Amazon is officially parking its “Treasure Truck” deals program, putting an end to an initiative that first got rolling in 2016 with in-person pickups from quirky vehicles in various cities.
Amazon had grown its truck fleet to 100 trucks in 29 U.S. states by 2019. However, Amazon had to change to ship Treasure Trucks directly to its customers in August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That version of the program continued until Tuesday, when Amazon said that a $19.99 offering for a “Funko Schitt’s Creek Party Game” would be its last daily deal under the Treasure Truck banner.
Customers were alerted to such deals via text message and during the heyday of the traveling trucks, they could reserve an item through Amazon’s mobile app and then go to a location to grab their purchase. Once the truck’s supply was exhausted, the deal was done.
But without the truck-chasing aspect, the program became redundant to Amazon’s other ways of promoting daily deals.
“Treasure Truck was a unique way to bring customers exciting deals directly to their neighborhood,” Amazon spokesperson Betsy Harden told GeekWire. “In 2020, we moved those deals online and the feedback from customers was great. We’ll continue to offer customers new deals every day on Amazon.com.”
Axios reported the first news on Tuesday.
Amazon stated that they do not plan to eliminate the trucks on the FAQ page.
“You may spot our fantastic fleet rolling through cities lending a helping hand (or wheel) to support local communities. We’ve helped deliver tens of thousands of lunch kits, thousands of student laptops and books, and are now assisting with the distribution of millions of masks in our hometown,” the company said.
GeekWire was the first to spot Treasure Truck in Seattle, June 2016. The first official deal was an inflatable paddleboard for $99 — 79% off the regular price of $476.99.
“We really wanted to invent a brand new way for customers to shop Amazon. A really fun new way for them to interact with us,” an Amazon exec said at the time.
There have been many reasons trucks were in the news throughout the years:
- Amazon reached out to its book-selling roots in July 2016 and attracted a large crowd via a midnight release via the truck of a Harry Potter book.
- Marshawn Lynch was a Seattle Seahawks former star and drove a truck to sign autographs. After that, he sold an Amazon Echo Beast Mode-skinned and bought autographs.
- Amazon was granted a patent in 2017 for its flashy cars.
- To attend the Consumer Electronics Show (January 2017), The Treasure Truck traveled 1116-miles from Seattle to Las Vegas, taking 17 hours.
Amazon states that Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle and Los Angeles were the three most-sold cities in terms of truck deals as of 2019. Frequent customers were found in San Antonio (Texas), Sacramento, Calif., and Chicago. They often used the truck for more than one time per week.
The fastest-selling offers, snagged in minutes, were Valentine’s Day bouquets and chocolate, Sony TVs and smart notebooks.
Amazon stated that those who supported Treasure Truck will be promoted to other positions within the company.