Do you find yourself in need of patio furniture, mulch, or even paint for your home right now?
But you may not want to get too close to people at a store right now, if you are trying to social distance due to COVID-19.
Many of us have seen the social media photos, or experienced firsthand, the lines outside Lowe's and Home Depot these days, and it can be intimidating.
Realtor Josh Rothstein, parent of a very cute 8-month-old baby, doesn't want to take that risk.
"Being that I'm working from home, if I need something I don't want to go to the store. There are too many people out and about," he said.
New service helps you avoid crowds
So he hired a service called Frayt, that sent a van to Lowe's for him, picked up material for his spring projects, and brought it right to his doorstep in Oakley.
"Thank you so much for coming. I appreciate it," Rothstein told driver Dave, who had stacked a dozen mulch bags next to his front landscaping.
Frayt's founder, Lawrence McCord, says you should think of the service like a DoorDash or Uber Eats, but instead of bringing you food, they are bringing you bigger items a driver couldn't fit in the front seat of a car.
"Think Uber, except for delivery on your phone. Within minutes you can order a full-size cargo van for your personal use for pickup and delivery."
McCord, who had a background in logistics, started Frayt three years ago, but has just added the consumer market as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
He has also expanded into 10 other cities, and plans more this year as shoppers try to avoid stores.
How it works
To use the service, download the Frayt app for iPhones or the version for Android, and order your grill, lumber, patio set, or other home improvement items from big box stores including Lowe's, Home Depot, Menard's, even Kroger Marketplace, from the app.
Frayt has a partnership with the stores, so you order directly through Frayt, with no need to make a separate purchase though the store.
Cost ranges from $15 to $35 depending on the size of the delivery. And it typically arrives that afternoon.
For shoppers spooked by crowds, like Rothstein, it's worth the cost.
"So anything that makes it easy for me to get what I need and bring it to my doorstep, I am all for it."
Lowe's and Home Depot offer their own home delivery, but it is usually more expensive, ranging from $50 to $75. And Kroger will deliver your groceries, but not its Marketplace items, like patio furniture.
So if you are trying to avoid crowds during the rebound, you may want to consider delivery, so you don't waste your money.
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