Amazon started a locker service about a year ago, and it's currently be expanded, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, who says lockers are popping up around the Bay Area as of the past few weeks.
Amazon's help center does not acknowledge the Bay Area, but indicates that lockers are currently in operation in Seattle, New York, the Washington, DC area, and London. Amazon isn't saying where else the offering may be expanded to next, but it does appear to be expanding.
Amazon Locker lets customers receive packages at pick-up stations located in stores that Amazon is renting space in, not entirely unlike a Redbox or Coinstar kiosk. The lockers are currently in grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores (reportedly, including 7-Elevens) that are open 24 hours.
When packages are delivered to the lockers, customers receive emails informing them that they're ready for pick-up. These emails contain unique pick-up codes, the location/address of the locker, and which one will actually contain the package. The locker system has a touch screen that customers can enter the codes into. Packages are available for pick-up for three days from the delivery date. When a package is not picked up, it will be returned to Amazon for a full refund.
Items eligible to be shipped to lockers are those sold or fulfilled by Amazon.com, with dimensions smaller than 11.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches, with shipping weight that is less than 10 lbs, and that don't require special handling.
Upon order placement, Amazon will tell you if a locker location is full, and that your item can't be shipped to that address. You can then search for another nearby locker location. Customers can select shipping speeds, but eligible speeds will display based on the capacity of the particular locker location you're trying to have your order sent to.
Hopefully if you're using an Amazon Locker anytime soon, you won't accidentally be shipped a weapon, open your package in the store and get arrested for armed robbery.
Image: Ubergizmo (From New York)