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One etailer here in Australia was using local petrol stations as a drop-off depot - given that more petrol stations are staying open 24/7, this struck me as a good idea, and with one just around the corner, I used it a couple of times. The problem I found was lack of familiarity with the correct process from the operator, but it worked. They don't seem to offer it any more, so I suspect that the deal was wrong at (at least) one end, but it still seems a reasonable approach. Personally i get my Amazon/wishlist/Redmonk stuff delivered to the office because there's always someone at the front desk, but this doesn't scale!

Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson

We have this to some degree already with a lockable post box system, where I live (in Sweden). However, it doesn't swallow four bags of shopping, more like a couple of Amazon boxes at the most.

However, with more people working from home you could have a drop-off service as part of your home business. The only problem would be for perishables, as it would be difficult to take care of 20 bags of shopping for the neighbourhood and store the milk etc. somewhere sensible.

Maybe having a local grocery store instead which works as a local drop off point? Which is just what we have around where I live. The grocery store doubles up as a post office and you go there and pick up the parcels which are too big for your lockable post-box. Then you can buy some perishables at the same time...

Isabel Wang

In Taiwan, etailers deliver your purchases to the nearest 7-11, which then sends you SMS confirmation. (I counted at least five 7-11s within easy walking distance from my mother's apartment.) They also collect parking fines, notarize documents, print photos, etc.

But I like your idea better.

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