Amazon ‘Treasure Truck’ brings hard-to-find classic Super Nintendo gaming system to Phoenix
Think back to the anticipation you felt as a kid upon hearing the music from an ice-cream truck rolling into your neighborhood. That’s the type of excitement Amazon.com hopes to build with its new “Treasure Truck” shopping service.
The online retail giant is unveiling the program in the Phoenix area Friday. The merchandise offered for sale changes each day, with customers learning what’s inside the truck through smartphone alerts.
Amazon already operates a small fleet of Treasure Trucks in 18 cities, with Phoenix being the latest. Each truck is filled with one new daily product offering.
On Friday, Amazon users in Phoenix who had signed up for the promotion were alerted to a rare offer: The new Classic Edition of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which is selling out across the U.S. because of demand. Retail price: $79.99.
Other products might range from large $5 pumpkins, as were sold in Seattle around Halloween last year, to high-priced laptop computers, tablets and TVs, said Karthik Anbalagan, director of the Treasure Truck program. Locally made products, holiday-themed gifts, trendy merchandise, hard-to-find items and fresh seafood are other examples.
Trucks operate many but not all days in a particular city, and typically will make three to five stops, lingering at each stop for a couple of hours or so. Prospective buyers sign up for daily text-message or app notifications to find out what’s for sale at amazon.com/treasuretruck, which also is where vendors can learn about selling their wares through the program.
Shoppers who find something of interest tap “I want this” on their smartphones, then choose a pickup location and head out to obtain their items. Pickup locations and times are shown on the app.
If buyers fail to pick up their items within the appointed time window, their orders are canceled automatically at no charge. Purchases may be returned for refunds.
“We’re trying to build new customer experiences” with the Treasure Truck program, Anbalagan said, adding that the program so far has attracted a diverse following of shoppers in other cities. “Each time we’re rolling out, it’s a bit of a surprise.”
The inaugural Phoenix-area Treasure Truck will be parked and open for business Friday at Creamistry, 4325 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix, until 5 p.m.