Amazon Home Services
Retail and digital media giant Amazon launched its new Home Services operation in early 2015, to help its customers find home repair and maintenance professionals. As of December 2015, Home Services operates in about two dozen major US cities, providing connections to screened and licensed pros in 8 general categories: auto care, furniture assembly, cleaning, computer and electronic services, business and commercial services, lawn care, home improvement (tasks that require a license, such as electrical work), and a more general home services category that includes general chores and maintenance. Amazon offers a price match guarantee for its Home Services packages.
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Amazon provides for free what services like Angie’s List do for a membership fee—a selection of contractors and professionals whose licensing, insurance and background checks are verified ahead of time. When you select a service, you see a list of the providers in your area, along with their business hours, estimated fees, customer-satisfaction ratings and reviews left by previous customers. You can order custom services as well, which means that you can request bids for things like ramp and handrail installation to help you or a parent age in place safely.
Not all services are available in all areas, and your choice of service providers may be limited. For example, when I searched the painting category for my zip code, the cool-looking Painter for a Day package was unavailable. There were no mulch delivery and installation pros available in my area, nor was I able to rent a goat for a day of grazing (alas), which is an option in some markets. But the custom service options mean that I might be able to find someone to deliver mulch as part of another project such as mowing, and I could probably make a custom request to hire a painter for 8 hours, effectively creating my own Painter for a Day option.
Amazon’s price match guarantee is good for identical services from the same provider on the day of your service order. Customers must file a price match request form within 2 weeks of the original order to receive either a discount on the service or a gift card for the difference if the service has already been done.
Varies by project and location. For example, the estimate for replacing up to 2 light fixtures on a standard-height ceiling was $94.99 in my part of Austin. In San Antonio’s Thousand Oaks area, the same service was estimated at $10 less. More complex services, such as home exterior painting, require you to submit a request for bids, which Amazon then forwards to service providers.
Price-sensitive homeowners and adult children of seniors living at home who want to find qualified service providers quickly for household tasks and maintenance.