You also have to factor in the streaming service. I don't think it has as wide a selection as Netflix, but it's a nice add-on to the shipping.
I've been a Prime subscriber for years, and have probably only watched one or two films that are offered free because of that subscription--the shipping is the only reason I stay a subscriber. If the reason for the cost is even in part the costs they incur due to the streaming service, I'd really prefer they offer two tiers.
The free portion of the streaming service has been quite nice -- having five seasons of Sesame Street available for free is great for keeping a toddler entertained with quality programming.
There's no need to be this vague about it. If you order a certain number of things a year from Amazon, Prime pays for itself. If you don't, it doesn't.
You're greatly over-simplifying: why does Amazon even offer Prime? Because they know that if you have it, you're significantly more likely to order more stuff than you would have otherwise.
We we became parents, we took everyone's advice and did the three months of free Prime, to give ourselves hassle-free diapers, wipes, cat food, and all those other things that are nice to get delivered when you have a 2-month-old. But we quickly realized we were buying more things than we needed, and buying more things on a sudden whim than we would have normally. We let the trial offer expire.
So don't compare the price to just the cost of shipping what you need -- add to that the cost of all the stuff you'll buy that you didn't need. If that still sounds good, then getting Prime is great.
I'm with you on this one. We run Amazon streaming through our Roku box, and can keep our toddler entertained with the occasional Thomas the Tank Engine or Sesame Street.
Seems like it'll still work out for us, price-wise.
We use Prime and Netflix as our main services with Roku. I prefer Netflix's interface, however, you cannot purchase additional shows through Netflix. We do watch a lot of the Prime content, but if that same show is on Netflix we will watch it there because it's easier to navigate to episodes. We mostly use Amazon to purchase seasons of shows that aren't on Prime, which still works out as a savings over cable TV subscription and we like not watching commercials (though they sneak them in at front and back of a show sometimes).
We also do use the shipping - it's through my husband's account and I think everyday there is another box at the door; he's kind of a bargain shopper and seems to buy most of the stuff he would in a store but just prefers not to go to stores if possible.
I've been mulling over letting my prime expire anyway. I've been increasingly disappointed with the quality of product I order from Amazon, and the reviews are getting increasingly unreliable, mostly because new minor revisions of products (which are often significantly lower in quality than the original) are still listed as the original product and have years worth of positive reviews attached to them. For the last few months, it really seems like Amazon is becoming the Walmart of the internet.
I don't order that many paper books anymore either so that's one more thing I don't need prime for anymore. And I've noticed that we just buy more and more impulsively since we got prime. If the price goes up, I don't see myself renewing.
Amazon Prime: autobot or decepticon?
Either way, more than meets the eye.
I made 30 orders with Amazon last year and (AFAICR) didn't pay for shipping on any of them. I'm sure Prime makes a lot of sense for some people, but it's far from being the default.
Exactly. I know I'm being a cheapskate, but you can already get free shipping from Amazon by bundling purchases to at least $35. Prime just gets there faster. To some people the extra charge is worth the faster shipping, to others it isn't, but it never "pays for itself".
Yes - exactly the point I came here to make. I order from amazon 10-15 times a year and never pay for shipping and have never considered prime. I have no interest in their streaming stuff and don't own a kindle.
I can always wait an extra 2-3 days rather than pay an extra $8 a delivery ($79 amortized across 10 orders a year) to get stuff a couple of days quicker.
Maybe because I'm not American, even though I live here?
The bundle deal gets it shipped but it does it in 5-8 business days. Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=527692 - this means that yes, if you don't care about shipping speed (and truly a lot of folks don't), then I agree that it never really pays for itself, but it's certainly not equivalent.
Every item that is offered through prime also has free shipping.
So no the shipping charges will never cover the cost of prime.
I find this total disconnect from reality people use to justify prime disturbing.
An extra 2-3 days!
Won't somebody please think of the children!
Err, it's actually an extra 3-5 days, but still, my point isn't that it's an untenable wait or anything, just that it's not equivalent. C'mon, I made that pretty clear in my original post.
edit: oh, saw your 'total disconnect from reality' comment - sorry, didn't realize you were being purposefully shitty to make your point. I get it.
I hope this price hike isn't rolled out to the UK - It's the same overall cost (£49) but we don't get any of the streaming video benefits - mostly due to Amazon UK buying the (IMO) lack-lustre LoveFilm - (lack lustre mostly due to poor support on devices and a horrible tied-to-disk-shipment listing system)
Been a Prime user for several years... The wife and I both have an aversion to shopping (and usually have little free time), so Amazon makes it easy for us.
I try to avoid blindly clicking on the Prime offer since there is often a much less expensive option (even with shipping) from a third party, but if the difference is just a few percent I will still do Prime. I'm sure that Prime makes plenty of extra money for Amazon otherwise they would not offer it...