Amazon Confirms Tote's Demise, But Doesn't Say Why

Amazon.com is shutting down an experimental delivery service just a couple months after it was expected to expand the trial beyond a handful of Seattle neighborhoods.

A spokesperson told us today that Amazon Tote launched in the Seattle area in July 2010 as a new experimental customer delivery option and confirmed “This pilot program will no longer take orders as of 6 p.m., Thursday, March 3.”

The Tote service offered a free weekly delivery on a specified day. The perk was that it didn’t require a minimum-order size and you got to keep the reusable totes, however, the delivery day could not be changed.

It was a hybrid between Amazon’s Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping with an annual fee, and the company’s Amazon Fresh grocery service, which delivers food and some regular items directly to some houses in Seattle, also for a fee. Customers of Tote will continue to have those two options.

The discontinuation of the service appears to be a reversal for the Seattle-based company, which said in January that the program “will be expanding soon.” The Financial Times reported separately that the e-commerce company was headed for a national roll-out.

The spokesperson did not return requests for comment as to why the service was shutting down.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik