August 1, 2008

Is Amazon Prime worth $80?

I've been a subscriber to Amazon Prime for about 7 months now. I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon. Items I buy are usually an occasional DVD, book or video game. They have good prices and selection and I've had good experiences with them in general. I originally subscribed to Amazon Prime when I was buying an HD-DVD player. If I recall right I helped avoid a shipping charge at the time by signing up for Prime. But now looking back since I signed up for Prime I am wondering if it was worth the $80 or not.

I looked at the items I've bought since I signed up. Most items are over $25 and would have qualified for Amazon's free super saver shipping. I have made 7 purchases and 3 of the purchases were over $25. The other 4 purchases were less than $25. Of the purchases that were less than $25, two of them could have easily been combined into a single purchase over $25. That leaves 2 items that I bought that were individual purchases less than $25. One of those was $24.99 so I could have easily thrown in a $1 cheap item to get free shipping on the total purchase. That leaves just one book I bought for about $13 as a single purchase.

With my past 7 purchases I could have gotten free shipping relatively easily on all but 1 of the purchases.

For the remaining purchase that I didn't qualify for free shipping, the shipping charge probably would have only ran me a few dollars. I also did save some shipping on the original purchase of the HD DVD player. I don't recall what the original shipping cost from the HD DVD player would have been exactly but I assume it was in the $25 range give or take.

Overall my Amazon Prime subscription has probably only saved me around $20-40 in shipping costs over just using their free super saver shipping.

Thus far Amazon Prime has not paid for itself in pure shipping savings. However Prime does give you 2 day shipment whereas the standard super saver is just regular ground or postal delivery. 2 day shipping is faster and also a little more dependable.

Personally I don't plan to resubscribe to Amazon Prime. Its a convenience item that wasn't worth the $80 I paid for it. If you buy a lot of items from Amazon and typically pay shipping on them or upgrade to 2 day shipping then it might pay for itself, but its probably not going to be worth it for most customers. I definitely do like getting 2 day shipments and its a nice service, just not worth the price in my mind.

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