5 Reasons Why Amazon Prime Is a Terrible Buy

Updated October 19, 2022 by Kyle

A couple days ago I saw that Amazon is bumping up the price of their Prime Membership from $119 to $139 annually. This 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…

5 Reasons Why Amazon Prime Is a Terrible Buy

1. 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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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”.

5. 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.

BONUS: 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’s worth the current $139/yr price tag? Also, do you think it makes you overspend and not research the best price?

By Kyle James


Notify of

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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Prior to Amazon. I had to get up at 9 am and shop 10 different stores and be lucky if I found half of what I needed. And even luckier if I made it home by 9:30 pm.
Sorry but Amazon prime is a whole lot more time saving and affordable than wasting gas. time, and frustration dealing with morons who are single handedly to blame for retail stores going out of business.
Yes Amazon has faults. But retail chains and small businesses shot themselves in the foot by bad rude customer service, refusal to invest more in retail online, And hanging on to outdated business methods.
I will gladly pay $119 for prime to avoid a headache and waste of time going to retail stores and spending 12 hours a day trying to buy basic groceries and products in my busy life. It is nice sometimes just to have a day to relax at the house and not have to worry about a shoot out at the mall or grocery store.


Prime is indeed useless. Its better than walmart etc. Only because you are more GUARANTEED to get what you asked for. Whereas with walmart 90% of your order is usually unavailable. However prime has fallen off with this shipping issue. Most people i know got prime because you could get your things delivered in 2days. Not anymore. It takes atleast 5 days. And they are using UPS to make deliveries. I hateee UPS. Another main reason i got prime is because i prefer the Amazon delivery. They atleast attempt to get you your package or offer a refund. UPS does no such thing. They wont even ring the bell. Ive caught them leaving the “sorry we missed u note” without trying to contact me at all. So yes. Prime is basically just as bad as all the other places now except you might actually get your order…horrible.


As much as I agree with you on most of what you say, the reason I use Amazon is I can find things here no one else carries. Like Levi women’s jeans in short sizes. Items stores
no longer carry and a verity of items. Yes,I am mad as hell about the increase in prime membership and waiting for 2 weeks for an item and it arrives in a box with an item I ordered 3 days ago. I would have liked Amazon to be upfront with customers when dropping the 2 day shipping. But for now I will just be a little more cautious shopper.

Ryn I

I compare pricing on most everything I buy and have found that Amazon is rarely a bargain. So… I use it for two things:

  1. Heavy stuff that isn’t available for free shipping at a cheaper price from another vendor.
  2. Buying Warehouse New/Returned items at a deep discount.

I also no longer just blindly pay them the $15 a month. I don’t use them that often anymore. I “pause” my membership for months at a time and am patient. If I REALLY need something they’ve got the best deal on, I’ll reactivate it for 1 – 2 months, then pause again.

Besides the “2 Day” delivery that is actually 5-6 as it takes them 3-4 days to “process,” the order… the price fixing/gouging is enraging. I say go check for “microfiber towels,” or some such. I find a pkg of 10 for $4.99 with Prime shipping. I copy the link to this product and go check, say, WalMart. When I return to the product on Amazon soon (sometimes minutes) after I find it’s now $6.99. They are trying to force you to impulse buy.

Agreed on Prime Video being useless. Unfortunately, I bought titles such as GoT all seasons back when… With membership paused, you can supposedly still watch these, but here’s the catch… Whether or not your membership is paused, I’m finding “title temporarily unavailable,” error messages are the norm, nothing will play as their server/bandwidth is insufficient.


I agree some people are lazy shoppers. However, many of the people I know still research prices online. The difference is we don’t waste time and gas driving all over.

And the benefit of Amazon is that you can read the reviews of other users so that if it is a quality product someone else has shared that info. I actually spend a lot more time shopping when I use Amazon because I read and research the reviews.

The tv is a complete waste.

Yes, wisdom says order what you need in a batch for financial wisdom.

Though, for those of us with health issues or special needs kids. It is a life saver to be able to order an item and get it in two days. Particularly when Walmart and Target 🎯 are time consuming.

I do agree. Amazon should have the same, big company destroying small company reputation as Walmart.

But at least with Amazon I don’t have to shop, stand in line, and then scan my own products. With Walmart I pay more and do more work. With Amazon. They still do the work, and even bring it to me.
Saving me a tremendous amount of stress and time.

1 4 5 6