What the Truck?

Red graphic reads "Treasure Truck" with Amazon logo and URL

Amazon has rolled out a fleet of 25 Treasure Trucks across the US. Each is loaded with a full supply of a hand-picked product sold at a discount for one day only. To stock the Amazon Treasure Truck with swag, Amazon teams up with brands offering trendy, delicious, local, or otherwise enticing items. Then, they promote the items through the Amazon app. Customers can snag the deal on their app and pick up their loot from any stop on Amazon’s treasure map.

This Food-Truck-Meets-SouthBy-Swag-Bus-Meets-UPS-Vehicle now roams the roads of:

Austin

Chicago

Indianapolis

New York

Portland

San Diego

Tampa

Atlanta

Dallas

Miami

Orlando

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Baltimore

Denver

Minneapolis

Philadelphia

Sacramento

San Jose

Boston

Houston

Nashville

Phoenix

San Antonio

Seattle

Slinging everything from GoPro to “go fish,” there’s a veritable pu pu platter of goodies up for grabs.

Austin Amazon Treasure Truck


Hunting for Treasure

On Friday, I wake up to a text from Amazon alerting me that a tropical paradise of mahi mahi is merely a few clicks away. Intrigued by the novelty of the service and wanting to investigate how to merchandise our clients’ products as treasure, I take the bait:

Today on Treasure Truck: Get tropical with four 6-oz fillets of fresh, wild mahi mahi. Just $23.

I’m led to a landing page in the app with a preview of a fish fillet, complete with kale and potato side dishes and a sprig of garnish greens.

iPhone preview of Amazon Treasure Truck mahi mahi deal

Mind you, these extras are not included in today’s Amazon Treasure Truck deal, and what you’re really getting is a pound-and-a-half of raw fish off the back of a truck. Additionally, without the help of a slash-through MRSP on the page (“Compare at $1,000,000!”), I’m left wondering if this is a good value and whether I know any fishmongers whom I could consult on the matter. Nevertheless, I carry on through the checkout process.

iPhone preview of Amazon Treasure Truck 5-step Order

With my order placed and my four-pack of fish swimming its way up the interstate, I head to the grocery store to gather the necessary accoutrements for a Tex-Mex meal. Once I acquire ingredients to spice my fillets and whip up some pico de gallo, I’m back to business as usual while I await my 7 pm pick-up at the local go-kart arena.


Let’s Get Rolling

As 7 pm approaches, I realize it’s already pitch black outside. It’s been 10 hours since I placed my order, and I’m getting a little hungry. Luckily for anyone who places their order then has a change of heart or a pang of hanger, you can cancel your order after the fact or it will be automatically canceled for you if you miss your pickup window.

Determined to claim my catch of the day, I embark on a 7-minute journey to the K1-Speed parking lot off Burnet Road in the industrial region of Austin. I pull into the entrance and drive past an ensemble of teenagers lurking outside the door to the track. At the far end of parking lot, the Amazon Treasure Truck and its duo of attendants await my arrival amid jovial tunes from the truck, a check-in table and a putt putt green.

Photo collage of Amazon Treasure Truck, check-in table and menu

I’m the first to show up at this Truckstop tonight, and crewmember Noelle scans my QR code then disappears behind the truck to fish out my mahi mahi order. I ask Amazon Rep Reed if the pickup locales are usually busier, and he lets me know that they’ve actually sold out of every single deal they’ve offered on the Amazon Treasure Truck.

Reed then challenges me to golf a hole-in-one to win an Amazon Treasure Truck sticker or coaster. It’s a cold night and I wager that my fish will fare fine for a few minutes, so I mosey over to the putt putt to give it a go. The big challenge? There’s a bubble machine launching soapy distractions in my direction as I settle into my pre-shot routine. I don’t make the shot. Reed gives me a sticker regardless.  


The Fish Fry

I head home, box of truck fish in hand, ready to grill up the goods for dinner. I follow this Epicurious recipe for fish tacos, which works well for full fillets or shredded and stuffed into tortillas.

4 photo collage of Amazon Treasure Truck box, raw fish, kitchen prep, and plated meal

The resulting meal is a hit with my dinner crew, and I’ve even made enough for leftovers. When no one comes down with food poisoning by sunrise the following day, I mark it a great success. In the end, it’s some of the best fish I’ve ever bought off a truck in a dimly lit parking lot in North Austin. I can’t wait to see what bounty’s to buy on Amazon Treasure Truck’s next roll through town.


Sign Up for the Spoils

If you live in one of the 25 cities where an Amazon Treasure Trucks rides, you can sign up to find out when they’re featuring a new deal near you. Just make sure you’ve got their app downloaded, and you’ll be ready to plunder that next panini press or seize the next steak tips. Already tried the Amazon Treasure Truck? Comment below to let us know what you got and what you thought.


Tout Your Treasures

If you’ve got a brand that sells cool things, you can apply online to feature your products on the Amazon Treasure Truck. They’ll ask you a handful of questions about your Amazon Seller status and the products you’d like to feature. Then, they’ll get back to you if you’d be a good fit. The terms of the partnerships are handled through Amazon corporate and may depend on the popularity of whatever wares you’re hocking.

 iPhone preview of Amazon Treasure Truck 5-step Application to Submit Products


So, what do you think of the Amazon Treasure Truck? Is it a kitschy fad that’s bound to sink fast or have they struck gold with the concept? We’d love to hear your take.

 

Abby Kaplan is the Content Marketing Manager at Directional Cue. A creative marketer, she’s worked as a Content and Design Strategist for several retail brands throughout her 7 years of professional experience in online marketing. She’s passionate about developing better brands and helping you stand out in saturated Marketplace channels.