Amazon raises Prime about a nickel a day
As Amazon had said it might do, the e-tailer has raised the price of its Prime service in the USA.
On your next renewal, instead of $79, it will be $99:
That is, of course, if you renew.
Let’s get that out of the way first:
I do think some people will drop it, but more on what they see as the principle of the thing. After all, it’s really not that big a raise. As I headlined this post, it’s about a nickel (and a half) a day, a dollar sixty-seven a month. This is the first raise in nine years. On average, it’s gone up about $2.22 a year. ;)
Is it possible that $20 a year is enough to push it out of the range of some people? Maybe…I’d guess most people with Prime aren’t skating that close to the edge of economic security.
I think it may also result in some increase in Prime (not a net increase, necessarily) memberships. I could see someone gifting Prime to somebody now whatn the recipient didn’t have Prime at all before. $99 is just a…more gifty price. :)
We weren’t Prime members for a long time, but we’ll definitely renew…and love it. Not love it more, of course, but still love it.
We use all of the Prime benefits.
The two-day free shipping on many items
We use this one much more than we ever thought we would. It’s often cheaper (and certainly, a lot more convenient) to get it through Prime in the middle of the week than to wait and go to a store, hunting around for something.
Here’s a good example.
We recently bought our adult kid this:
It’s an exercise weight.
Can you imagine what that would have cost to ship…and how long it would have taken to get there? Let’s say we went to a store and found a store that had it. Then, we put it in a large “if it fits, it ships” box from the Post Office. That would have been a bear! I think it would have gone in the $17.45 box.
Sure, it might have gotten there pretty quickly that way…but this was at no additional cost, and would ship in two business days.
In fact, I’ll tell you something embarrassing.
I accidentally changed the billing address rather than the shipping address when we sent it.
We got one at our house by accident.
We realized what happened…and with Prime, could still get one there in time for the birthday (just a few days away at that point).
We decided to keep the second one for ourselves…influenced by how much it would have cost to send it back to Amazon!
How about you?
We rarely pay extra for 1-day shipping under Prime, but I think we have done it. That extra varies now, but it’s typically a few dollars.
The Prime videos
Not so long ago, I would have labeled this section “The Prime streaming videos”, but with the latest Kindle Fires, you can download videos in this group.
We use this a lot…or at least, I do (my Significant Other? Not so much).
I’m watching the first season of
Buying it in HD would cost you $19.99.
“Sure,” you may be thinking, “but you could just have watched on TV.”
Well, I had started to do that…but we cut back on our cable (saving a lot of money), and that meant the loss of BBC America.
I actually had this season on my “holiday wishlist” for my family: I did really want to finish it. :)
That can be considered money saved, then.
With the recent passing of Russell Johnson (the Professor), I’ve also been watching the first season of
The Professor was a clear geek role model, and I will write something more about the character on my The Measured Circle blog after I’ve gone through it more (I want to pin down the Professor’s capabilities). People jokingly wonder why the Professor could make a particle accelerator out of a coconut, but “…couldn’t fix a two foot hole in a boat”. If you watch the series, you’ll find out…I don’t want to spoil anything, but the boat became completely unrepairable.
I can relate to the Professor. It makes sense that part of the luggage for a “three-hour tour” was a bunch of books (including The History of Tree Surgery ((which the Professor says is “One of my favorites.”))). I assume what was happening was that the passengers had checked out of the hotel, and perhaps had a flight later that day. They had all of their luggage with them for the tour…and I used to always travel with a suitcase just for books.
Oh, and it was interesting, in light of recent pop culture, to hear Thurston Howell III refer to himself as “The Wolf of Wall Street”. But I digress… ;)
I can’t say I would have bought that season of that series for $29.99…but having a lot of things to watch may logically mean that I’m not paying for other things to watch. Would we have cut back on cable without Prime? Possibly…but it would have been less likely.
Amazon keeps adding exclusives (Orphan Black is one, as far a subscription streaming goes) to Prime video. I’m not sure how many people get Prime just for that purpose…I’m guessing not many, but that may be changing. If you did, it would be in line with Netflix: $99 a year is $8.25 a month, approximately.
How about you and Prime videos?
The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
I also use this every month.
I’m currently reading
It’s $5.99, and I probably would not have bought it at that price. I do find it an interesting read (although uneven..it’s an anthology) as a “no additional cost” book. It’s also important to note that you are only borrowing the book, so you don’t get the same value for it as if you bought it.
The KOLL (which requires you to own a hardware Kindle in addition to being an eligible Prime member) has books from James Bond to Harry Potter…but not everything in-between. ;) There are an increasing number of books, however, they don’t tend to be those “People Magazine books” (that’s what I call books which you would read about in that periodical).
If these books weren’t part of our Prime membership, I might not be looking at them…even for free. It’s not that there aren’t good books, there are, but I feel a certain…duty to get a KOLL book each month, since we pay for Prime.
Do you use the KOLL?
The latest Prime benefit is
This one gives you a free book (to own, not to borrow) from a handful each month. We’ve used this every time…but I haven’t read one of them yet. :)
Have you gotten Kindle First books?
Amazon Student is going from $39 a year to $49 a year…it’s still about 50% of the standard rate.
Intriguingly, Amazon Mom still has the old price…I think they just haven’t updated it yet:
“Extending Benefits after the 3-Month Free Period
At the end of the free period, Amazon Mom members will automatically continue receiving the Mom benefits plus additional Amazon Prime benefits for $79 a year.”
Bottom line? Yes, this is a raise in prices, and you’ll see some strong responses against that. Some people fear that Amazon has just been biding its time until it is such a big market player that they will hike prices all over the place, and they may see this as evidence that is happening. I don’t think that’s the case…Amazon has three pillars: Service, Selection, and Price. If they jeopardize those in a truly significant way (and I don’t think this is…it’s so small since they’ve introduced the program), they risk their customers’ loyalty. That’s what kills the megabusinesses, and honestly, at this point, I think Amazon is too smart to do that.
Of course, you may have a different opinion (which is something I enjoy, when done respectfully). Maybe you just joined prime, so for you, this is a 25% jump in one year. Do you think people will drop Prime in droves? Is this no big deal? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.