten such expensive peanut butter before, but the reviews were good and I figured since I had the coupon I’d give it a shot.  I should have gone with the in-house ground peanut butter to start with and had I been in the store would have just gotten that if the other was out of stock.  So some advantage to going in, but I have to admit I’m impressed with this ordering process so far.

Dialog showing item replacement for out of stock items 
Accepted one, declined one – they sent the peanut butter anyway

Pricing

30 minutes after submitting order, I got a message that it was ready to go and that they’ll keep it temperature controlled until it leaves the store.  There’s a map that can be used to track the delivery.  The total price was not  updated,  instead there is a message: Your card will be authorized for $51.56 to account for potential changes to your order. Your final charge will match the items delivered. The tip will appear as a separate charge on your statement.

Because produce is priced per pound but sold per each you won’t know your actual cost until the order is picked

The suggested tip was $7, but can be changed within 24 hrs of order.   The new total for the order ended up at $25 ($35 with tax/tip) after the coupon.  They took off the $8 peanut butter and some of the fruit ended up being less than estimated.  A lot of fruit is priced per pound, but you order it per piece.  In my case, I got 3 grapefruit, 3 apples and 3 pears and actual price for each was less than estimated.   Had the order total been the original $50, I’d have tipped a bit more.

Delivery

The tracking page gives the name of the delivery person and the map updates with the drivers current location.  I received a text message about 5 minutes before the driver arrived.   The delivery person was driving a personal car much like any food delivery person and left 3 bags at my front door.   I received another text message and an email when the goods were delivered at 2:43 pm.

Cold items come in insulated bags (Bham Now)

The fruit/cheese was packed in insulated bags – they look like they could be reused though I don’t believe they’re recyclable.  They ended up giving me the peanut butter spread that I declined.  I’d declined since it was a ‘spread’ and had sugar/oil added.  Not sure if just a mistake or maybe they wanted me to give the house brand a try.  They were out of organic Bartlett pears so expected conventional pears, but what was delivered were Asian pears.   Actually quite large ones and they were, in fact, organic.  So large that I actually that I initially thought they were the grapefruit I’d ordered.  This was a definite mistake though perhaps the picker thought they’re actually pears.  We like asian pears, but not getting the regular pears messed up a dish I’d been planning to make.

Grapefruit sized asian pears, but not bartlett (Bham Now)

I also got more cheese than ordered.  The order interface allowed choosing .25, .5, .75 lb so I picked .25 lb, but actually received .6 lb of the cheese ordered.  It seems like they would adjust the price on this, but didn’t seem to.  

Overall, not perfect, but I’d use it again.  The prices seem to be the same as in-store, so the only additional expense was the tip.  I had my items within 4 hours (and would have been 3 if I didn’t restart the order to add items to cart to use the coupon) of thinking I needed some items and placing my order.   Bonus, I didn’t have to get out in the cold and lug bags up the stairs to my house.   I doubt I would get Amazon Prime just to use prime now, but it’s a nice benefit.