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Ask HSN: What items would you pay a premium to have delivered within one hour?
4 points by charlesbonello 1702 days ago | hide | past | web | 14 comments | favorite
I'm trying to determine more specifically:

For what types of items would you pay a premium or service fee to have delivered to your door within one hour?

Any help or thoughts are greatly appreciated.

I can see wanting immediate delivery for:

  RAM, hard disks, DVD drives, cables, mice/keyboards, AC adapters
  AA/AAA/9v batteries
  cell phones (when original is lost/destroyed)
.. but it depends on the size of the markup/premium. In my mind, the comparison is to asking my assistant to go buy the thing, or buying it myself, so I think about the cost of driving + opportunity cost (e.g., if I send the receptionist, they may not buy the right thing, and then someone else has to answer the phone, or calls go to VM and maybe we miss something important)

.. I'm answering from a business context, not a personal context. Personally, I can probably wait, or just go buy the thing myself if I'm in a hurry.

Aside from food (and beer§),

Maid service, perhaps just on the one-room level. (Much easier to justify the high price if you're paranoid and busy and can't be sure when you'll be home to supervise).

Repair/handyman service, auto detailing, yard service, waste removal.

Massage and acupuncture.

Also, definitely, medical services including phlebotomy.

Finding the sort of business where the current providers are already in the area working and can drop everything and high-tail it over to the impatient client's place on an infrequent basis is what you want here.

Success of another taskrabbit or iamexec with a really short timetable would be easier if it had an easy automated system to predict availability without interrupting the service providers' other tasks (i.e. where is their smartphone, is it jostling, and are they ready to work).

§ This is probably constrained by a patchwork of antiquated laws enough to make it a loser financially. Still, I bet you could even find volunteers who'd rather enable alcoholics by getting them another case of Steel Reserve, Mickey's, or Bud Light when they run out, given that they'd probably get behind the wheel to perform the task themselves. The life you save could be mine.

I think your answers are specious. You would pay a premium for on-demand phlebotomy?

The author didn't ask for ones proven to work; everything's specious until a successful startup makes it obvious.

And I would definitely pay for on-demand on-site phlebotomy for a number of reasons, if I was to need one, and I bet you would too.

People get blood drawn when their body isn't working right and nobody's sure why. Whether you're coughing up blood, can't see straight, or can't walk, getting your butt into that clinic is a major pain point. Maybe you have a high-stress low-skill job like at a package sorting facility, where you come in late, you get canned. Doesn't matter that you'd have to blow a day's wages to save two hours' working time- that's just how the economics work for some people (talk to cabbies and you'll find many of their clients are very poor, even though cabs are ridiculously expensive).

And as far as the time premium, it's downright scary when your health takes a sudden turn. Hours count when you have what could be fast-advancing cancer, or an aggressive bacterial infection. An extra $30 to shave a day off the time until I get results? Easily justified.

There's not enough ladies here, and they'll be most of your customers; find a forum frequented mostly by ladies and ask this question there as well.


- groceries;

- toiletries (If I'm out of deodorant / shaving cream / blades / toilet paper / paper towels / detergent and I need them stat, I'll pay extra).

- Printer supplies (printer ink out so I can't print while working towards a deadline? out of papers? I'll pay a premium), and maybe some other office supplies.

- Computer supplies: blank CDs, blank DVDs, USB flash drives, mice, keyboards, when these break.

- Cardboard boxes and other moving/packing supplies (I need to take things from one place to the other, and realized it's harder to carry/pack than I thought). Happened to me more than once.

- Batteries. Cheap, pre-activated, pay-as-you-go mobile phone for a guest-from-out-of-the-country or when I've lost my phone.

- Phone chargers and laptop chargers for when I've lost mine.

- Power cables, power strips, ...

- Small Ikea stuff; they charge >$100 for delivery of the simplest things; if I can get some stuff from you for $10, I'd gladly do that rather than drive to Ikea. The logistics might make this worthwhile for you.

Ladies are likely to have a very different list. I won't speculate here even though I know a few items my S/O would add.

Also, for some items, I'd pay premium if I could get them when the stores are closed - e.g., one hour delivery at 3pm, 11pm and 4am command different premiums; Similarly, rain, snow, sun and humidity would also command a different premium.

You can price such a service dynamically according to demand and your costs (read about "2nd price auctions" about a possible way to run the pricing process), which walmart can't (although ebay and amazon might)

Right now? A SATA cable. I could swear I had 2-3 in a drawer but I'm out.

On a more regular basis? Replacement hardware for the data center. I'd gladly buy a new hard disk/DIMM/System Board/You name it and get it in 1 hour. This would allow me to have a cheaper support contract with next day delivery, and when the warranty replacement arrives I'd use it in a future server.


Also, medicines. Last year I had just moved to Germany, knew nobody, my fiancee was still in Italy and I caught the mother of all flus. Could hardly stand up, awfully dizzy, fever, vertigo, you name it. I had to walk around, and find a pharmacy. I would _gladly_ have paid 50 bucks for a home delivered box of aspirins.

I would pay premium for the following:

-Fast Food. Pizza, burgers, chinese etc. They have the word "fast" in them for a reason after all :) But i want them even faster than 1 hour. How about 15 mins ?

- Electronic accesories like batteries, chargers etc.

- Kids diapers (if you have one).

- BBQ gas cylinder (happned to me once in the middle of a beautiful bbq. had to run out and get one)

Condoms, beer, ice, propane?, bathroom/grooming needs, office/presentation supplies, carpet cleaner supplies or machine rental?, cookies/ice cream, drain uncloggers.


I think delivery to where you are might be more interesting than to your door.

This. I hate paying $2 delivery charge and still waiting for 45 min to an hour around my area.

You're all awesome. Thank you for the input and time.

groceries probably. It's the only thing that I can think of that I might need in one hour, other things for me can wait.

Thanks for the input. I tend to feel the same way, and am wondering if there's a gap in the online/offline purchase cycle there for a product or service I'm overlooking. As a corollary, I see eBay and Amazon fighting to get closer to "immediacy" and wondering if they're off base. That's another discussion, I guess.

Plasters. Aspirin.

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