5 Reasons Why Amazon Prime Is a Terrible Buy

February 11, 2014 by Kyle
75
comments

(Updated 6/28/18) A couple days ago I saw that Amazon.com is considering bumping up the price of their Prime Membership by $20 or $40 bucks. It is currently $99 annually, so it will potentially be $109 or $119 per year. This story got me thinking about the Prime Membership, which for those of you that don’t know, gives members unlimited free 2-day shipping, some free Kindle books every month, and access to Amazon instant streaming (think Netflix after it got shot, run over, then run over again). Is it worth the money every year? Does it make you overspend? Does it make you a lazy shopper? To those 3 questions I say No, Yes, Yes. Keep on reading to see why…

Amazon Already Has Free Shipping on $25+

I mean sure, the free 2-day shipping all orders is a great incentive, but are you aware that Amazon already offers free shipping on $25+ orders? For those who say, “But most of my purchases are under $25 and won’t qualify for free shipping.” To them I say make sure and combine orders until you reach the $25 threshold.

Have a little will-power on purchases and wait until you have several items you need to buy before you make an order.

The idea that you must have something in 2-days means you should probably be heading to your local Walmart, Target, or grocery store to buy it.

If you are a shopper that buys stuff online and always “Needs It NOW” and you’ll happily pay for expedited shipping to make it happen, then the Prime membership will definitely save you money, but I think this is a pretty small percentage of the population.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for FREE

Prime Membership Makes You a Lazy Shopper

This may be the single biggest reason why the Amazon Prime membership is a bad buy.

Put simply, it makes many consumers flat out lazy. They don’t compare pricing anymore, they don’t haggle for a better price, they don’t take advantage of retailer’s price match policies, and they sure as heck don’t seek out coupons in order to get the best deal possible.

Instead they head straight to Amazon.com and click a single ‘Buy It Now’ button and viola!, it magically appears on their doorstep two days later.

Many shoppers at this point will make the argument that Amazon always has low prices so I don’t need to be a smart consumer. WRONG! Check out my article Price Smackdown: Walmart.com Vs. Amazon.com which clearly debunks this myth.

Amazon.com is a “Walmart-Wolf” in Sheep’s Clothing

When it comes to branding, Jeff Bezos and the marketing team at Amazon are absolute geniuses.

Over the years they have kept the brand “cool” in the eyes of consumers while the Walmarts of the world are seen as a company who ruins the little guy, pinches suppliers to death, and offers low paying jobs and sub-par health benefits.

One of the ways Amazon pulls this off is by not having a human face on the business. There is not some minimum-wage earning oldster greeting you when you shop at Amazon.com and there is very little written about the Amazon warehouse employees.

Employees toiling in the gigantic Amazon warehouses have very little voice and Amazon likes it that way. See True Stories of Life as an Amazon Worker from Gawker to get a glimpse behind the Amazon curtain.

So why do I bring this up? I don’t want you to just accept Amazon and the Prime membership as a alternative to the Walmart culture and way of doing business. In the end, there is not a huge difference between the two.

Ridiculously Easy to Overspend

I’m going to get a little psychological with you for a minute. I believe that many Amazon Prime members feel they need to shop with them as much as possible in order to recoup the membership fee.

I have talked with enough loyal Amazon shoppers over the years to confirm this phenomena.

So what is the outcome? People buying everything under the sun from Amazon, often paying much more than they would at their local store, in order to get the free 2-day shipping. Overspending up the wazoo.

I would also make the argument that the biggest reason for Amazon potentially raising the cost of the Prime membership is because they know people will end up buying more from them in an effort to make sure they “get their money’s worth”.

Prime Streaming is a Joke

If you’ve ever tried the Amazon Instant Streaming feature you already know what I am talking about. The selection is weaker than Michelob Ultra Light and it’s clearly an add-on designed to entice you into buying a movie or TV show because you’d rather shoot yourself than watch one of the free ones.

If you already have cable or satellite TV the Prime Instant Streaming will probably never be used. But if you don’t, you could definitely find something to watch for free. Just don’t expect anything made in the past several years.

Prime Membership Savings Tips:

If you’re on the fence about dropping the cash on an Amazon.com Prime membership, I have a few tips to minimize your costs.

  1. Free 30 day trial. Amazon offers prospective members a free 30-day trial. I typically recommend shoppers to sign-up for their trial just before Black Friday so they can do all their Christmas shopping and get free 2-day delivery. But since we are in mid February that doesn’t make a lot sense. Once you start your free trial, track your purchases and your savings in terms of shipping costs. Add them up at the end of the month and times it by 12 to get a rough idea of your annual savings.
  2. Invite family/friends and save. Not many shoppers know that you can invite four family members or friends into your Prime membership with you. So theoretically you could split the costs and only pay $15.80 per year making it a total no-brainer. It is also worth noting that only the primary member gets access to the free streaming service.
  3. Get Amazon price alerts. If you end up (or already are) a Prime member you need to be using CamelCamelCamel.com as it allows you to create Amazon price alerts on products you want to purchase. The website then emails you when the price drops below a predetermined price point. It’s a sweet little free tool with a totally stupid name.

Ask the Reader: Are you an Amazon Prime member? If so, do you think it is worth the current $99/yr price tag? What about if they raise the annual fee to $119? Also, do you think it makes you overspend and not research the best price?


By Kyle James

More Total Awesomeness:

6 Ways Procrastinators Can Still Score a Sweet Dea... Procrastinating your Christmas shopping just might save you a BUNCH of money this year. Well, now that you have found this article anyway. While shopp...
Amazon Prime Hack: How to Get 1-Day Shipping for L... Today I have a really short, but totally killer, Amazon hack for Prime members. A tip that will quite often get all of your items delivered to you v...
Employee Shares Best Tip to Score a Clearance Deal... I recently stumbled upon some great tips directly from a current Walmart employee talking about how to find clearance deals when shopping in-store. In...
Amazon Prime Cost Breakdown: Why Prime is Worth $1... Let's not bury the lead. The Amazon Prime cost currently sits at $99 a year which equates to $8.25 per month. I did the math and determined that befor...
How To Turn an Unwanted Visa Gift Card Into Amazon... (Updated 5/15/18) I hate to waste money on ANYTHING! Being a self-proclaimed coupon nerd, this is probably pretty obvious to most of my loyal readers ...
The 4 Items You Should Never Buy On Amazon (Updated 7/24/18) The folks over at MarketWatch recently broke down all the worst items to buy on Amazon.com which I thought was really interesting. (...

Comments

75
Leave a Reply

avatar
57 Comment threads
18 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
54 Comment authors
GypsyPeachcherylGuestRayAbe Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Kim

I agree and disagree. I am so sick of the service at our local WalMart that I am on a self imposed one year boycott. Our town is so small that we have Walmart, Safeway, and City Market, which is a Kroger affiliate. I already only want to WalMart for stuff that was outrageously high or unavailable at the grocery store. So far, Amazon has been outstanding and the prices are either right at or below what I’d pay at Walmart or the grocery store. I can see how it would be tempting to buy everything, and you just have to remind yourself to buy what you need. I also like the streaming service. They have House Hunters and Discovery Channel shows we thought we’d given up when we cut satellite TV. I think like with any purchase, you need to compare and not jump on the bandwagon. In my case, even if Amazon is awful to employees, I don’t have to deal with them being rude to me.

C. the Romanian

I am glad I went with the 30 day trial. All I wanted was to watch House Hunters International because I’m a little addict. It appears though that I am not allowed to, even if I pay for it, here in Romania, so I decided to dump it the next hour. One more reason for me to consider it a terrible buy 🙂

DC @ Young Adult Money

Interesting take on Prime. I signed up about a month or so ago and I like the 2 day shipping. In the past we used to just wait until we had $25 or more of stuff to order before ordering, but with the $35 minimum it’s been difficult to get to that level without adding things we don’t really need.

lyle @ the Joy of Simple

Hey Kyle and thanks for an insightful look into Amazon prime. I would never use such a service myself and your post makes it doubly so!!

I followed your link to the Gawker article and wasn’t all that surprised by all that I read. I can imagine Amazon are just like any other massive box store that has a bottom line to consider regardless of how they are set up.

Somehow though, I don’t think this will stop folks from shopping there any time soon!

Thanks again for a great post and take care.

Lyle

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

Hi Kyle! I just popped over here from Lyle’s Joy of Simple to read this article and appreciate the thoughts. I tried the Amazon Prime 30-Day Free trial once and gave it back when I saw that it didn’t stream nearly as many shows as I really wanted. Plus I always try to bundle my purchases as much as possible so that I get the free shipping 99% of the time anyway. I personally detest Walmart and NEVER shop there but now I’m heading over to see how you compare the too. Thanks again for your thoughts. ~Kathy

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

I do just about all my shopping through amazon and share the prime account with several people which has made it worthwhile.

In my experience, Amazon consistently has the best value over the Kmart and other shops nearby (although, I’m in NYC which can make a big difference).

I also find that I buy LESS now than I used to because when I shop online I only sign on to buy what I need and I’m not tempted by any fancy displays or impulse purchases at checkout (it’s easier to ignore it on the screen).

I could probably just stick to $35+ orders though. I’ll have to consult with my fellow account holders 🙂

Jen @ Jen Spends

Good post–I see Prime touted as a “deal” on many blogs, and it’s just not.

I found that Prime itself hasn’t saved me a cent in the year I’ve used it, but I’ve saved a ton by shopping on Amazon, so I’m willing to spend some of that savings on the convenience of Prime. I think I do tend to look at Amazon more when I need to buy something, but I always price check no matter what. I’ve never paid more on Amazon just because I can get it more quickly–I’ll go elsewhere in a heartbeat if it’s cheaper. I think it’s one of those things that you have to be disciplined and smart about if you want to make the most of it. I know a lot of people do end up wasting money, but the convenience is such a big draw that they don’t care.

Terri
Terri

I just joined Prime and I did it because I do some shopping on Amazon, we have a Kindle, and I dropped my cable. Even though I have to pay for some of the shows I enjoy watching, I added it up and for all the shows I want to watch (if I watched them all) I would still be paying less than I would for cable. Now that it has gone up to $99.00 a year, it is still less. I am pleased and will keep it. I don’t do a ton of shopping on Amazon, but I get get points through Bing and Swagbucks, and my bank for Amazon and so the money I spend there is usually “free” money I have earned through those programs. For me, it is still a good deal for everything we get.

Chaz
Chaz

Has anybody noticed products available through prime (because it doesn’t apply to everything on amazon) are often $5 higher than the non prime offerings? In other words they mark items up so you are paying for shipping anyway. Stocking stuffers become horribly inflated in price.

cheryl
cheryl

Yes, I notice this everytime I buy something – that I haave to have soon, etc.

guest
guest

“To them I say make sure and combine orders until you reach the $35 threshold. Have a little will-power on purchases and wait until you have several items you need to buy before you make an order.”
Who do you think you are telling me how to shop? Why does it have to be about “willpower” instead of convenience. It takes a matter of hours to go shopping for the simplest things. The average american makes 29.10 an hour. You’re effectively saying that people should be adding sixty dollars to everything they purchase instead of buying from a site that has reliably cheaper prices than any brick and mortar store all the time. Even at minimum wage, you’re still adding $16 every time you go out to make any significant purchase.

You mention retailers price matching policies, except that most brick and mortar stores now have a policy of not matching online prices.

Also, you say you’re going to get psychological, and then you proceed to say things that have nothing to do with actual psychology. It looks like you’re just modifying some cultural folk tale to suit your purpose. You say “I have talked with enough loyal Amazon shoppers over the years to confirm this phenomena.” but how many is enough? You would need a minimum of 30 objective instances, agreed upon by another observer as significantly different, to even begin to insinuate a correlation, let alone the fact that you’d be entirely missing a causal relationship.

I totally agree on the prime streaming though. I’ve got amazon prime and still pay for netflix.

Squidley McFeely
Squidley McFeely

I used Prime more when there was no sales tax. Then I let it go when they raised the price. But they had a sale this year for around $80, so I signed up again. I find I use the Prime video constantly, making it worth it pretty much just for that. The $25 minimum order is a problem because Amazon prices don’t stay the same, going up and down. So it’s hard to have a cart waiting in which all the prices are equally on the low end of the scale as they fluctuate. Also, sometimes it’s cheaper to buy from a 3rd party than Prime. I’ve had very few issues returning items bought through Prime, when there’s a problem, almost making the fee worth it for that alone.

JJHerma
JJHerma

Problem is many orders deliver after 5 business if you do not have prime. Worst part is the orders are just sitting there in their warehouse!

I placed orders before without primte and they doing nothing. There is no other website large or small I’ve ordered from that simply leaves an order lying around if their customer does not pay extra for a membership fee like PRIME.

I can expect an order shipped with lower level of shipping service take longer to deliver, but that is a choice and it’s understandable.

Maybe Amazon’s shipping arrangements only allow for one type of shipment which naturally keeps Amazon costs down, but it seems they create a need for prime membership using unnecessary delays in order processing to justify the cost and if it were that case, it would be unscrupulous at best.

Calvin
Calvin

Amazon actually ships products between FCs so they are not just sitting around doing nothing all that time. They may not make it close to your location, but they can get a bit closer. The thing is you never see this type of logistics since it isn’t tracked during that duration between moving it.

Eri
Eri

I do have amazon prime, but only because my aunt offered to invite me into hers. I’m not in a good financial situation so I definitely could not justify the annual $119 cost, but I’m not paying for it, so it does really help to not have to pay shipping when I want to buy a CD and I’m tight on cash for the month. But again, I don’t also have $119 hanging over my head every year.

Roberto
Roberto

Some valid points here but I would say this (as a Prime Member):
1) Where I live 2 day shipping (if fulfilled by Amazon) means tomorrow almost all of the time, and many products offer Same Day for free (it is really awesome).
2) I am enticed by not having to drive to my local retailer to purchase or return, saves me two trips.
3) I always look at the comparison prices and I do pay more sometimes to get products fulfilled by Amazon as I return for free, they pick it up and I know they will not give me static. Many online retailers make me pay to return, pay a restocking fee, etc.
4) I do purchase a lot of orders under $35, its instant gratification for what I need now and I like that, why do you want to take that away from me?
5) I like the streaming, it is evolving, these things are not perfect right out of the gate, Netflix streaming was super weak at first. Amazon are improving it all the time.
Anyway, I am not slagging off on you or the article I appreciate the thought and understand it is a service that fits better for some more than others. I like the tips at the end it give the article a very objective feel.

Sleek
Sleek

I also disagree. If you use amazon a lot it more than pays for itself. Amazon is often the lowest price anyway so that’s not even an issue. I can get big bulky expensive things shipped to me in 2 days. Do that a few times and it pays huge dividends. Also if you don’t need it on 2 days you can get pantry or digital credits to use later. Plus you can “share” the 2 day all year long by shipping to your friend or family member and then having them paypal you what it cost.

Darcy Sarafian
Darcy Sarafian

Seriously, I wanted to just lay on the bed and watch Harry Potter while my hubby watched football on the TV. Not available, unless I want to purchase. I already have it on DVD. I will not renew. Not enough bonus for me.

Amanda
Amanda

I realize this article is almost two years old, but I just want to point out that there are many browser add-ons and websites you can use to watch the price on a particular product. Also, sites like Paribus will automatically watch your purchases for you and contact Amazon if they’re available for a lower price somewhere else. Then, you automatically get the money credited back to your account.

Lex Bee
Lex Bee

As a college student with no car, Amazon Prime is super convenient. The Prime 2-Day shipping is great

Coop
Coop

Prime is a superb marketing ploy and also a joke whose last laugh is on the customer. I confirmed my second 30 day trial around the holidays and then ordered 2 more items near the end of the cycle to see if I wanted to actually keep it this time. The 2 items were shipping from CA, I live in WA. I ordered at the prime standard 2 day shipping and then changed it to 1 day shipping on the next day. When I got confirmation of the change, the delivery dates did not change. After 3 phone calls and a litany of excuses, I got the 1 day shipping surcharge refunded and canceled the prime membership. The 2 items I ordered were tagged as “prime certified” and so should have at least been able to make the 2 day trip; when they arrive tomorrow night, it will be 4 days. Joke.

bradley wolkens
bradley wolkens

Today I contact Amazon customer care and ask gave a full layout for how to give discount or free prime to vets & disable people a average budget they get their choir logs and how most have monthly meal planers and a finical adviser and use the computer at the vfw or CMH or library and the rep answers with when my next renewal of prime is and does not answer the question and this always happens!
Comments:why won t your companies help a disabled person and you have listed on all kinds of sites that you give jobs but You know I am missing part of my brain and can do the math and talk to the people at the CMH and DHS and did you know a list of 10 clients that can’t and you did not charge for prime and I have a list of groceries and the cost it is each year and meal plan sheets and out of the 14,000 to 16.000 they get each year they would spend 8.000 to 9.900 on groceries in the pantry and use a computer at the CMH with their choir providers.
I know that is 1,000 dollars in prime cost but even a discount to the student cost and these people only use a computer when their at the CMH and have finical advisors that help pay bills each month, and I had a tumor and have seizers and a caretaker. I just though it’s a ideal,then some of us won’t have to be with out for a hole month with some thing until the next shopping trip we get.

Guest
Guest

Kyle, I think we’d all like to hear your answer to this one

Miki
Miki

I don’t pay for Prime. My brother’s company does and adds me as one of the people with access to Prime shipping. I do handle some buying for them when my bro is too swamped. I can’t access video, but then again I have no need to.

What you say about laziness and overpaying may be true for some, but not for everyone. I tend to shop around for the best price. I take not only the price, but shipping costs into account. Only then will I consider ordering from Amazon and even then, often I’ll find a lower price from another Amazon dealer with free shipping. I may have to wait a lot longer for the product, but I’ve saved money.

But sometimes Prime is cheaper than I can get elsewhere. People buy Prime because, as you said, it’s great hype. But for those who are savvy shoppers to begin with, it can be a blessing. Especially when you do need something right away.

But then I’m disabled and don’t get out of the house much. Online shopping is often the only way for me to buy what I need, when I need it.

Mary
Mary

I live in a small town that does not have a Walmart or Target. The nearest Walmart is 45 minutes away and the nearest Target is 120 miles away. So yeah, it’s worth it to me. Every time my kid needs something for school or I need to send something to my college daughter I don’t have time to go out of town. The school won’t wait until I have a full shopping list and can go out of town or have my Amazon cart full of $49 products.

Victoria
Victoria

I love Prime. I use it a lot and I price things when I’m at other stores using the app to see if in store is cheaper or Amazon is. The prime shows have stepped up their game too with more original series and better movies being added it makes it worth while. Prime music is great too because there is a large collection of music and artist available for no andetistdditional charge. In reality you get quite a bit for $99/year and they’re constantly improving their t.v and music services. 2 day shipping works great for me because if I see it cheaper on amazon then I can get it almost immediately. I might Amazon.com. that was live in a small town with a small walmart so it’s hard to find certain things in store. I use walmart site to store a lot also because somethings are just cheaper at walmart!

Namma
Namma

I think it’s important that if you’re going to write a broad sweeping article like this that you consider the following;

(A) Don’t break the cardinal rule of telling people their lifestyle is wrong. You are not a government, you are not a religion, and you are not their family. Get into a neutral stance and STAY there.

(1) Not all people are like YOU. Some are disabled and easier shopping, no matter the cost, is a blessing for them.

(2) Many, many people do not live right near other shops. Many people have limited choices. Online shopping opens the doors that they would not otherwise have available to them. My husband goes on the road to work in small towns and trust me, choices ARE limited. There are far, far more small towns than big cities and vehicle fuel is expensive.

(3) Don’t be lazy and not update your articles. Additionally don’t be lazy and stop responding to comments. IF this is your business then take care of it. You posted a strong position against something and then abandoned it.

We have Prime BECAUSE of my husband being on the road in small towns. When he needs a tool he can often find it 3-4 times cheaper at amazon than in the local stores. While we would like to support local merchants we cannot justify them bleeding the customers dry.

NOTE: Consider that if the local businesses got some smarts and rented, bought or built a local warehouse together they could ALL afford to buy large lots and offer a discount to their customers. They just have to stop being jealous of each other and protecting tiny profits (no sales) just because they are against others in town. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

rob
rob

I just cancelled prime on there free trial prime pantry 35 dollars I would spend more an still be billed for shipping I called them on the first orders they fixed there mistake but I am not going to deal with company every time I order I have to fix there mistakes

Martha Owens
Martha Owens

I just happen to run up on this article and I am so happy you posted this. I am at Amazon prime member I use it a lot however I don’t think it’s worth it I thought it was $98 but I’m gonna call Amazon right now and cancel my order thank you very much for sharing this and opening my eyes

Laura
Laura

First off, this article should be called “Why I think” instead of is since this entire article is mostly your opinion.

I am an avid Amazon shopper. I also have a couple of Echo Dots and play music true my Prime account through them. I also paid extra for the unlimited plan so I can access every single song on every single album that Amazon has. That in itself is pretty awesome.

The food that I feed my cats and my ferrets is far cheaper through Amazon, comes to me with free shipping and I don’t have to waste gas picking it up or go to the store to find out it is out of stock. With my Echo Dots I can even ask Alexa to order more cat food and she recalls my last order, asks if that’s what I want to order and bam – order placed.

The lotion I regular use by Eucerin is about $15 a bottle. I pick up three the bottles for about $20 on Amazon and again delivered free.

The laser printer I saw and really wanted at my local Staples was $189. I used the Amazon app and found out it was only $79 on Amazon and have it there the next day.

During the holidays I can send gifts to friends and family again, free of shipping. I even recently sent a couple of things to a friend in Scotland and paid nothing for shipping. All I had to do was login to the UK Amazon site and do the order through there!

The TV that I wanted for my bedroom that was the same model as the living room but a bit smaller they did not carry at Costco. I ordered it through Amazon and it was $80 less than what Walmart sells it for. Again, free shipping.

I wanted a really good raincoat that was truly waterproof and couldn’t find anything decent in local stores. I also didn’t want to spend $100 or more to buy one through Lands End. I ordered one on Amazon and was able to read the reviews from other saying it truly was waterproof. I ordered the jacket, loved it but it was a bit too small period was able to send it back since I made sure it was a free return item and ordered the next size. Perfect jacket.

I could go on but these are just some of the examples of great deals on really good items that I found via Amazon that could not be found locally.

Am I lazy person? Am I handicapped so have mobility issues? No to both. But I’m a very busy person. I run my own business and also take a day off every week to volunteer. I don’t want to spend my weekends going to malls and shopping all over the place when I want something. I used my weekend to go hiking, do things with friends, relax!

So shopping via Amazon may not be right for you but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for others. It isn’t factual it is just your OPINION.

Nob
Nob

Amazon prime video is a sick joke! Everything, and I mean everything, worth watching requires you to either rent or buy it or you have to subscribe to a third party provider. I got suckered into their web of deceit only to find there was literally nothing I wanted to watch that cost me money above and beyond my prime video membership fee. Needless to say I cancelled immediately and they only got to steal one month of my money. I say save your money and go with Hulu or Netflix, either of which are 100X better than prime video.

Lisa Waters
Lisa Waters

Amazon Prime is a great buy! I have birth defects and chronic pain that prevents the shopping that I did in my younger years. I don’t buy something just because it’s a prime item. I research and compare prices. There are items that aren’t prime, but they have a good price and offer free shipping—just not in two days. I also enjoy just looking. You can see stuff you didn’t know existed (diapers for chickens) and discover things you need (a soft little heating blanket, perfect for my legs). The Prime movie and TV selection has improved in the last few years—especially their own productions. If you have shows you don’t want to rent or buy, add them to your Watchlist anyway. I had one show that had recently been on TV and I could hardly wait to see it, but I added it to my Watchlist. One evening a few months later I was going through my Watchlist and there was the show I had been waiting on—“Prime” written across it. What an unexpected treat! Yep, Amazon Prime is a great buy!

Miles
Miles

Prime is worth it for me simply because we literally don’t have stores here.
If I need something in two days, sure I can take a trip to Walmart for the things they carry. For the things they don’t? Oh, it’s a 94 mile trip ONE WAY to go get it!
That’s not something that’s going to happen.
The standard shipping via USPS through amazon? I have to go pick up my packages from the post office to get them, they won’t deliver.
I still comparison shop online, but amazon is my go to because it makes life more convenient… and that’s a price I’m willing to pay. Tack in the shipping I’ve already paid on stuff, it gives an edge to Amazon for smaller purchases that other retailers don’t have. Factor in the ease of returns and that’s something else too (which, admittedly, is available to everyone).
For me? Amazon is a whole lot easier than taking a day to go and drive out of town for anything I might need that Walmart doesn’t carry.

I don’t care about streaming. I have it and don’t use it; it does not add value to me. I don’t have an electronic home, so I don’t use Amazon echo.
I definitely use it for buying things I can’t locally though.
Plus the 20% off video game preorders definitely helps.

Marisa
Marisa

The BEST thing about Amazon Prime isn’t even Prime. Its access to PrimeNow service which is the closest thing Ive experienced to perfection, for anyone who is busy, doesn’t have a car, is disabled or older, or has health issues its a God Send. After I had my daughter and couldn’t drive I used it for everything. Now that I can get around I price shop. I can add all my groceries, toiletries and other items in my cart when I make my grocery list through the week then head to the store when I have time and compare items. 9/10 the item is the same price or cheaper on PrimeNow and I purchase it that way only buy vegetables in the store. PrimeNow list local stores like my local, individually owned organic grocer, Mexican supermarket etc that I can order from. The Amazon warehouse here carries obscure products like organic low carb ice cream, protein powders and organic meats that I cant get here (or half to drive half an hour to a whole foods to pay 2.5Xs the price). Also has restaurants, bakeries and even alcohol, straight to my door for FREE, essential for parties. If I buy one dinner from a restaurant on PrimeNow rather than UBEREats, Eat24, DoorDash or Grubhub my membership has paid for itself that month.

I also LOVE the original series on Amazon Video. Bosch and the Man in the High Castle, those two series alone make paying for those months worth it.

Bought a mattress, got it the same day. Had a minor problem, Amazon offered to let me keep it for free to donate or dispose of and receive a new mattress free of charge. Probably saved them a ton on pick up but still rather generous to offer to send a new one for free I would have spent more on just the mattress without Prime not even mentioning gas and struggle of loading a mattress.

Prime is a no brainer for students. I got half off my Prime membership because I’m a grad student so $5/month for two day shipping, unlimited Grocery, restaurants and Amazon warehouse deliveries right to my door within two hours? I’ve even been able to use it to send groceries and a gift to my friend when she was ill just by changing the delivery address.

Also a no brainer for virtually any business. I own a bakery and use a lot of obscure items or craft items like foam cones and spheres and floral tape. I save using amazon (even when I compared to using an in store coupons at the local craft store) and a lot of times I can get bulk pricing on just a dozen items. I don’t have to buy in bulk, drive to the store, haul the boxes in side, store more than I need or wait. I was working on a Bridal Show piece all night only to find I’d run out of tape. Placed a same day delivery order and my specialized craft tape was waiting for me when I woke up. Also things like bulk specialty chocolate and flower or cake fillings are cheaper on amazon prime. Ive seen things listed on websites for 3/4 of the Amazon Price only to have them be $20 more expensive when you add in their expensive slow shipping and forget trying to return something heavy.

If you are at all a smart shopper you will save using the service.

Customer service is remarkable as well

pamela svec
pamela svec

I agree! Prices on Amazon are not so great anymore. I find them often cheaper at Walmart.com, where I can order and pick it up for free.. or ship free for some. Ebay and other companies are also less expensive often! It can make you lazy for sure. Also, I am very tired of paying for TV shows I think should be included and YES the price is getting ridiculous! It was about $60 when I first got it.. that was ok.

Dominick
Dominick

You have cleary never lived in a rural area where the nearest Walmart is an hour drive away, hardware/auto parts stores 30 minutes or more, etc. To that end, when you need something and you can drive and hour both ways or have it delivered in two, it saves in time, vehicle maintenance, vehicle wear, and fuel. It’s conpletely worth it.

Not everyone is in a suburban area where stores are close by and abundant. I do shop around though, and if the item is cheaper (shipping added in) than Amazon’s price, I’ll buy from another online retailer. The other benefit are user reviews, a reasonable way to compare quality and functionality. Something you don’t get at Walmart 😉

Bryan Lemke
Bryan Lemke

I just found out another way Prime is a terrible buy – Their 2-day shipping only applies AFTER it leaves their warehouses.

This is what I was told by an Amazon rep just now. Why is my 2-day order not arriving for a week? He told me the 2-day shipping only applies after it leaves the warehouse. He said there are a number of reasons it might take a few days to leave the warehouse, but it was still fulfilling their 2-day promise.

I called back to speak with another rep and was told the same thing. The second rep told me that the item wasn’t in an Amazon warehouse and that the seller had to ship it to them first…even though it says ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ and says it’s in stock.

BOTTOM LINE: The once great Prime membership has become a hollow-promise-filled, expensive alternative to smart online shopping.

By way of update, I contacted the actual seller from Amazon (via their website) and they’ll overnight the product to me for $5. It seems Amazon is becoming the poster boy for bad online shopping. I cancelled my Prime order today.

BillyBrah
BillyBrah

The 2-day shipping doesn’t even work anymore. 7/10 items tbis year alone were “delayed during shipment.” The streaming video is a JOKE, and now they want Prime members to pay even more for access to half-way decent selections. I got tired of it all and cancelled Prime. They won’t let you tell the truth about any of this when they beg you for reviews. Now, I’m back to either shopping local or to the real McCoys online such as NewEgg or manufacturer sites. The only good thing about Amazon right now is returning items.

ElwoodP
ElwoodP

Completely agree it’s not worth it (writing from UK). At first look it seems like you get a lot but… Agree with all your points on free shipping its not as good as it seems. I’ve been price checking during my trial and find that Prime items often seem to be marked up to include the shipping fee in the price (when you check against price direct from manufacturer for example).

Streaming is as you say a joke. They are basically just trials and you will have to pay for most content. What a faff if you are used to Spotify and Netflix with their upfront pricing models. Prime is basically a cynical ploy to hook you into their rather shitty all in one services which will continually try and rinse you of more money.

Felicity
Felicity

I don’t know if they still do this, but in two different years when 2-day shipping took longer than 2 days, I called and complained and Amazon extended my Prime membership for one month. They actually offered a monetary option, but I’ve forgotten the exact amount was.

Prime currently costs $9 and change each month, or the cost of 9 McDonald’s coffees. I’ll make my coffee at home for 18 cents a cup and buy Prime instead. It’s worth it to us to be able to get something in 1 or 2 days that we shopped for in our recliners versus fighting traffic and spending gas money and time. If I can get something through walmart.com site to store, I do, if I’m going to be in Walmart anyway. However, most of the things we’ve ordered were not available locally or on walmart.com or were but were cheaper on Amazon. They’re still saying it will be $99 to renew in early January 2018, by the way. If it goes to $119, I think I would probably still use it, but I haven’t decided.

Felicity
Felicity

Clarifying my comment: Amazon is showing that my Prime membership, which renews in early January 2018, will be $99. It wasn’t some announcement from Amazon about Prime cost for 2018. I realize they could change that before I renew, also.

Chris
Chris

The overspending argument is a joke. If anything, you spend less. How many times do you go to a walmart to get 1 thing, and end up leaving with 20 bags?

Chris
Chris

Prime membership makes a lot of sense to people who dont have cars. Believe it or not, not everyone has a car. And spending $99 for prime is lot cheaper than spending $20,000 on a car to go to walmart.

Chris
Chris

The big problem with walmart is the lines. I don’t want to wait on a line for 45 mins just to get a dvd a I can pre-order on amazon for cheaper, and get it release day.

Chris
Chris

That haggling argument makes no sense. You can’t haggle at walmart. The price is what it is. Amazon is not a flea market, and neither is walmart. Go try haggling at walmart, see how that goes for you.

Chris
Chris

The “compare pricing” argument does really work with prime. Other sites might charge a few dollars more, but with shipping charges. So whatever few dollars you save on other sites, you end up paying more with shipping.

Chris
Chris

The difference with “compare shopping” is that a lot of other sites, and even stores, don’t have better prices than amazon. And the few sites that do, charge for shipping, take 2 weeks to ship it out, and you fill out all your credit and shipping information. And often times, you dont get tracking with your order. And if there’s a problem, they usually have awful customer service. It’s ultimately a safer bet to go with amazon.

Chris
Chris

The whole “they ship for free at $25” argument makes no sense. What if you don’t need $25 worth of stuff? What if I only need detergent? Why wait until you have $25, only to have to ship in 2 weeks? Not everybody has a car to go out to the store anf get detergent.

Chris
Chris

If you just buy one item a month, 12 items a year, Prime has already paid for itself in the free 2-day shipping alone.

Suz
Suz

I got Amazon Prime mainly to watch shows, both tv and movies. At first they were free to Prime members but no longer. Why am I paying over $100.00 and still pay to watch shows. This is no longer the deal it was when it began. Seems they are so prosperous enough now that greed has taken over.

Palf
Palf

Flooding of Amazon with cheap Chinese knockoffs, lack of consistency with 2 day Prime shipping and a completely rigged “keep the product if you change your negative review to a positive plus refund” system and add ownership of the world’s worst news publication The Washington Compost and you’ve got ZERO reasons to join AMAZON Prime. Cancelled membership after 5 years, could not be happier.

Blake
Blake

I’ve done Prime for 3+ years now and will probably cancel soon. First, when I first signed up, Prime-eligible orders actually came within 2 days. Different story today; only 2 out of 3 seem to make it. Amazon is getting sloppy(greedy?). Second, has no one else noticed that if you compare pricing on a particular product, Prime is almost always several dollars higher? This is essentially a scam. The extra cost for 2 day shipping is buried in the price. Reminds me of early days of internet buying where sellers used to lure buyers in with low upfront cost, then hammer them on the back end by adding ridiculous “shipping and handling” costs.

Some people never learn TINSTAAFL. (There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) Sellers gonna get dey money from us one way or another.

Jimmy
Jimmy

I have a student Prime membership which is $49/year. I will not get the full price membership. I just don’t see that the Amazon videos are worth over $100 year. And the 2 day shipping has become a 3-5 day shipping. And I HATE the Amazon add-on thing.

 
310 Shares
Share73
Pin217
Tweet13
Share
+17