I recently wrote a piece that contrasted the time cost of shopping at Costco with the time saving of buying on line from Amazon. The posting entitled “Costco vs. Amazon; another retailer springs an internet leak,” made the point that Costco’s prices may be lower but the time saved by having products delivered directly to one’s door can in some cases more than make up for the cost differential.
Well, it seems that someone has come up with a business model that fills the gap between low prices and convenient home delivery. It’s a company called MonsterSavings.com. The company, according to a New York Times article entitled “His Trucks Brings Costco to You,” provides a website that allows you to place an order on line from MonsterSavings.com. They in turn go to Costco, do your shopping for you and deliver your order the same day (if ordered by 10:00 AM).
Here is how the MonsterSavings.com website puts it: “NYC supermarkets, drug stores & delivery services are on average twice as expensive as Costco. Monster Savings shops the latter, delivers the goods and splits the savings on 1,000+ items for the office and home.”
An interesting point about this business model is that you don’t have to be a Costco member to purchase through MonsterSavings.com. In fact, Costco when asked stated that as far as they were concerned Monster.Savings.com is just one giant customer.
At this point the service is only provided to Manhattan businesses. It does seem, however, that the concept is replicable all over the country as long as there is a Costco (or any big box retailer for that matter) in an area that has a dense urban population. It will be interesting to see if more third party delivery services pop up that are able to bring the price savings of bricks and mortar shopping together with the time savings and ease of on line shopping.