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Procrastinators rejoice! Amazon delivers until 11:59 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Amazon Prime Now prepares for holiday procrastinators

The Amazon Prime Now hub in Raleigh is gearing up for the last minute holiday gift rush and boasts that it can deliver items with one and two hour delivery times until 11:59 p.m. local time on Christmas Eve.
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The Amazon Prime Now hub in Raleigh is gearing up for the last minute holiday gift rush and boasts that it can deliver items with one and two hour delivery times until 11:59 p.m. local time on Christmas Eve.

Still got a Christmas list to fill?

Most area stores have extended holiday hours this weekend and a handful (Toys R Us, Target, Walgreens, for example) will be open late on Christmas Eve.

But let’s say it’s 8:50 p.m. on Sunday night and you’ve just realized that you forgot to buy batteries and with the kiddies all snug in their beds awaiting St. Nick, you can’t pop out to the store. What to do? Amazon has an app for that.

Amazon’s same-day delivery hub in Raleigh promises it can deliver any of its tens of thousands of Prime Now items until 11:59 p.m. Christmas Eve (so long as you order by 9 p.m.).

Amazon opened its hub near Atlantic Avenue to the media this week for a behind-the-scenes tour of the warehouse it opened last year in Raleigh. Here’s what we learned:

What you can buy:

They stock a lot – food, electronics, toys and games. So far this year, the big sellers have been the Instant Pot, BeatsX Wireless In-ear Headphones and the WatchYa’ Mouth Family Edition (a game that requires you to figure out what phrases your teams are saying while they are wearing cheek retractors). Of course, you can also buy Amazon products as Fire TV sticks and Echo, the wireles speaker that works with Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa to do your bidding (weather report, play music, order more stuff from Amazon).

However, don’t count on it for figgy pudding for Christmas dinner. They do sell jello, however.

What products cost

Prices for products are similar to what you’d typically see on Amazon or in local stores. But there is a delivery charge.

The price of speed

Unless you spend $35 or more, you’ll pay $7.99 for one-hour delivery.

You also must have an Amazon Prime account. That costs $99 for the year, $49 if you’re a student.

You should also tip your delivery driver.

Is there really an app?

Of course, you can download the Prime Now app to your phone or you can order with your computer at https://primenow.amazon.com.

Won’t they be swamped?

Probably.

Amazon dodged the question of how many parcels it expects to deliver between now and Christmas, but officials said Dec. 23 last year was the biggest day ever for Prime Now deliveries worldwide. The company expects this season to be bigger.

What if I need something after Amazon’s 9 p.m. cutoff?

Get someone to watch the kids and head to Walgreens; they’re open until midnight.

The Amazon U.S. fulfillment network consists of more than 50 fulfillment centers, over 20 sortation centers and more than 90,000 full-time employees. Have a look around.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

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