In yet another bid to completely dominate all things e-commerce, Amazon’s reportedly begun testing a premium service that lets its customers opt into having their deliveries assembled once they reach their door. The service is planned to first hit shoppers based in Virginia in the U.S. and “two other markets,” according to an internal Amazon presentation leaked to Bloomberg on Friday.
It’s a small upgrade, but anyone who’s ordered furniture or big-ticket items from the company will tell you it’s a significant one. Furniture assembly is time-consuming, tiring, and sometimes even dangerous, which is why it’s sometimes worth the splurge to have someone put together your heavy bedframe or bookcase. While Amazon’s long offered buyers the option to leave deliveries directly inside their homes, the lack of any assembly service means some of these buyers will inevitably turn to competitors that offer one, like Wayfair or Home Depot.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon’s new service requires drivers to not only unpack and assemble a person’s purchases but to take the item back to Amazon if that person isn’t satisfied with the end result. These same drivers aren’t merely going to be expected to assemble relatively simple furniture staples, but they might be trained on installing weighty appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.
In a lot of ways, this planned proposal sounds like a souped-up version of Amazon Home Services, which the company rolled out to certain cities and states back in 2015. But while Home Services requires customers to hire Amazon-vetted contractors to do this sort of dirty work, the new service comes courtesy of Amazon’s drivers themselves — a move that’s designed “to make delivery more convenient, cheaper and easier for Amazon to manage,” a person familiar with the plan told Bloomberg. It’s also almost certainly going to give these drivers a new set of unsafe and strenuous conditions they need to work in.
We’ve reached out to Amazon about the plans and will update this post when we hear back.