Some fortunate folks out there have the luxury of a doorman at their apartment building; someone to accept packages on their behalf while they're away at work or on vacation. The rest of us just come home to "missed package" slips stuck to our doors. Until now. Here are 5 services popping up in some big cities that let you get home deliveries on your time.
Each of these apps and services want to step in and become your virtual doorman, picking up the slack between the shipping company and your doorstep to make sure you get your packages exactly when you need them.
How it works: Ship packages to your personal Doorman shipping address. Doorman signs for the delivery, sends you a notification and holds your package for as long as you'd like. You then use the Doorman app to schedule a home delivery anytime from 6pm to midnight, 7 days a week.
Cost: $4/package, or $19+/month for unlimited packages
Get it in: San Francisco, Chicago & New York City
How it works: If you're ordering on Amazon.com, you can have your package shipped to an Amazon Locker, which will hold it for up to three business days until you pick it up yourself with a unique pick-up code that Amazon emails you once your package has arrived. Lockers have early morning and late evening hours, and some locations are open 24/7.
Cost: Free, shopping from Amazon.com
Get it in: Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle
How it works: Ship packages to your unique Parcel address. Parcel accepts the package and sends you a notification text, with four one-hour windows for home delivery that evening (Sunday through Friday, from 7-11pm). Parcel can keep packages for up to 30 days if you're away or unavailable.
Cost: $5/delivery, even if you have more than one package
Get it in: Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn
How it works: Have packages shipped to your Swapbox address. When it arrives at a Swapbox location, Swapbox sends you a PIN code to pick up your delivery at their monitored, indoor kiosk.
Cost: $2/package, $8/month for 10 deliveries, $15/month unlimited
Get it in: San Francisco
How it works: TaskRabbit basically lets you locally hire out everyday tasks (for more than just packages). You can use the site to describe what you need (i.e. "I need someone to sign for a package," or "I need someone to get a package being held at the UPS store") and choose a Tasker to get it done for you. This is more an arrangement between individuals than any kind of service, so the restrictions are left up to you and your Tasker.
Cost: Varies depending on the Tasker; around $20/hr
Get it in: 19 different cities
One note: Some of these services place restrictions on the size and weight of the packages they will handle. If you're expecting something like a large piece of furniture, these services may still be able to handle it for you, for an additional charge. Just click through to their websites and FAQ pages for more details.
Looking for a cheaper, more DIY solution to the package problem? Check out 4 Ways to Manage Home Deliveries