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You read that right. Yes, Amazon can clean your house! Or put your new treadmill together, or fix your iPhone, repair a leaky faucet, help you move, install a car battery, or paint your house!
What in the world am I talking about? With my daughter away at college this year, I had time to look around on Amazon more than I already do, 🙂 and found this:
I’m talking about Amazon Home Services. This is yet another amazing aspect of the giant that is Amazon. Remember when they used to just sell books? 🙂
So how does this work?
You start by going to Try Amazon Home Services to peruse the more than one thousand services offered in this program. You will be able to see what services are offered in your area. If you are already in your Amazon account, it will tell you whether or not services are available in your zip code. You can choose the category that interests you, and then take a look at the pre-packaged and custom options available to you. You pay for the service of your choice with the credit card you have on file with Amazon to pay for your regular purchases.
There are two ways to purchase the home services. You can purchase a pre-packaged service with a predetermined price. If you choose this option, you simply place the service in your cart and schedule the appointment time of your choice. If you have a custom request, you submit your request and will begin receiving estimates by email from professionals in your area. Once you make your selection of who you would like to perform the service, you will provide the contractor three preferred dates and times. They will confirm an appointment date and time with you, and you will pay for the service through Amazon.
So just who are these professionals?
Amazon screens all professionals in this program with extensive background checks, including:
- State and local business registration
- Bankruptcy status
- National governmental restricted or prohibited dealings lists, including the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List
Criminal background checks include:
- Social security number trace
- County and federal court searches
- National criminal search
- Sex offender registry search
- Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC) check
What about purchasing parts or equipment?
When you choose the service you want, you will want to review what is included in the package on the service detail page. This will tell you whether or not you need to purchase anything additional in advance, or request that the technician provide the part for purchase.
How do you pay for all this?
You can use the card you have on file with Amazon, or you can use Amazon gift cards for pre-packaged services. You cannot use gift cards to pay for custom services. You do NOT pay the technician. A service provider can charge you a trip fee, but you will be informed of it prior to accepting the bid.
With custom service requests, you will begin receiving estimates within one business day, and up to three business days from the initiation of your request. The request is free, and you are not obligated to choose a contractor to perform the requested service. If you choose not to make a purchase, you do not need to cancel the request. Just don’t accept any of the bids and you are good to go.
You manage your service orders the same as you do regular Amazon purchases, through your Orders link in your account. If you do purchase a service and are not happy with what you got, Amazon has a “Happiness Guarantee,” where they will work with you as long as you file a claim within 90 days of the requested service.
The ability to pay for prepackaged services with Amazon gift cards has me thinking about ways to give gifts to someone. Like a new mom who would love to have someone clean her house. Or an elderly person who could use some help with cleaning or assembling something or some handyman type help.
On the flip side of this, if you OFFER these types of services, you can also apply with Amazon to be a service provider. The advantages of offering your services on this platform are that there are no startup costs, the ability to offer prepackaged and custom service packages, and getting your services in front of WAY more customers than you could do by yourself. Amazon will collect a percentage of the fee you charge, but I consider that a small concession in exchange for the visibility you gain by being on Amazon’s platform. You’re not locked in to providing your services for a set period of time. You can remove yourself any time you wish. Amazon pays directly into your bank account for completed services. You will want to check out the Selling Service Terms to see if you meet the qualifications to be a service provider with Amazon.
Let’s take a look at an example of ordering a service for your home.
By way of example, I decided for fun to see what type of housekeeping services were available to me in my area. I clicked on the House Cleaning link under Featured Categories. Eleven results popped up, showing professionals available in my zip code. I could choose general house cleaning, deep or spring cleaning, move in or move out cleaning services, window or carpet cleaning, hardwood or tile and grout floor cleaning, hardwood floor refinishing, or stone floor restoration. That’s a pretty good selection of services from which to choose. I decided to go with general house cleaning. It took me to a questionnaire page with drop down options to determine my needs. Here is a screen shot:
The type of cleaning products preferred gave me the option to choose standard or eco-friendly. And as you can see, I can book one appointment or schedule up to twelve. The recommended worker hours auto-filled based on the number of rooms I chose. I am free to change the number of hours I’m willing to pay for if I don’t want to pay as much as the quote lists for five full hours. Based on my choices, here is the estimate I received:
According to the website, the following is included in a typical cleaning:
- Dusting, mopping, and vacuuming all rooms
- Trash removal to your outdoor cans
- Kitchen counters, floor, and stove cleaning
- Bathroom vanity, tub, and toilet cleaning
- Pro will provide cleaning supplies
- Window washing, wall washing and interior oven cleaning are not included
It appears that if I schedule multiple cleanings, I do not pay for all of them at one time. I am only charged after each service is completed. I will receive an email once I choose my preferred service, date, and time, confirming the details.
I clean my own home weekly and have not had a regular housekeeper since my daughter was a baby, so I’m not sure what the going hourly rate is for housekeepers, and if this quote is comparable. But I do love the idea of having someone else clean my house for five hours while I do something else. 🙂
As I mentioned before, there is a rather exhaustive list of services you can book when you Try Amazon Home Services. I just had no idea all of this was available.
So isn’t this all kind of wild? Did you already know about it? If so, why were you keeping it from me? 🙂
I’d love to hear if you’ve had experiences using the home services offered by Amazon. Let me know in the comments what you think!
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