Over the past week I’ve been at a complete loss at what to get my brother for his 24th birthday. I’ve been on websites like uncommongoods.com, shop.bulls.com, and ugiftideas.com, and nothing struck a chord as something that I thought would be a good gift for his birthday. My brother’s the guy who’s not incredibly hard to shop for, but is incredibly hard to get him something that he actually really likes. This is actually a common problem in our family, like the one time my mom bought me a set of pyrex containers to bake with for Christmas. In essence, I gave up looking until today where I’ve now realized that I don’t have time to ship anything to him anymore before his actual birthday unless I wanted to pay a nice hefty overnight delivery fee. Thus, I decided to change directions with the gift giving and just have food delivered to his office instead on Friday. The first thing that came to my mind– cupcakes. Generic, yes. But who doesn’t enjoy a sweet sugary surprise on their birthday?
Chicago is one of those cities where the cupcake craze hit hard. In the loop and north loop area alone there is Sprinkles Cupcakes, Sugar Bliss Cake, Molly’s Cupcakes, Crumbs, Magnolia Bakery, The Cupcake Counter and more. I decided to take a look at the first three to see which would be the cheapest to send a dozen cupcakes cause I’m still a college student on a budget.
The CupCake Counter: Too small of a store to actually make online orders and I’ve never been there myself so I didn’t want to go through the trouble of calling to make my order.
Sprinkles Cupcakes: Actually founded in Beverly Hills, CA, Sprinkles is like the Westcoast and Midwest version of Georgetown Cupcakes. I’d probably call it the other big player in the cupcake game. When I went to go make my order online, I found my choices to be highly limited in flavors.For the most basic dozen cupcakes that I was trying to get sent, Sprinkles would only let me pick one flavor which is pretty annoying because 12-one flavor cupcakes ain’t that fun.In addition, there’s another $15 delivery fee for Mon-Fri, and a $20 fee for Weekends bringing my total to a hefty $40 give or take for a dozen mini cupcakes. A variety dozen of minis would have ran me well over $60. Insane. So next I checked Molly’s Cupcakes.
Molly’s Cupcakes: Present in NYC, Chicago, and Iowa City, Molly’s is sizable enough to provide a online forum for orders and delivery. At Molly’s a dozen regular cupcakes will run you $27 which isn’t bad at all because the regular dozen at Sprinkles costs $42. Pleased with my option, I added the dozen to my order and proceeded to check out.However, as I checked my final order, I noticed that there was a $22 delivery fee. CRAZY right? $22 delivery for $27 worth of cupcakes? I couldn’t, so I exited.
This is when I thought about all the new delivery start ups that have popped up in the last couple years across the country. In Boston, there has been Favor and DoorDash. Favor will deliver anything from anywhere within the Boston and Cambridge area for a small fee. For example, if you needed a carton of eggs, you could submit the order on the Favor app and someone will go to the store and pick up the eggs for you and deliver it to anywhere you needed. DoorDash caters more towards restaurants and becomes the middle man to allow consumers to order from their favorite restaurants that don’t deliver themselves.
Neither of these start-ups have expanded to Chicago yet, but Chicago definitely has it’s own repertoire of similar start-ups such as Postmates which conducts a 24/7 on-demand operation that will deliver anything from Apple chargers to late-night beer. Thus, I decided to try it out and just see if I could get my cupcakes delivered with more options and for cheaper with Postmates. I first searched for Molly’s Cupcakes, but that didn’t show up so I looked for Sprinkles instead which luckily did show up! Postmates allowed me to choose the location and then showed me the entire menu in which I could choose from. I went down to Friday cupcakes and selected the option of a dozen mini cupcakes which then brought up a pop up page asking me to choose ALL 12 cupcakes! YES!
My guess is because I’m not making the order with Sprinkles and a runner from Postmates will literally go to the store and purchase the cupcakes for me, I have the ability to actually choose what I want like I was in the store which is awesome. Excited at the prospect of having slightly cheated Sprinkles’ ordering system, I gleefully went to check out. Service fee and Delivery combined? $10.16. Amazing. Not to mention, I also had a first timers promo code which allowed me to get my first delivery free. So to a dozen different flavor Sprinkles cupcakes delivered to my brother’s workplace in Chicago for his birthday? $26.16. What a beautiful sight. #LIFEHACK???????
In the gist of it, things I like about Postmates:
1. My delivery charge is less than it would be if I ordered from the store directly/
2. My delivery can become more custom
3. Reasonably priced for sending a gift to someone in another city
Things I didn’t like:
1. I can’t plan an order ahead of time for a specific date
2. Not every store in the city is listed
So there you go big brother. I went through all that trouble for you. Happy Birthday Richard! Wishing you a flavorful 24th!