Amazon’s Treasure Truck

by Joanna Lupo, on July 9, 2015

What’s big and boxy and looks like an oversized Amazon delivery?

The Amazon Treasure Truck, a half promotional/half new retail offering that was announced by Amazon recently. The truck was supposed to set out in Seattle, and the first treasure it held was a stand-up paddleboard set that was to be available for 79% off the normal price of $476.99. But, as we’ve followed the new reports, the sale of treasure truck items has been mysteriously delayed.

Here’s the scoop as we know it so far.

Amazon’s Treasure Truck Makes Its Debut

On June 23rd, CNET reported that the Treasure Truck has appeared on Seattle streets and that people were Tweeting about it. The article brought up the possibility that the truck might be a promotional stunt, much like the #giantlocker promotion in San Francisco in 2014. On June 27th, engadget published an article on Amazon’s new service, outlining the details of the first offering (the Solstice Bali paddleboard) and how the treasure truck will generally work (more on that in a moment) and proposing that the truck might not be scalable, but speaks to Amazon’s logistical advantages.

Treasure Truck Stops in Its Tracks

Despite the hype and excitement, Amazon’s Treasure Truck has yet to make a stop. A Consumerist article published June 29th covers the story, quoting the Treasure Truck’s tweet that says “#TreasureTruck has moved its first offer to a later date. Thanks for following us and stay tuned.” The Consumerist goes on to quote an Amazon rep who said, in a nutshell, that they’re working on whatever problem has arisen and they plan to get the Treasure Truck program up and running soon. Geekwire, amused by the hype, published some theories on why the delay occurred, including that the upcoming Amazon Prime Air drone was jealous and took action.

How the Treasure Truck Will Work, If It Ever Does

Provided the delay is temporary and the Treasure Truck indeed goes through with the plan, the program will work like this:

Customers will need the Amazon App to shop the Treasure Truck. If the customer is in the same city as the Treasure Truck, they will see the truck in the app, and can click to see the one offering the truck is carrying that day. They can buy it via the app, and choose a preset location to pick up the item.

It’s too early to tell whether there could be a role for Amazon’s 3rd party merchants in the Treasure Truck program. However, provided the Treasure Truck starts rolling again, it will be a new method of mobile shopping that could generate a lot of buzz around the item of the day, as well as the online retailer. Amazon, maybe, has done it again.


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