Money at 30: Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping Review — A Goldbelly Competitor?

Last month, Uber Eats announced that it was expanding its platform to include Nationwide Shipping. In addition to their regular delivery and pickup options for local restaurants, this new feature allows customers to order items from a variety of locations around the country and have them shipped. Immediately upon hearing this, one name came to mind: Goldbelly — a similar concept I previously reviewed. Nevertheless, with my interest piqued, I decided to try the new Uber Eats platform for myself.

So, how does Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping work and how does it compare to Goldbelly? Let’s take a look at my experience:

What is Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping and How Does it Work?

What is Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping?

First of all, I should note that it’s unclear if “Nationwide Shipping” is the official name of this Uber Eats feature or not. Either way, it is an appropriate moniker as the platform enables customers to purchase items from various restaurants and retailers to be shipped to their homes. In some cases, these are ready-to-eat items while others are more in the vein of meal kits. Basically, if there’s a special item you crave from a place on the other side of the country, there’s a chance you can order it (likely multiples of it) and have it sent right to your door for preparation in your own kitchen. While it might not be exactly the same as being at the restaurant itself, it’s hopefully the next best thing.

Finding options in the app

Considering that Nationwide Shipping is a newer offering, you might expect it to be more prominently featured in the Uber Eats app. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather than adding a tab at the top for it (next to Delivery and Pickup), in my experience, you’ll need to tap the “See all” option and then the “Shipped Free” icon. From there, you can see a list of available retailers.

On the bright side, if you do find a Nationwide Shipping pick that interests you, you can add it to your Favorites by tapping the heart icon in the upper right. That way, you’ll be able to return to the listing a bit more easily in the future. I’d also assume that Uber Eats will promote this feature more in the future once it adds a few more brands.

Placing your order

When you do find a Nationwide Shipping item you want to purchase, placing your order is fairly similar to placing any other Uber Eats order. First, you’ll need to add the items you want to your cart. After that, you can view your cart and head to checkout. Oddly, the “Request utensils” option you get when placing regular delivery or pickup order is still there even though I’m not sure it makes sense. Honestly, I didn’t try adding utensils so I can’t say for sure what would happen if you did.

Naturally, as you make your way to checkout, Uber Eats will try to sell you a couple more items, but you can tap “No thanks” to proceed. On the checkout page itself, you’ll see where your items are coming from as well as have a chance to verify your shipping address (this is key if your Uber Eats delivery address is formatted differently from your mailing address). Below that is an estimate of when your item(s) will arrive and the last look at what you’re ordering. Scrolling down, this is where you can add any promo codes you might have and view your grand total. Unlike Uber Eats delivery orders, you’ll notice that the difference between your subtotal and Total are minimal as there are no extra fees — although tax might apply in some situations (presumably if you live in the same state as the restaurant). Finally, you can select your method of payment and tap “Place order” to submit.

Tracking delivery

Shortly after you submit your order, you should receive a notification confirming it on the retailer’s end. This will also be followed up with an email containing your tracking information (this comes in addition to your generic Uber Eats receipt email). In my case, the order was shipped via FedEx so, in addition to tracking the status on the site, they also sent me updates when the package was out for delivery and when it arrived. Overall, I thought this went fairly smoothly. And, for the record, my purchase arrived 5 days after placing my order (which is actually only 3 business days since a weekend fell in the middle).

My experience (and what I ordered)

When I decided I wanted to test out Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted. However, I quickly came across an L.A.-based spot called Gotta Have S’more. Being a huge sucker for s’mores, I instantly tapped for more details.

As I anticipated, the “s’mores and s’mookies” weren’t exactly cheap but, at a cost of $32.94 for a dozen, they weren’t insanely expensive either. Actually, thanks to a promo on the listing, the cost came down to $24.94 once the “Spend $30, Save $8” coupon was taken into consideration. Furthermore, since I had $25 in Uber Cash accrued from my Amex cards (more on that in a minute), I was able to cover my entire order and still have a whopping 6¢ left over! Talk about fate.

Anyway, I opted for the S’mores Variety Pack, which includes a few different flavors such as salted caramel, peanut butter cup, cookies and creme, and standard milk/dark chocolate. As I noted above, shortly after placing my order, I received an email from FedEx with the tracking information. This was on a Thursday and, by Tuesday (today as I’m writing this), my order arrived at my door.

With the various heatwaves that have been hitting different parts of the country and the world as of late, I was a bit worried about the state of my desserts that featured chocolate would arrive in. Opening the box, I first saw that the s’mores themselves were wrapped in an insulating bag. Pulling them out, although a couple of the mini-cupcake-sized treats had been jostled and stuck a bit to the lid, they seemed to hold up pretty well. Before trying them, I did stick them in the fridge in hopes of letting the chocolate reconstitute a bit (not that it was overly melty to begin with).

So how were they? Delicious! Well, they’re not life changing, but they’re certainly tasty. They’re also a nice two-bite size, which makes them about perfect for a small dessert. On that note, though, even with the discount, each one of these little treats did run me $2. As yummy as they might be, they almost certainly aren’t worth that. But, in the context of how much shipping costs and what Uber Eats charges for regular delivery orders, I don’t see this price as being at all egregious. This is to say that, while I wouldn’t do it all the time, I would do it again.

Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping vs. Goldbelly

Selection

This might be unfair to point out given how new Uber Eats’ feature is but the biggest difference between Nationwide Shipping and Goldbelly at the moment is the selections they offer. For one, as of this writing, Uber Eats only features restaurants from Los Angeles, New York, and Miami while Goldbelly includes locations from across the nation. Because of this, if you are looking for something special, I’d recommend checking Goldbelly first.

Shipping

Another major difference I’ve noticed from my experience with Goldbelly versus Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping is, um, shipping. When I’ve ordered Goldbelly, the shipping itself is typically overnight. Furthermore, I’ve been able to select a delivery day, which takes into account the processing and shipping time. In contrast, all of the Uber Eats options I’ve seen just display delivery times of “5-7 Business Days.” For that reason, I have to give the edge to Goldbelly as it’s not only faster (in most cases) but is also more flexible. By the way, while my Uber Eats order wasn’t overnight shipping, I have to imagine this shipping speed is used when the food items in question require it — but this isn’t really stated as far as I can tell.

On that note, I should also point out a smaller but still notable difference in shipping cost. At this time, it seems that all of Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping options come with no shipping fees. As for Goldbelly, while I’d say the vast majority of their offerings include shipping, there are some lower-priced items that charge shipping separately. Overall, I’d say this isn’t going to matter for most orders but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Pricing

Comparing the overall costs of Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping to Goldbelly is a bit difficult since each vendor sets their own prices and, thus, there’s a ton of diversity on that front. Personally, I’ve seen items I think are absolutely ridiculously priced alongside those that “aren’t so bad” on both platforms. Because of this, rather than state definitively which of these two platforms has the better prices, I want to use this section to advise that you pay close attention to what they have to offer and search for that “sweet spot.”

Discounts

Like many other online retailers, from time to time, Uber Eats and Goldbelly offer discounts, coupon codes, or other ways to save on their services. Funny enough, thanks to my American Express Platinum and Gold cards, I can now save money on both Goldbelly and Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping. That’s because the Gold card recently updated its monthly dining credit to include Goldbelly, while the monthly Uber Cash earned by both cards ($10 a month from the Gold card and $15 a month + an additional $25 in December from the Platinum) can be spent on Nationwide Shipping order.

Outside of those Amex savings opportunities, I have seen promo coupons for each of these services. In the case of Goldbelly, as someone who’s on their email list, I’ll occasionally get generic or restaurant-specific deals sent to my inbox. Meanwhile, when purchasing my smores, I was able to claim a discount that was promoted on the listing itself. In addition to that, while I have yet to get an email or push notification tailored to Nationwide Shipping deals, I suspect that some of their other various coupon codes could apply — or at least it’s worth giving them a try.

Final Thoughts on Uber Eats Nationwide Shipping

In my opinion, the Nationwide Shipping feature is a natural expansion of the Uber Eats brand — and a welcome one. Personally, I’m excited to now have another option for using my monthly Uber Cash and could definitely see myself placing another order on the platform. On the other hand, like with Goldbelly and other services that require shipping foods across the country, many of these items are on the expensive side. Furthermore, given how new this Uber Eats feature is, the selection is currently lacking. Still, I do believe there are some “worth it” items to be found, with hopefully many more coming as the offering expands. Ultimately, while it might not be for everybody, I’m glad to see Nationwide Shipping on Uber Eats and will be checking back in on the tab in the coming months.


Also published on Medium.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and has recently starting publsihing his own personal finance blog at https://moneyat30.com/

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