A guide to Amazon Fresh, the online retailer's grocery pickup and delivery service

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A guide to Amazon Fresh, the online retailer's grocery pickup and delivery service
Amazon Fresh, much like Instacart, is a grocery delivery and pickup service.Alistair Berg/Getty Images
  • Amazon Fresh is a grocery pickup and delivery service that lets you order groceries using the Amazon app or website.
  • To use Amazon Fresh, you need to live in one of the cities in which the service operates, have an Amazon Prime membership, and request an invitation.
  • Amazon Fresh offers free deliveries for orders of $35 or more in select cities.

Amazon may have begun as an online bookstore, but the retailer quickly scaled up to sell all manner of housewares, electronics, media, clothing, and more - today, there's virtually no product category it does not sell.

What to know about Amazon Fresh

Case in point: Amazon Fresh is Amazon's grocery pickup and delivery service, currently available in nearly two dozen US cities and some international locations. Using the Amazon Fresh website or the Amazon mobile app, you can place a grocery order online and have it delivered to your door or visit the store and pick up the completed order.

In general, most things you can find walking the aisles of a grocery store you can find and order through Amazon Fresh. That includes meats and deli items, fresh fruit and vegetables, canned foods, prepared meals, and more. The exact inventory of grocery items available for purchase will depend on your local area, though, since the products come from local stores that Amazon has partnerships with.

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A guide to Amazon Fresh, the online retailer's grocery pickup and delivery service
You can use the Amazon app or website to place Amazon Fresh grocery orders.Dave Johnson/Insider

How to get Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh isn't available everywhere. Because of the nature of the service, in which Amazon must nurture relationships with local stores, it's available in more than a dozen US cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. To find out if it's available near you, enter your zip code at the Amazon Fresh website.

In part to control the growth of the service and ensure Amazon can maintain adequate service quality standards, Amazon Fresh is currently available by invitation only.

Amazon Fresh is available only to Amazon Prime members, so you will need to start with that membership, which has a standard cost of $119 per year (for more information, see our guide to the costs and benefits of Amazon Prime). You are considered eligible if you have an Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime free trial, and Amazon Prime student membership. If you only have an Amazon Prime Video membership, though, you are not eligible.

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If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can request access to Amazon Fresh at www.amazon.com/fresh. In most cases, you will probably not need to wait long for approval.

How much Amazon Fresh costs

Aside from the required Amazon Prime membership, the Amazon Fresh service itself has no ongoing subscription cost. It's free.

Depending on the cost of your grocery order, though, you might need to pay a delivery fee. Orders under $35 have a variable delivery fee of up to $10, while $35 or more are delivered free. Some cities have a higher cap on free delivery; in New York, for example, you need to place orders over $50 to get free delivery.

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How to use Amazon Fresh

You can place an order on the Amazon mobile app for iOS or Android, or the Amazon Fresh website. The experience is similar whether you're using the Amazon website or mobile app: Select your items, add them to your cart, and then check out.

  1. As you add items to your cart, Amazon Fresh makes it easy to see the items you've selected - on the website, you can see your selected items in a pane on the right side of the page. In the mobile app, a small flag appears beside each selected item telling you how many are in the cart.

    A guide to Amazon Fresh, the online retailer's grocery pickup and delivery service
    Ordering from Amazon Fresh is like using the regular Amazon store.Dave Johnson/Insider
  2. Amazon maintains two separate carts: one for ordinary Amazon orders and another for Fresh. When you're ready to purchase, go to your cart and choose "Check out Fresh Cart."

    A guide to Amazon Fresh, the online retailer's grocery pickup and delivery service
    You can check out your Amazon Fresh order or review the items in the Fresh cart.Dave Johnson/Insider
  3. You'll need to schedule your order. You can choose to have your order delivered or you can change the order to a pickup and choose the local store to visit to get your completed order. You will also choose a day and time either for the delivery or pickup.

    A guide to Amazon Fresh, the online retailer's grocery pickup and delivery service
    Choose when you want the order delivered or ready for pickup. If there's a fee for this order, you'll see it here as well.Dave Johnson/Insider
  4. Choose "Continue" and complete your purchase.
  5. If you scheduled a delivery, now all you need to do is wait for the packages to arrive. For a pickup, be sure to visit the store during the window of time you selected.
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