Last year Amazon bumped up the price of their Prime Membership from $119 to $139 annually. This got me thinking about the value of Prime, and do shoppers actually get enough out of it every year to make it worth the money? 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…
1. Amazon Already Has Free Shipping on $25+
I mean sure, the free 2-day shipping on 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.
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, 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!
3. Amazon 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 a minimum-wage earning senior citizen greeting you when you shop at Amazon and there’s 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 Half of Amazon’s warehouse workers are injured after just 3 years from Fortune 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 2-Day Shipping Doesn’t Always Happen
If you’re a Prime member, you probably noticed during the COVID pandemic that Amazon was having a hard time getting packages to your front door in their guaranteed 2-day window.
Well the pandemic ended a LONG time ago and Amazon is STILL having trouble in many areas of the country.
Yet they keep raising the price of Prime and people go along with it like sheep.
Don’t believe me? Check out the 900+ comments on the article I wrote about this Amazon shipping problem.
People are dropping Prime like a bad habit EVERY single day.
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.
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. Get Amazon price alerts. If you end up (or already are) a Prime member you need to start using Amazon price alert services like CamelCamelCamel.com that allows you to create Amazon price trackers on products you want to purchase.
The free services will send you an email when the price of your item drops below a predetermined price point GUARANTEEING you always get the lowest price and don’t overspend.
Ask the Reader: Are you an Amazon Prime member? If so, do you think it’s worth the money or is it a terrible buy? Also, do you think it makes you overspend and not research the best price?
By Kyle James