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There’s much more to Amazon Prime than ‘free’ shipping

The primary benefit of Amazon Prime has always been the ability to have virtually anything arrive at your house in 2 days for “free” (if you forget about the fact that you paid $99 for the privilege in the first place). There are many other services that come with Amazon Prime membership, though, and those services could enable you to cut costs in other, redundant areas to provide even greater value.

I wrote this post about the features and benefits of Amazon Prime membership:

Amazon Prime is Amazon’s subscription offering that gives you access to “free” 2-day shipping on eligible products. The service costs $99 per year, which is why I put the word free in quotation marks. We have subscribed to Amazon Prime since its inception because we easily spend more than $99 per year on shipping and it’s a good deal for us. There are a lot of other perks included with Amazon Prime membership now, however, that make it an even better bargain.

I knew—on some peripheral level—that Amazon Prime membership included other services. I just never really stopped to look at them or consider what value they bring. I was content to just have the 2-day shipping. Recently, though, my wife and I sat down to analyze our spending and our budget and it occurred to me that we were paying additional fees for other services that are very similar to benefits that are already included with Amazon Prime.

Let’s take a look at what that $99 Amazon Prime membership gets you:


Free 2-day shipping on eligible products. Again, I realize it’s not free when you pay $99 up front for something, but I can tell you from years of experience that it certainly feels that way throughout the year. The $99 is spent money. It’s gone. But, throughout the year I make sure I only purchase products that are eligible for Amazon Prime shipping, and it shows up a couple days later for “free”.

The value of the free 2-day shipping will vary depending on how much you would actually spend on shipping from Amazon without it. We buy a number of household items from Amazon on a recurring monthly basis so we get our $99 worth easily. Even without those things, we would most likely get $99 of shipping value out of Amazon Prime just during the holiday shopping season.

Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is like Netflix. Prime Video offers a wide variety of movies and TV shows to stream, as well as Amazon’s own original content. There are tradeoffs to be made there, just as there are between pay channels like HBO and Showtime. If you want to watch Orange Is The New Black, you’ll have to subscribe to Netflix because that is Netflix original content.

Read the full story on Forbes: Amazon Prime: The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

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