The great RAT hunt of 2022 continues, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison proclaiming this morning that the national shortage has nothing to do with him or his government’s absolute lack of planning. It is in fact, as usual, everyone else’s fault.
Despite the fact that we make several hundred thousand of them here in Australia, we are currently reliant on RATs mainly coming from China and the US, causing major delays in stocking and delivery. The sharp rise in case numbers and the amount of workers off sick or isolating also doesn’t help.
While it’s obviously not your fault, it is however your problem. Already we’ve seen Aussies banding together to help each other out in the quest to find a rapid antigen test, now almost a required piece of medical equipment.
While these services, like FindARat and Bondi Lines, not to mention community Facebook groups, are great, by the time you actually get to a physical store that has been flagged as holding stock, that stock is often sold out.
However, there has been one shining light amongst all of this and that is the virtual grocery store SEND.
SEND operates a lot like Uber Eats except that instead of picking up food from other venues, they stock supplies in their own “dark” stores. This allows them to load up an order, get it on the road, and have it delivered to your door in an impressive ten minutes.
If Uber Eats and Deliveroo revolutionised the takeaway game, SEND could be about to do the same thing for at-home deliveries of groceries and supplies.
Unlike other suppliers, however, SEND appears to have a decent supply of RATs and are not flogging them for exorbitant prices.
According to press materials, “SEND’s ‘SEND Shops’, are a contemporary solution to avoiding the crowds, eliminating the lines, and returning countless hours back into the day”.
A two-pack of RATs on the app will set you back $21, far cheaper than some of the online and even in-person sales, which have been going for eye-watering amounts.
We’ve tested the service a number of times and can confirm that it works as advertised, however, there are a few caveats.
SEND operates in a limited number of suburbs in both the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs so if you’re outside of these areas, you won’t be able to access the service just yet.
While they do have RATs in stock, the stores are not always open and appear to shut on occasion, presumably to restock.
When they are online, RATs frequently go offline, appearing with a message telling you that they will be back soon. This turns out to be true, as opening the app an hour later revealed more RATs were available. If you get this message when opening the app, it’s worth checking back in an hour or so.
We’ve so far managed to order RATs on three separate occasions and have had them delivered in mere minutes. It’s actually quite exciting to have some serious service at a time when other retailers appear to be falling apart, particularly those selling RATs.
While the orders didn’t always arrive in the 10 minutes advertised, the maximum time we had to wait between hitting the order button and opening the door was around 20 minutes which is still really good and far less than what you might expect from Uber Eats or similar apps.
SEND currently only offer RATs in two packs, however, they have said that five packs will soon be available later this month. Orders are capped at 15 boxes per person.
The 35 suburbs that SEND currently operates in are:
Alexandria, Beaconsfield, Zetland, Waterloo, Redfern, Eveleigh, Macdonaldtown, Erskineville, Newtown, St Peters, Darlington, Glebe, Forest Lodge, Annandale, Stanmore, Paddington, Edgecliff, Sydney CBD, Darling Point, Rushcutters Bay, Elizabeth Bay, Woolloomooloo, and Darlington.
South Melbourne, South Wharf, Southbank, Albert Park, St Kilda, East Melbourne, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Abbotsford, and the CBD.
The app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play store. If you’re looking for a way to beat the crowds, avoid the RAT race, and keep yourself safe and on top of the virus, SEND might just be the answer to your prayers.