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Sun Feb 2 2014 17:01:03

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Amazon recently released its fourth-quarter earnings, and while it had a "record-setting holiday season" for Amazon Prime, adding an impressive 1 million-plus members in the third week of December alone, its fourth quarter revenue growth of 20% fell short of expectations, and was less than the revenue growth for the other three quarters, which ranged from 21% to 23%.

The Amazon Prime membership, which currently costs $79 a year and comes with two-day free shipping for qualifying items, is hugely popular. In fact, in December, Prime was so popular that Amazon limited new Prime membership signups during peak periods.There are tens of millions of members worldwide, although Amazon doesn't give an exact figure.

But maybe all those members ordering all those items are becoming a little too expensive: Amazon said in the conference call that it may increase the cost of its a Prime subscription by $20 to $40 due to higher fuel and other shipping costs.

This had Amazon merchants in at least one forum speculating how a price hike might affect their merchant-fulfilled vs. FBA (Fulfillment-by-Amazon, where items sent in by merchants are eligible for Prime free two-day shipping) sales. Others wondered how much was too much of a price hike to keep people signing up and seeing the value in the service?

One speculated that the $100 threshold was a key tipping point. The $99 price just shy of that would be on the lowest end of the increase Amazon disclosed may be on the horizon. And of course, a $40 increase would put the price of the service at $119.

I'm wondering how much would be too much of an increase for you? Are you a member of Prime now? If not, why not? Do you buy other things on Amazon, or not at all?

As for me, I'm one of the happy masses who paid $79 for the membership. I use the free streaming video service some, but mainly I find many reasons I need things within the two-day window. What are people buying with Prime? wondered one seller. Pretty much anything, answered one user of the service. Kitty litter, for one thing. One seller who ordered a single pie server with the service speculated this particular shipment was not cost-effective for Amazon.

It's a natural for embarrassing stuff that people don't want to buy at a physical store. In this ECB article on Winning Amazon Strategies, Part One, seller Steve Lindhorst said he sells a lot of condoms and enema kits.

I haven't ordered kitty litter yet, but come to think of it, I hate buying that stuff at the store. Maybe I better go check that out now, before the price goes up.

How much would you pay for a Prime membership? Do you think the memberships are worth it?




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
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Mon Feb 3 00:47:26 2014

I'd pay what I pay now ... no more.  I don't use the streaming video because the buffering, with my slow Fairpoint DSL is horrid. And I hate watching a programme in my office chair at my desk.  
Free kindle books don't matter because I don't own an e-reader.  I read a ton but only REAL books

As for prime being Prime - lately I place an order and the delivery date is for 3 days rather than two on the final screen.  In the listing itself it shows 2 days.  Even things that say 2 days often ship by mail and get here in 3-4 days.  A single DVD, ordered on a Friday, is likely to go first class mail and is not here on Tuesday usually.  they are really playing fast and loose with the time.

Part of it is because of the odd way they ship.  Ordered several spatulas and all 10 seasons of red Dwarf.  Each item arrived in a separate box - 13 deliveries in 2 days.  Funny but beyond badly run!

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 3 07:16:13 2014

$0.00  I had it, but cancelled it about 3/4 into it. I was refunded the difference.  I found I just wasn't using it.   With a Roku, Chromecast and Netflix I simply don't need it.  Had I not cancelled it before they raised the price I surely would have.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 07:45:31 2014

Nothing. Amazon has nothing that I want that bad that I'm paying membership fee for.

I don't even buy on Ebay. I shop online at my favorite stores and when I have to return something I know I''m not going to be called scum, liar, thief etc. Nor will I have a problem returning something that has been opened.

Shopping on Ebay is a trying experience. When you run into a seller who is a mouth it just turns you off from the whole sight as Ebay does nothing about them.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Feb 3 08:53:47 2014

Although we occasionally buy from Amazon, the Basset family has never felt any need for Prime. Don't buy enough on Amazon to justify it. Never had a problem waiting for an item to arrive by ''regular'' shipping methods. Netflix keeps us amused.

Frankly, they could reduce the price a bit & I doubt we would sign on.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: William This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 10:20:09 2014

Feel the same as Bijoux Dragon...it says 2 days...when you click on order, you get a 3 day delivery...it is most annoying...I pick my days so I can be home and let the delivery person access my security building...don't want to get a note to pick up...and I don't want the package to be left in front of my door

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 11:02:10 2014

Scam - pay $79 for ''free'' shipping, Amazon does nothing for ''free'' ......also..... Amazon shortchanges sellers on shipping fees, especially larger, heavier items.... FBA is a scam ......sellers gets gouged both ways

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: crackersplace This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 3 13:34:19 2014

I'm a big amazon fan.  I think their price right now is about right. The one thing that is key to getting your money's worth is to take advantage of several of the services.  Just using one service such as free shipping will not be enough to pay you back.. unless your ordering alot.

Their choice of movies has greatly improved.. so much so that it's right up there with netflix.  If they would have to raise their fees a little I would still stay.  Yes, some of the shipping is not 2 days delivery, but that is due to the shipments coming from vendors unable to meet their demands.  I have also found some vendors count weekends, and some do not.  Maybe they should evaluate the shipping time of their vendors or educate buyers of this when they purchase.

I agree on them shorting sellers on shipping fees.  They need to have a better system for sellers to be able to request changes to item shipping weights.  There is no official form you can fill out that I am aware of for requesting an item's shipping weight to be reviewed.  This is done through the basic support emails now as far as i'm aware.

I'll keep my Prime!!

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Feb 3 15:56:17 2014

I don't see the appeal of paying when you can get free shipping from a lot of sellers, anyway. If I'm ordering online, I don't need it right away. A few days doesn't matter to me and if I need something right away, I'll go to the store to get it. My last order with Amazon had free shipping and showed up in 3 days, so I'm already getting fast delivery. Why pay for it?

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 17:02:57 2014

I love my Prime. i subscribed to it years ago in november and had lots of stuff shipped for the holidays. as i've stopped buying on ebay i can usually find what i want i amazon. i've had a couple items not show up or were damaged and their return process was darn easy and fast.

i haven't done any movie download stuff (yet) nor do i do netflix. but i do have a kindle and i love the free kindle loan library (12 free loans per year) and they just added a ''kindle first'' deal where i can pick one book (out of a selection of 3 or 4) and download it for free a month before it publishes. so, another 12 free books.

i guess i use it enough that i would tolerate an increase but i could better deal with a $20 increase versus $40. too big a jump.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: StandUp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 08:50:49 2014

I have been a Prime member for several years but I will not pay more for the membership than the current $79. I enjoy the 2 day shipping but I don't buy into the ''free'' shipping because that cost is usually tacked onto the items price. I talked to an Amazon rep and asked if those of us on auto renew would be notified of the increase before they renewed our membership...she didn't know...so, I cancelled my membership so that it will not auto renew on the 22nd of this month. Amazon will not only lose Prime members they will also lose sales from those who are no longer members.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 09:24:18 2014

I saved the entire cost of Prime membership the first free trial month. Of course it isn't really 'saving' but I would have paid more in shipping charges for a large bulky heater, everything after that was gravy.

Would I pay more? Not much more otherwise you get into the 'I need to buy more to justify the cost' paradigm

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: WhoKnewIt This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 09:32:11 2014

We have Prime and would NOT pay more for it.  So, if they raise it we're gone!  Their 2 day shipping is seldom just 2 days....it usually ranges between 3-7 days, especially if your dealing with a different Seller.  The streaming videos don't work for us either.  With the shipping increase from the USPS quite a few companies are now "shipping free" and we have been using them instead.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Feb 4 09:52:38 2014

We don't have it, although I have contemplated it since I got a Kindle. I buy a lot on Amazon since it is hard for me to get out. This past Christmas I bought about half our Christmas presents on line at Amazon via our Discover card points. I just made sure each purchase was large enough to get the 'free' shipping. I've even bought groceries on line as it is easier than trying to get out and track it down in grocery stores. since my favorite cereal has been discontinued (the one I buy on Amazon) I don't have much of a reason to be using Prime for groceries either.

We don't stream/download movies. I'm not even sure what to call it. While I read a lot, 12 free books a year isn't worth paying around $80 for, or even more now.

I don't use FBA nor do I buy from FBA sellers since most of their stuff has no description to know if I would be getting the right thing. So again the Prime is no use to me there.

My son has Prime and he likes having it, but I don't know how he feels about the potential raise in price.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: tictictic_on_ebay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 10:35:40 2014

$48 per year.  I order a lot from Amazon, always with free shipping.  I really don't mind waiting a week or so for my stuff to arrive, so for faster delivery, a dollar a week seems about right to me.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: retiredcatlady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 10:49:31 2014

I might consider $19.99

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 11:14:58 2014

In the past I have had the Prime membership. We dropped it. The Amazon price is at times higher than third party sellers including the shipping, so why????   Amazon has to keep higher prices so they can make a profit - understandable. They do have a lot of overhead.
Free shipping is not free. Sometimes, depending on the location you do okay, others you can get burned.
A free movie or a book to rent once a month doesn't warrant the $80.00/yr membership. When they raise the price, they will have a drop in sales. That is just my opinion.
My son in law has Prime - but it is free because he is a student??  Guess Amazon wants him to buy all his books from there.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 11:24:11 2014

We're prime members. We wouldn't have purchased it for either the streaming video or the free shipping but for both together it was too good of a deal to not do it. I find that I'm more likely to buy more on Amazon now when before I may have decided the total cost with shipping was more than I wanted to pay for a book to read.  

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 11:50:14 2014

I would not pay anything for this service. Amazon raised their minimum free shipping purchase from $255 to $35. That is enough for me.  No way am I going to give them money for shipping I may or may not do.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: rhodyart1960 This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Feb 4 11:54:28 2014

0.  That's because most of my Amazon buying is from the marketplace and the marketplace isn't covered under Prime.  And when I do order from Amazon I make sure I get enough stuff to qualify for free shipping.

What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?   What Price Would You Pay for an Amazon Prime Membership?

by: MadamH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 4 11:57:55 2014

Been a Prime member for quite a few years, I think beginning in either year one or two of introduction of the program.

I shop at least twice weekly on Amazon, whether on Amz directly or from third-party sellers.  Since Amz now charges sales tax in my state, I compare prices on each item considered, and quite often FBA third-party sellers are less expensive for me.  If the price difference is negligible and I don't need something in a hurry, I'll buy from a third-party seller instead, (FBA or not) as I also sell occasionally on Amz and appreciate the business.

In my case, I'm often in need of repair parts, garden hand tools, or other hard-to-find items that stores in my vicinity do not stock.  It's simply not worth it to me to spend an afternoon and half a tank of gas to find what I'm looking for.  Heck, both of the electric tankless water heaters in our house were bought on Amazon.

If I can locate it at my local favorite M&P hardware store, I'll buy it there; avoid BB whenever possible.  Have had few problems with returns; occasionally something from Amz Warehouse Deals isn't as described (or merchandise was co-mingled at the DC), or I've bought the wrong item myself but a seller graciously accepted a return. (I paid the freight.)

As far as shipping/delivery times are concerned, it depends on the location of the Amz distribution center and the destination.  Being in the north TX area, I've often ordered something in the late afternoon of a weekday and received the item the very next day.

I would probably keep Prime, but $100.00 would be my limit.  Occasionally watch a movie, don't own a Kindle, so prepaying more than $100 shipping in a year would make me think twice about a bigger price increase.

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