The new Amazon pickup location might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, but no traces of laser beam transporters or intergalactic involvement have been discovered. Just a lot of happy students.
The Amazon@Penn location opened last May and has since impressed students with its convenience and use of new technology.
“This is what the future looks like,” College sophomore Isaac Dayan said. “Whenever I talk with people about this place, we even call it ‘the future.’ Want to come see the future with me?”
As if magic doors and fast service weren't enough, the site also has couches and tables where students can try to work or play on one of Amazon’s video game consoles.
“It’s an overall very nice place to work or just hang out,” Engineering sophomore Evan Weinstein said. “Maybe people haven’t figured out that they can work in here. Once they do, I’m sure it’ll be packed.”
The Amazon location works by emailing users a bar code when their package arrives. These barcodes can then be scanned from a phone at a kiosk, causing a small door to swing open, and uncovering a package, as if beamed in from a different dimension.
“It works like magic,” College junior Kathy Zhang said.
Deborah Bass, an Amazon spokesperson, said she was glad to hear that students were fully utilizing the space.
"It’s great to hear from students that they are loving it because it is our first interactive space that we have on a campus. It’s nice to know that people are enjoying the convenience of the service," Bass said.
Located directly above Starbucks, many students have been impressed to find that they can pick up their packages faster than it takes a barista to spray a pile of whip cream atop their caramel frappuccino.
“I’ve had everything shipped here,” Wharton sophomore Savi Joshi said. “It’s super convenient and much faster than a package room. You come in, a door swings open and you’re done.”
The Amazon pickup location also gives Penn students who are Amazon Student or Amazon Prime members the option to get free same-day delivery on many items if ordered before noon, and free next day delivery if ordered before 10 p.m.
“I love Amazon in general, so this seems like a very convenient place,” College senior Caroline Boehm said. “I especially like that I can make returns without paying a shipping fee.”
Shipping directly to Penn's campus is especially important for students who live off campus and are worried their packages could be misplaced or stolen.
“It’s a super convenient place. Sometimes when I ordered things to my house they were lost, but now I can just have them shipped here,” said Seung-Ryong Shin, a second-year Ph.D student studying economics.
This was one of the main reasons Penn was interested in renting the space out to Amazon.
“Our public safety has had concerns about packages being stolen off the front stoops of students’ houses,” said Executive Director of Business Services Doug Berger. “This way students have a convenient and safe place to pick up their packages.”
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