With another year behind us, I thought it would be interesting to look back and access a few expenditures we incurred in 2013. One of those was our Amazon Prime membership with a yearly fee of $79.
So, was it worth it?
A look at Amazon
If you've been here for any amount of time, you may already know my appreciation for Amazon. Just this past year, the company topped a list of companies with the “best public image”.
What's not to like: Amazon offers a lot of great services and (overall) has excellent customer service. I mean, how neat is it that you can go online today, browse some items, checkout and then have it at your door-step a day or two later? Or set up a “subscription” to a few items you routinely purchase and have em arrive on an appointed day?
And this isn't to mention different ways you can make money on Amazon – from selling your ebooks, to selling old CDs.
But like all companies, they are far from perfect. They've recently incurred some scrutiny for their warehouse conditions and not paying workers. And Huffington Post just published a piece yesterday likening them to Walmart (a company that doesn't have a very good public image).
But back to the Amazon Prime membership. My wife and I signed up for Prime a couple years ago after we'd heard a friend using it who “saved a lot of money”.
So, we've been members for about two years now. In 2013 we had 15 deliveries via Amazon – most of them qualifying for Amazon Prime's 2-day free shipping. That's one of the real perks that attract most people. Other features of Prime are:
- No minimum order size
- Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
- Read free books each month through Kindle First and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library
- & special offers
For us, it's really always been about the two-day shipping. Even though I own a Kindle, I haven't taken advantage of their library for members OR the video streaming.
Through our 15-some shipments, here's a look at what each shipment would have cost us if we didn't have Prime (only 13 items are listed, as the other 2 were bought from Amazon Sellers in which shipping was not covered):
As you can tell – just in shipping costs alone – the Amazon Prime fee of $79 was worth the price – and saved us another $56.
While I used Amazon's shipping rate page to figure out prices for the items that we shipped – Amazon likely has negotiated rates with shippers that are much less than what is published.
Is Amazon worth it for you?
I would say that my wife and I are not one of Amazon's heavy utilizes. We purchase items there mainly as gifts or if we need something we can't get elsewhere. But, if you were a heavy online shopper – I am sure Prime would be well worth it's yearly due.
I'd be interested to know if Prime has been worth it to you or if you've had any other experiences with the service.
Update 10/5/16: Amazon announces that Prime members will have access to some 1,000 books via their memberships. Not a bad deal for Primers.