One year ago Today, Amazon offered me an Amazon Prime membership free for one year based on my student status. I took that free membership and decided to test out Amazon Prime. Here is what I found.
I’m already partial to free shipping. If I can have something purchased online and shipped to a store, I will always take that option. I don’ know what it is about shipping charges that just make my skin crawl but I’d much rather pay $50 for something with free shipping than pay $45+$5 shipping fee. The biggest perk of Amazon Prime is free shipping on almost anything on their website. I was skeptical about this claim at first but after a year of using Amazon Prime to purchase over 40 items, I only paid shipping on three things. The best part about Amazon Prime’s free shipping is that shipping is 2-day so things get here quick.
There is something to be said about buying everything in one place. Billing is easier, you get more familiar with how the process will go, where documents are located and how to file refunds. Plus you only have one place to look if you need to retrieve records for any reason. I have grown to love that if I need something, I go to Amazon and I can generate pretty little reports for all my past purchases no matter how far back I want to go. Come tax time, that will make things a breeze.
Free Instant Movies
Amazon Prime members have the ability to stream select movies free. I’ve browsed the movies a few times and found Amazon has a great selection of movies for free to Prime members but never once did I stream a movie. Until this feature is rolled out to other platforms than just the PC, it’s no reason to pay for Prime membership.
While not an official feature of Prime membership, I found that will free shipping on almost anything, doing giveaways from my blog, shipping things to friends and even drop shipping things to clients was an awesome perk. I’d have to add their address to my account but then I could simply order whatever I wanted shipped to them, select their address and Amazon did the rest.
Is it worth it?
At a cost of $79 a year, Amazon Prime is not an impulse purchase. Let’s calculate the shipping costs saved this year:
I purchased 40 items in one year from Amazon. If you figure an average $5 shipping cost, that would come to $200 a year in shipping alone. At that price, Amazon Prime is well worth the cost. Even at half that, $2.50 an item shipped, Amazon Prime still would have saved me $21 for the year. Plus everything is shipped 2-day versus 4-9 day which is great.
Based on shipping costs alone, Amazon Prime is worth it if you purchase 25 things or more a year that have a shipping charge of over $3.
Would I sign up again?
My complimentary Amazon Prime membership is now over but I do plan to sign right back up and pay the fee. For the next four years, I can continue to use Amazon Prime under a grandfathered student plan for only $39 a year. After that period I will have to evaluate how many things I purchased from Amazon a year but if I were to bet, that number will only continue to grow and I will remain an Amazon Prime member for many years to come.
PS It’s Just Good Business
Speaking on the business side of things, Amazon Prime is one of the smartest things Amazon ever did. If you look at Amazon’s history, they have done some brilliant things but having a tiered membership system like this is great for them. One of the biggest changes I noticed in my behavior since I became an Amazon Prime member was that I stopped looking elsewhere when shopping online. I do most of my research and make the majority of my online purchases through Amazon now. I do that because their site its easy to navigate and comfortable, but mostly because with free shipping, their prices beat most other places. Smart move, Amazon.
Are you an Amazon Prime member?
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