The growth in online shopping over the last 20 years has brought a new problem: package thieves. Even though stealing mail can come with federal charges and land you in jail for five years, up to 210 million packages were stolen in 2021. How can you prevent your Amazon deliveries from being swiped from your porch while you watch helplessly from work on your Ring Video doorbell? The answer is Amazon Hub.
What is Amazon Hub?
Amazon Hub is a partnership between Amazon and local businesses to provide a free and secure location to deliver your packages. Hub comes in two flavors depending on the partnership: Amazon Hub Locker and Amazon Hub Counter. Let’s break down the differences between the two services.
Amazon Hub Locker
Amazon Hub Lockers are a cross between a self-service kiosk and the wall of lockers at a gym. They’re usually branded in Amazon blue or yellow, but gray is also common. There are two types of lockers, depending on whether they have screens or not. Lockers with screens are embedded with a touchscreen display, a barcode scanner, a number pad, and a headphone jack for people with a vision impairment or low vision.
There are two ways to retrieve your package from lockers with screens. The first is with a six-digit code sent to your email confirming the delivery of your package. Enter the pickup code using the touchscreen on the locker. The locker door opens, and you can grab your stuff. The other way is with a barcode included in the confirmation email. Direct the barcode to the scanner located beneath the touchscreen of the locker. It automatically scans it and opens the locker door.
Lockers without screens use Bluetooth technology, so turn on Location and Bluetooth on your smartphone to allow a connection. Next, open the delivery confirmation email you received and select Start Pickup. Alternatively, launch the Amazon app, and go to Your Orders > Track Package > Start Pickup to connect your phone to the locker. Then, select Open Locker to open the locker slot and take out your package.
Amazon Hub Apartment Locker
You may be familiar with this concept if you live in an apartment complex. Amazon Hub Apartment Lockers work similarly to the lockers you find in gas stations and grocery stores. Get a pickup code, use it at the locker, and get your package. The difference is that the in-store Amazon Lockers are exclusively for Amazon deliveries, whereas the Apartment Lockers can be used for any package delivered by your mail carrier and accessed at any hour, not only when the business is open.
Be aware that not only mail carriers have access. If you wait too long to get your package, don’t be surprised if your property manager moves it to the office to make room for more proactive residents.
Amazon Hub Counter — Like a Hub Locker but with a human
Amazon Hub Counter provides the same basic service as Amazon Hub Locker but with an intermediary. Instead of your packages being sequestered in a wall of digital lockers, it’s kept by an Amazon business partner. You show your email with the barcode to the employee holding your package, the representative scans it, and then hands it over. You don’t have to pick it up yourself. You can forward your email to a friend or family member, and they can pick it up in your place. No ID is needed.
Both services hold your packages for a few days, after which your package is returned to Amazon, and you’ll be reimbursed. Amazon Hub Locker holds packages for three days, while Amazon Hub Counter holds packages for seven days.
There are a few restrictions for Amazon Hub Locker and Amazon Hub Counter, which can be found online. However, if Amazon fulfills your order, and you don’t order something over 12 cubic feet, weighs over 30 pounds, or is worth more than $5,000, your item should be eligible for either Amazon Hub Locker or Amazon Hub Counter.
You can also use Amazon Hub Lockers to return orders
Amazon Hub makes returning items easier. When returning something to Amazon, you can drop off eligible items at a locker or counter location. If you choose a locker drop-off, you’re sent a code that you enter on the locker touch display. If you choose a counter drop-off, you’re sent a QR code that the store employee scans before taking your package.
Something to note about using Amazon Hub Locker to return items is that there may not be space in the locker for your item. Also, the code Amazon sent you is good at that location for 30 days. After that, you must initiate a new return request.
How to start using Amazon Hub
If you’re in the US and you want to get started with Amazon Hub, follow these steps:
- Go to this page and enter the area where you’d like to pick up your deliveries.
- When you find a location or two that work for you, click the Add to address book button. Alternatively, go to your address book and click Add Address.
- On the Add a new address page, instead of entering an address, click Or find an Amazon pickup location near you.
- Select a nearby locker or counter location to add to your delivery addresses.
Amazon Hub Locker is available in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Japan, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Amazon Hub Counter is available in the US, Mexico, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Check the Hub homepage to find out if there’s one near you. When you have a locker or counter location in your address book, select that as your delivery address when you finish your order.
Getting someone to pick up your package at an Amazon Locker
If you can’t pick up your package, you can have a friend or family member get it for you. Forward them the delivery confirmation email, where they’ll find the six-digit pickup code or barcode for lockers with screens and the Start Pickup button for those without. For lockers without screens, they must turn on Location and Bluetooth and need the latest version of the Amazon App.
Never leave the house again (unless you want to)
Amazon isn’t perfect, but it makes life easier. Amazon Prime offers a lot of benefits and saves you money if you plan a day or so ahead. The membership is a bit pricey, but Amazon offers discounted memberships for students and people who receive EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) and other forms of government assistance.