There is a lot to love about this age of e-commerce we live in but it does have its downsides. Especially on the delivery front—at least for those of us with day jobs who live in buildings without doormen. Sure, some people are more than happy to have an online retailer ship to their offices those DVD sets of softcore-but-totally-entertaining stuff like Spartacus (Andy Whitfield, RIP), but not all work environments are created equal and not everybody likes to lug their packages back home after their daily grind. But the terrible, decidedly first world, problem of where to have our online purchases delivered is slowly being given solutions that don't involve getting a P.O. Box or staying home "sick" whenever you've got a naughty package coming.
Our solution to the no-doorman problem has always been to make friends with a nearby store owner and persuade them to accept packages for us. But not everybody has the time or inclination to make friends...and for them there is VillageDoorman. A new site from two East Villagers the site is basically an electronic, for-money version of our method. You sign up and are given a unique ID number along with a list of nearby locations (right now basically only the LES and East Village) where you can get your package delivered. Put your ID number in the second line of your address field and when your package is dropped off at your nearby store you'll get an e-mail. There is one downside though! The cost per package delivered is $4...and if you don't pick it up that price goes up $4 every two days. There are also some restrictions on what you can get shipped.
So yeah, there is now that option! Meanwhile, Amazon is reportedly trying to solve the doorman-less problem on its own with the help of 7-Eleven. The company is reportedly testing out a new program in which you can have your packages delivered to your local 7-Eleven (you reading this Bowery bums?). Upon arrival your packages are put into "the offspring between an ATM machine and a safety deposit box" and are accessible to you only after you've scanned a barcode and punched in a PIN. If the program's trials go well it could start rolling out nationwide next summer.
Still, we think for now we'll stick with making friends with our neighboring businesses.