Amazon raises Prime about a nickel a day

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:

Amazon Prime and Amazon Student Prime Membership Fee Changes (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

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:

Reebok Kettlebell (20-Pounds, Medium Grey) (at AmazonSmile)

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

Orphan Black (at AmazonSmile)

currently.

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

Gilligan’s Island (at AmazonSmile)

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

Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond (at AmazonSmile)

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?

Kindle First

The latest Prime benefit is

Kindle First (at Amazon Smile)

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.”

Join Amazon Mom and Enjoy (at AmazonSmile)

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.

19 Responses to “Amazon raises Prime about a nickel a day”

  1. Brian Says:

    I am probably the guy responsible for the increase.

    I use the heck out of prime.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Brian!

      Oh, so YOU’RE the one…I mighta known it.😉 Briiiiiiiiiiaaannnnnn!

      I suspect gas prices being around $2 back when it was introduced might also have something to do with it…

  2. Becky from Iowa Says:

    I buy groceries from Amazon, even…and I live out in the Sticks, so blame me.😉 However, I am glad I just renewed a few weeks ago, so I get almost a year at the old rate. I also wish they would offer a quarterly payment plan, as sometimes that $79 (or now nearly a hundred) comes as an unwelcome surprise in my bank statement, depending on which household appliance also decided to die that month, etc.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Becky!

      If you are in “the sticks”, you aren’t an Amazon Prime Fresh member for groceries at this point…but I believe that isn’t going up.

      Edited to add: I meant to point out that they did experiment with a monthly payment. Installment payments wouldn’t surprise me as an option, especially if there is a lot of pushback on this.

  3. Chris Says:

    $99 is a 25% increase over $79, I’m having the most problem with that. It’s a big hike even if they haven’t increased in years.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Chris!

      I suppose that depends on how you look at it. 25% doesn’t seem like that much in nine years…it’s just when you limit the view to year over year.

  4. jjhitt Says:

    I’ll probably drop when the time comes. The only real value to me is the shipping. I’m totally indifferent to the video and other benefits.
    I don’t even care if the shipping is two day or not. I just like free.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, jjhitt!

      Two day has turned out to be a big deal for us…which surprised us. It turns out to be so much more convenient than going to a store so often. Our time is pretty valuable to us…

      It will be interesting to see what happens, if anything, to Super Saver. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets to be that fewer items qualify for that, to make Prime more attractive.

  5. Zebras Says:

    The number felt shocking when I first read the e-mail, but its still a value, and provided they don’t hit us with equivalent increases year after year, its still a good deal for the multiple services offered.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      Well, if they raise the same percentage nine years from now, I think I’d be okay with that.😉

  6. Common Sense Says:

    It’s still a great value for us! We frequently use Prime shipping, as do several other members of our family. It comes in handy since I’m now living a low carb lifestyle and frequently need ingredients that are hard to find locally. We probably have at least one order from someone once a week.

    I’ve also used Prime shipping to ship care packages to family members who are away or to participate in sending care packages to folks who are deployed in the armed services.

    In fact, you don’t have to be living in the same household to benefit from Prime. We all have our own Amazon accounts, but we have one Family account which is where we have Prime. It’s also the account for all of our Kindle Fires, we use our personal accounts for our other Kindles as our reading interests are quite different.

    Some tips:

    1) For Prime shipping, you can invite 5 guests to share, they don’t have to have access to your account, they can order through their own accounts. Since our kids are grown, we have them and my parents on our account. I also have my personal account set up as a guest for convenience.

    2) We share Prime streaming and our Video Library with multiple households – my kids, my parents, and my son-in-law who is away at Army AIT, I got him a Kindle Fire HDX for his basic training graduation. It was great for two of my kids when then were away at Air Force tech school so we could remotely feed them entertainment for their downtime. We also got everyone a Roku so we get the most value possible out of Prime and our video purchases.

    3) I have a lot of ebooks that were free or very cheap on that account, just the stuff that I think appeals to the group as a whole. There’s probably 5,000 books on there now – cookbooks, thrillers, mysteries, non-fiction, history, etc. For a while it was the “men collection” since my daughter and I have our own accounts for other genres.

    4) Lots of magazines too. It’s nice to have anytime access to magazines without having piles of them laying around the house, or borrowing or loaning them.

    Some of these aren’t Prime benefits, but shows how we have at least 9 people benefiting from our Prime membership and our Amazon entertainment purchases.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Common!

      Absolutely…Amazon is an entertainment hub.🙂

      One clarification for people who don’t know: the shipping benefit is to be shared with people living in the same household as you (the other benefits don’t have that restriction). Amazon says:

      “Free or paid Amazon Prime members can share their shipping benefits with up to four additional family members living in the same household. If you purchase a Prime membership for a small business, you may invite up to four co-workers to shop with this corporate account.”

      Share Your Amazon Prime Benefits

  7. tellthetruth1 Says:

    I used to enjoy using Lovefilm in the days before Prime took it over. That happened heree last month, apparently, and I only found out about it last night. Looks like they charge per film, too. I can’t afford Prime, even without the movies, so now I’ve lost me film service.

    Nyaaaa!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, tellthetruth1!

      You can have pretty much what you did before, although bumping up to more services isn’t that much more money.

      http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/amazon-prime-instant-video-uk-launch

      Edited to add: sorry I didn’t say more before…I was on my phone.

      First, Lovefilm affects Europe, as you know…just to let people know who might be reading this, my post is about changes for customers in the USA.

      Here’s the information from Amazon.co.uk:

      https://www.lovefilm.com/faq

      This is the most important part, based on your comment:

      “Will there be any changes to my monthly subscription charges?

      If you are not also an Amazon Prime member, the amount you are charged each month will not change. However, there will be some changes on your bank statement:

      If you have the LOVEFiLM Instant service as part of your subscription, this will now be a Prime Instant Video subscription and you will see a monthly charge for ‘Prime Instant Video’.
      If you have the LOVEFiLM By Post service as part of your subscription, this will be charged separately as ‘LOVEFiLM By Post’.
      So you’ll have 2 separate charges if your membership includes both Prime Instant Video and By Post subscriptions.”

      You should go in and switch, rather than starting a new account…that will migrate things like your watchlist.

  8. Jennifer Jeffreys Martin Says:

    Even being on a very limited income, I will renew my Prime! That’s the only bill I pay with a smile on my face! I use all the features, and think it’s the best deal in town. Have several family on my actt and they also enjoy it. I used to manage a retail store in the long ago, where I learned that expenses just keep going up. I totally understand Amazon doing this, as you can’t just keep ignoring the rise in expenses.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jennifer!

      Yep…I’m a former retail store manager myself. I wonder how many people were saying, “Gee, the price of gas has gone up a lot…I wonder why Amazon doesn’t charge me more for Prime?” I’m guessing not too many…and the ones that were, were probably saying it quietly.😉

  9. Carolyn perreau Says:

    I have several video apps. I have the larger kindle fire (not new one) but I can plug into hdmi spot and watch videos and even you tube on tv. nice

  10. Lady Galaxy Says:

    My internet connection is too slow to enjoy videos. They are jerky and frequently freeze up. I’m increasingly disappointed in the book choices for the KOLL. Most of them are books that are low price and low quality. I’ve been disappointed in the Kindle First books I’ve downloaded. I wish you could download a preview but for some reasons it’s not available on the firsts. I’ve started reading all and finished reading none. I had hoped ordering from Amazon would help get me through the third showiest winter in history, but they’ve used the USPS several times, and the postal carrier is afraid to walk up my snowy driveway, so I end up having to wait for a thaw to go to the post office to retrieve the packages. UPS has no problem walking up to my porch. Maybe I’m finally seeing an advantage to those future drones. I will really have to rethink whether I want to keep Prime membership when it comes due in January. I wish they would allow quarterly payments. I already have home and car insurance due in January and property taxes in February. I’m retired and my retirement plan has decided to put the COLA on hold for awhile. I know you keep saying this is the first increase in 10 years, but I haven’t been a Prime member for 10 years.

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