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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Amazon Prime

Just curious if you are enrolled in the program and, if so, what do you think? Are you OK with the price increase?


  • Yes. No.

    I'm locked in for the next year at the old price, but will probably cancel when I have to pay 20% more..
  • @willmatt72: The greatest thing since sliced bread.
  • edited April 2018
    Hard call. We're really looking at the whole Amazon concept here: having almost the entire world of everything purchasable at our fingertips. The ability to buy almost anything that we even remotely think that we might want, vs those things strictly necessary to maintain life. Yes, it becomes somewhat addictive, and Amazon is totally aware of that.

    I resisted Prime for years, storing up things to buy until I could meet the $25 minimum for free shipment. Then $35. Then I realized that sometimes I was buying things that might be nice to have but weren't really essential just to meet the free shipment minimum. So I went to Prime to avoid that trap. Another aspect is Amazon's frequent attempts to sneak in shipping expenses by raising the price of a particular item. You have to watch them very carefully in comparing item costs.

    Ignoring shipments that are small enough to be sent by mail, we typically receive at least five or six parcels of varying sizes in any given month. The actual delivery costs for each parcel, including labor, vehicle, fuel, and distribution costs must be at least several dollars per item.Their fuel expenses are in the process of increasing significantly, as the oil producers again succeed at stacking the deck.

    In a way, it's a similar issue as state taxes for highway infrastructure, schools, and other government provided services. You can choose to live in Alabama or Mississippi and pay low taxes, or in one of the high-tax states and (maybe) have better services. Other than charity, no one provides "free" services to all comers on a regular basis. Why would we expect others to provide free anything for us? So as long as it appears that what we're receiving in shipping expenses is fairly consistent with actual shipping costs, I guess that we'll continue with Prime. Not particularly happily, but that's life.

  • Prime gets you access to video and many TV shows. We just cut the cable cord and use Amazon Prime Video to watch movies and shows. Some channels are as little as $.99 a month.
  • I did find it a bit cynical that they chose to announce the price increase for Prime to coincide with their knockout earnings.
  • We are fortunate to be Prime members as family on our daughter's account. Not quite the same as full membership because it does not include video, music, or TV. In the same way that I'm tempted to tell the car wash guy here in MI, "If it weren't for the unpaved roads, you'd be out of a job;" and to the UPS guy, "If it weren't for Amazon, you'd be out of a job." I see the latter enough to think I ought to give him an Xmas gift.
  • @Art- Now that's a very good point. We don't use the video, but if one does, that probably tips the situation pretty well towards Prime's charges being reasonable.
  • I just happened to run across this article in The Washington Post- it's worth a read.

    Why you cannot quit Amazon Prime — even if maybe you should
  • Thinking of quitting as well after the current one expires in about nine months. I can easily manage not having the same-day or two-day deliveries. In fact this will keep me away from any temptation for instant gratification. They do offer other services such as unlimited photo storage (don't use it much, but thinking about it as I am hitting the Google Photos/Drive limit now), Prime video (infrequent user, but my kids use it - we do not have Cable, but have Prime Video and Netflix), monthly free book (occasionally good ones there), some Prime deals on books (again not always good, but can have some good ones every now and then). On a purely rational basis, most folks do not save enough with it. Amazon's idea is to keep you sufficiently interested that the hurdle (or nudge) of switching is just a little hesitation away...
  • Some good points being made here. One of the factors working at our end is that every week we only spend half of our time here in SF, and the other half up north a bit on the Russian River.

    One of the benefits of two-day delivery is that we can time things so that we are here when the package is delivered, rather than chance it being left on the front porch for a couple of days.
  • Prime shipping is anything but 2 days of late. Convenient it is but I hate to see the brick and mortar stores close. Local shopping mall is losing the Younkers soon.
  • I doubt many people who use it will quit. Netflix charges $8 for the basic plan but if your kids watch at the same time it is $10.99. the Amazon movies are ok although Netflix a bit better and no extra fee ( that is the most irritating thing about Prime is paying $2 an episode for something good)

    The free shipping is great and I agree that without it I used to order something just to fill out the order. I can't understand why Amazon will still send two packages for one order when they could wait a day and mail both items in one.

    The photo service is free and will probably allow me to cancel $12 a year for Apple

    Given what we pay for cable and internet ($130) and still being forced to pay for things we could get cheaper elsewhere ( internet phone) this seems a better deal

    In an ideal world we would pay for only internet, get over the air basic TV for free ( but we live behind a hill with no signal) and get Amazon netflix and maybe HBO would be less than $130 but we are stuck
  • edited April 2018
    It is a Product. The price Amazon will charge is what the Market will bear.
    An iPhone costs $1000 now I think. Why?

    Frankly, just like investments, in today's "social" times we overanalyze everything. Let me give you something to worry about.

    Look at these jeans for $168.

    But wait, how about these, again for $168?
    A rat went through a perfectly good $10 pair and now it is worth more.

    Back to point. You can buy at Walmart. dot com You can use Netflix. You don't have to shop Amazon or use Prime. It is not what it is worth to others, but what it is worth to you.

    Just like whether you decide to stay with Wells Fargo.

    Just like I'm deciding whether to stick with TDA.
  • Still cheaper than paying for parking to go shopping around Los Angeles
  • The last time I looked - maybe four years ago? - Prime shoppers spent an average of $2500/year at Amazon while other Amazon shopped averaged a third of that. The question is whether Prime was a rational choice made by people who were going to spend $2500 anyway or if the seduction of "free" shipping made it seem all to easy to look and click ... and click ... and click.

  • Roy
    edited April 2018
    We subscribed to Prime for the first time in 2017. We liked the free 2 day shipping, but found we basically did not use the video service at all.

    We certainly used Amazon more after subscribing to Prime, and may have come out ahead compared to paying shipping charges. I also found that I could purchase items from local businesses for either the same price as Amazon or nearly the same price. Yes, I had to actually leave our home to acquire the items, but I prefer to support local businesses who have made an investment in our local community. One could argue the health benefits are greater than clicking away on the computer. Don't misunderstand, we do still use Amazon.

    However, we decided to cancel Prime for 2018 and track our shipping charges and then will decide about renewing in 2019. So far we have found that often our purchases have qualified for free shipping even without Prime. Okay, we need to wait a few extra days before our order arrives...not a huge deal.

    We've also renewed our subscription to Netflix and have used it more than Prime Video.

    Just our experience.

    UPDATE - After posting I checked our Amazon purchases so far in 2018...small sample, only 7 orders. But, ZERO shipping charges thus far without Prime service.
  • edited April 2018
    Amazon: Tapping into and cashing-in on the enveloping, all-encompassing American culture of Consumerism. "Exhibit A."
  • @Crash. Exactly. Like has been stated above, most purchases qualify for FREE shipping, but Prime gives you 2-day free shipping. Like we really always need things in a hurry.

    Frankly, if you are a student you get 50% off the rate. Since my princess is in college I had her get it. And of course, we use their video service, and watch whatever is free. So imagine I drank 1-2 Starbucks latte's - which I don't - per month, is basically what I'm paying.

    Like I said, it can be worth something, or you can make it worth something. I know the original question perhaps was just asking for an opinion. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Man in the High Castle by itself might be worth it.
  • beebee
    edited April 2018
    I use a dedicated Amazon CC when I buy anything at Amazon. That card offers 5% back on Amazon purchases.
    Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

    From Chase Bank, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is similar to the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card but with two main differences:

    -It offers a higher, 5% back rate on Amazon purchases.
    -It requires a Prime membership.

    So, last year the 5% cash back from $2000 of Amazon purchases would have offset the $99 Prime membership. Now $2400 would need to be purchased on the 5% back credit card for the the $120 membership.

    Prime Benefits:
    5 amazon-prime-benefits-everyone-should-know-about

  • From a segment on Friday's edition of Nightly Business Report on PBS, guest, Tom Forte, Managing Director of D.A. Davidson estimate of where Amazon Prime's $119.00 yearly fee will go.

    34% to Profits, $40.45
    21% to Taxes, $25.00
    16% to Processing, $19.00
    14% to Shipping, $16.65
    13% to Content, $15.50
    2% to Headquarters, $2.40

  • @MFO Members: Just as a after thought, Prime is a God send to the elderly and disabled who no longer have the ability to get around.
  • edited April 2018
    Wow. Didn’t expect this to generate so much interest. Hats off to @willmatt72.

    Have had Prime for more than a decade. Don’t know if it pays off in dollars and cents. Too complex to really get digging into. My main point would be that you’re paying for convenience whether it adds up in dollars and cents or not. To me it’s the same reason I’ll upgrade to a better airline seat or nicer rental car, etc.

    Don’t have the bandwidth at home to stream movies or TV. Don’t care. Buy a dozen used DVDs a year for $10 each on average.

    But what I do like is that a lot of their music (but not all of it) comes free with Prime. Especially nice when working out at the gym where I don’t have to pay for the bandwidth.
  • I am surprised at the profit and the low percent going to shipping. They must have really good deals with USPS, UPS, etc.
  • edited May 2018
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
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