An Inside Look At Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has been around for a while, so I won’t be reporting anything new, but I would like to shed some light on the subject for those of you who are on the fence about joining or not. Maybe you need to see some more value in it before making your choice. For the record, I am now a member of Amazon Prime and hopefully when you’re done reading this, you will be too.

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon.com started the program back in 2005 as a way to keep customers buying at Amazon rather than other retailers. This is a common business practice no doubt, but instead of employing other commonly used tactics for keeping customers around, Amazon chose a unique strategy. They decided to offer free two-day shipping on millions of “qualified” items throughout the Amazon online store. What exactly deems an item as “qualified” is beyond me, but I have yet to see any items that were not able to receive two-day shipping.

In February of 2011, Amazon decided to include the streaming of thousands of movies and tv shows to Amazon Prime members at no extra cost! Attention Netflix users…

Cost
The current cost of Amazon Prime is $79 per year (about $6.58 per month). This fee is charged up front, but considering that two-day shipping can cost upwards of $7 or more, if you only buy 1 item a month, you’re already saving money. New members can try Amazon Prime free for one month.

Benefits

  • Unlimited FREE two-day shipping on most items fulfilled by Amazon. One-day shipping becomes $3.99 per item.
  • FREE release-date delivery on video games and movies.
  • No minimum purchases.
  • Shipping to anyone in the US costs the same.
  • Unlimited streaming of everything in the Video on Demand library. (Not during any trial period)

Amazon Prime Student

Amazon Prime Student
This is the one that really pushed me over! As a student, Amazon is not only giving away Prime with a 6-month trial, but they are also slashing the price!! After your 6-month free trial is up, you only pay $39 per year for all the same benefits listed above! However, you can only get this deal for a maximum of four years. When your four years are up, you’ll be back at the regular price.

To join as a student, all you need is a .EDU email address to verify your eligibility and you’re off. The only drawback during the trial period is that you won’t have access to the streaming service. However, you can upgrade your account at any time to the discounted rate if you want to add streaming to the mix.

Amazon Mom

Just like the student deal above, Amazon Mom caters to a group with specific needs. In this case it’s the mothers of the world!

The membership is free and is open to any mother or caregiver that can provide proof of eligibility and offers these benefits:

  • 30% off diapers
  • Exclusive offers and discounts
  • FREE two-day shipping
  • FREE 365-day returns

More information about the Amazon Mom membership can be found at amazon.com/mom.

My two cents

I joined Amazon Prime for two main reasons. One, because I do most of my online shopping at Amazon and two, because I’m curious to see how well the Video on Demand service turns out. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t allow trial members to access the streaming content, so I have yet to experience my second reason for joining. But, all in all, I’m really enjoying the free two-shipping option and once I decide to upgrade to a paid account (or let me trial run out), I’ll be exploring the wondrous world of Amazon Video on Demand! Look out Netflix…I’m looking for a replacement!

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