Retail

Amazon Promotes Home Services With $20 Gift Card

Paul Ausick

Just bought one of those big-screen TVs and need some professional help mounting it on the wall? Or maybe assembling that new gas grill looks more daunting than you thought it would be when you saw it all shiny in the store display? Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has you covered, provided you live in one of the 25 U.S. cities where the company offers Home Services.

To promote its Home Services businesses, Amazon is offering a $20 gift card to first-time customers. The company has assembled a stable of licensed professionals and checked both their business background and criminal records, and customers can purchase services in the same way they purchase other items from Amazon: click the Add to Cart button.

In the Chicago area, for example, there are 13 Home Services pros that can help you install a proper wireless network in your home. Prices ranged from a low of $56.85 to a high of $253.45, although it is not clear whether the rates are hourly or for the entire job. Amazon notes that the prepackaged services all come with up-front pricing.

Mounting a big-screen TV costs between $99 and $345 in the Chicago area. Dish Network has the most ratings (948; 90% positive) and charges $159. Another firm, Edison Electric, provides an estimate of $245 and has 80 reviews that are 97% positive.
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If all this sounds a bit like Angie’s List, that’s probably not accidental. The services business is really just an extension of Amazon’s marketplace for sellers of goods, and it costs the company little while adding something to the top line. In effect, if it is a big success, that’s good, and if it’s not then nothing was lost.