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


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Deitra Pawley

I have MediCare and EBT Snap so because of that I only pay $6.56 a month instead of $119 a year, Amazon Fresh is now included with Prime , and I pay $7.99 for music unlimited, for me it’s worth it because of the large discount and like I said I have MediCare and EBT Snap so if you have these or are a student Amazon does offer discounts so look up Amazon discounts and see if there are any you can take advantage of.


Wow. You use EBT and several other government handouts and yet you enjoy a subscription to Amazon AND music streaming. Must be nice to not have to be responsible for yourself. I work for a living and don’t enjoy half the luxuries you probably do. Pathetic waste.


I have a Chase Amazon credit card. I purchase a TON of stuff for work (10 cases of paper a month), and get 5% back on all my orders. BTW, just try to find a cheaper price on 10 cases of paper than what you’ll find at Amazon. I do price shop, and if I can find it cheaper with shipping somewhere else, my miserly self will do it. I pay off my credit card each month, so I’ve paid no interest in several years, AND I get back just under $500 a year (which can only be used at Amazon). Subtract my $120 membership, and I come out ahead.


I totally agree. Amazon and Jeff Bozo suck ass. Just how much more money does that greedy socioipath fu** need?


Amazon can no longer boast about their next day shipping because it’s virtually nonexistent anymore. I can’t remember the last time I actually got an order the next day. What I do get is an email saying my shipment has been changed and they add on another 2 – 3 days to it. I’m rethinking my membership. With so many others also offering free reduced shipping times, why should I pay for Prime?


Amen on this. I just cancelled for this reason. Amazon shipping now sucks they use COVID as an excuse and blame UPS but I know better Wal-Mart is delivering everything to me in 1 or 2 days


Except walmart is constantly out of stock my last 4 orders were badically 90% UNAVAILABLE. None of these companies care anymore.


This is a bunch of maybe and if it’s your situation. And really you haven’t seen the reports on Amazon employees and their activities striking back? Sounds to me like you just have a personal grudge. I don’t like them either but like Walmart they’ve become a necessity for many. And if you don’t price shop just because you have Prime, you got issues…just sayin’ smh

Craig D

I dropped Amazon Prime membership and simply add stuff to the cart until I reach $25. I also have made an effort to buy more locally


I use the Amazon fire stick to receive all my programming!!
Only pay for WiFi. …no cable provider….That alone saves a minimum of $30 a month!!
Rethink the cost worthiness..


I would have to agree with some of the posters here about two things right off the bat. One, Amazon is certainly not always the least expensive place to shop, although I used to think so. I’ve found other places, Wal-Mart for one, to often be a lot cheaper. Secondly, the streaming programming that they offer is absolutely abysmal. However, to be completely fair, there are some good shows, albeit few and far in between. One show, recently added, was Season One of Jack Reacher, a character authored by Lee Child. I was truly excited by this ten-episode season (taken from Childs’ book “The Killing Floor”) and binged it in two nights. Unfortunately, though, 99% of the rest of the shows, series and movies, are so bad that drive-in theatres wouldn’t be able to get customers if they offered free concessions.

For now, I and my wife will keep Amazon Prime. We shop them enough that we probably come out ahead with the shipping, although I’ve not actually done the math. As they continue to raise their prices, though, that will become more of a concern. To be honest, we got the Amazon Prime primarily for the free shipping and considered the streaming programming as just an extra perk. If I had subscribed to the programming expecting something along the lines of quality such as Hulu or NetFlix, I’d have dropped them inside of a week. Bottom line, though, is that we live in the country and are not near any large stores, and as such, shopping online makes sense for us.

Another serious problem that I am having with Amazon, though, concerns their search engine. When searching for a product, any product, I am presented with a total of 7 pages. Seven. It may say that there are over 50,000 results for my search, but I am only offered seven pages, and most of the items on those seven pages have nothing to do with what I was searching for. Researching this dilemma, I’ve discovered that many others are experiencing the same thing. You search for, say, a garden hose, and you see that there are 20,000 results, yet you’ll only get those seven pages. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that something is rotten in Denmark. My answer to this is that each time I am cut off at page seven, I immediately search everywhere else for what I am looking for, and usually find it. Might not be a lot, and Amazon is never going to miss making a sale to me, but it makes me feel better. One should never reward bad behavior.


Author Theodore Sturgeon once stated what is now known as “Sturgeon’s Law”, which states “90% of everything is crap”. Had he been shopping on Amazon.com, I think he would have had to bump that percentage much higher.

D. Pena

You forget there are many of us unable to store shop. This takes our ability to get something we need fast. How about this idea: the law makers stay focused on their business & start reading bills & the constitution. That would prevent these unconstitutional bills from happening. And, handicapped people have lives too.

Crazy Consumer Dude

Back when Prime hit $119 (now $139!), I stopped the annual subscription and don’t miss it a bit. Now I buy Prime for one month, twice a year (Prime Day and Black Friday which costs under $30), and then I’ll use whatever free 1 week or 1 month trials they happen to offer. I spend less now on Prime than I ever have. Great advice to wait until you have enough to place a $25 order. I’ll admit I do order a lot more when using Prime, and as a result usually end up with stuff I likely wouldn’t have purchased otherwise.

Here’s a clue, Amazon:It may be a good idea to LOWER your subscription prices.

Chris C.

I got sucked in for the promise of free shipping. I live in Canada and every one here will confirm how outrageously expensive shipping is here and with the price of gas being what it is, I admit I kind of got it on it at first.

However, after 6 months I realized I spent almost as much on the membership than I did buying items on Amazon, finding most items I could get way cheaper online elsewhere (amazon prices in Canada are way higher then in the US, even taking into account the currency exchange rate). And when they decided to hike their price and I started talking around and realized that if I ordered for CAD35 I could get free shipping, that was it for me.

Prime is an interesting idea for those rare times you need stuff yesterday, but unless you can share it with all members of your household, especially since the price hike, it just isn’t worth it.


Dropped it like a hot potato, esp. after the several Prime TV shows were no longer “Prime”.

T R Barrow

I can’t stand that I have to pay for some people to get Prime at half off. More and more of this kind of crap, makes a lot of us have to pay for more free stuff, for other people. It’s sickening.

Last edited 1 year ago by T R Barrow

I definitely won’t use Amazon for “digital” purchases. In order to buy music, videos, etc from Amazon online, they *REQUIRE* you to activate “1-Click”. The only thing I see 1-Click being for is to hopefully trick you into accidental purchases when you are merely doing comparison shopping, or merely trying to find something. 1-Click smells quite horribly of a scam on Amazon’s part, and therefore I will never participate in it.

Amazon.com serves the same sort of function as Wikipedia; it’s an initial search to get the basic info you need, and then you search elsewhere for what you need (be it products or information). NEITHER site should be considered a final destination.


Amazon’s customer service is a sick joke. I recently had an issue which led me to talk to half a dozen of their foreign customer reps, and they all told me a totally different story.
A “same day delivery” for which I paid an extra $2.99 on Amazon Prime ended up not happening, and I got the biggest runaround since the first astronauts circling the moon.