Is Amazon Prime Worth the Money


Is Amazon Prime Worth the Money?


I recently watched a comical advertisement in which a couple was mocked for having too many subscriptions, which prompted me to examine my own subscriptions and memberships. And boy, do I have a lot of them.

While Netflix, Plum Plus, and even my free library card are just for enjoyment, certain subscriptions make sense for a variety of reasons. Consider Costco, which is an excellent illustration of how a membership can be worthwhile for thousands of Canadians.

The "Prime effect" on Amazon is no exception. For some, membership has evolved into a type of marriage contract; we've become more devoted and spend more quality time (read: money) on the site, especially since Covid's arrival. Some of us may not understand how devoted we are right now.

The “Prime Effect”

As it turns out, I am an excellent example. To find out more, I looked over my Amazon order history and decided to do some math.

  • I didn't have Amazon Prime in 2016. I used to think of Amazon as a last-resort for cheap products I didn't want to pay full retail price for in my town's brick-and-mortar businesses, or for items I couldn't find anywhere else.
  • In 2017, I spent a total of $744.03 on Amazon.
  • In 2018, I signed up for Amazon Prime. After that, I spent $1,499.37.
  • In addition, I spent $1,723.32 in 2019.
  • After then, there was the epidemic. I'm not going to tell you how much money Amazon has taken from me since the first shutdown in 2020.

By looking at how my spending has risen, it's evident that Amazon is no longer my last resort. It's become my go-to for pretty much everything, and I'll only purchase elsewhere if Amazon doesn't have what I'm searching for, or if I'm (somehow) in the mood to go around a brightly lighted, busy mall.

And because I pay roughly $80 each year for it, I know I'll go there first to get my money back.

I used to shop at Toys R Us for board games, Indigo for books, and Mark's for work clothing...

However, all of that money is now going to Amazon.

Amazon Prime – Is It Worth It For You?

With all of this in mind, is Amazon Prime worth the monthly fee? Let's have a look at the positive aspects of this service.

Speedy 2-Day Delivery

Free 2-day shipping is perhaps the most valuable benefit of having an Amazon Prime membership, with same-day delivery available in select areas.

If you're looking for a quick delivery, Amazon Prime might be a godsend, albeit not all purchases are eligible. So it's a gamble to see if the item you want to buy qualifies for 2-day shipping. Is it really worth it if it isn't?

Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Amazon Reading
Amazon Prime Video

Aside from quick and cheap shipping, your Amazon Prime subscription includes access to Amazon's Prime Video streaming service, which is similar to Netflix but with (mainly) different selections. 

To compete with the plethora of alternative streaming choices that have sprung up in recent years, they have begun spending a significant amount of money and resources into developing original series and films for this service. If you utilize video streaming services, the membership may be worth it in and of itself.

Amazon Music

Similarly, Amazon Prime subscribers get an Amazon Music membership. Amazon Music's free version is similar to Spotify in that it has restrictions on the number of devices that may use it at the same time and some material that is only available to those willing to spend a few dollars more. They do have an advantage over Spotify in one aspect, since the free edition of Amazon Music Prime does not contain any advertisements.

Amazon Reading

Many people are unaware that their Amazon Prime subscription includes access to a rotating list of ebooks, including comics and graphic novels. You'll need an internet browser, a Kindle device, or another device with the Kindle app installed, although the software is free. Members can borrow up to ten of these titles at a time, and there is no due date (as far as I can determine). Even just one paperback novel, not a new release, may set you back more than $15.

Membership Cost Breakdown

A 12-month Amazon Prime subscription costs $7.99 per month, or $79.00 per year. If you pay monthly in Canada, this comes to slightly over $95 per year before taxes.

That's about $100 a year, which seems excessive. But first, let's look at what you receive and how it compares to other possibilities. We'll make the assumption that we only order one book-sized item from Amazon every month.

ServiceAlternativeAmazon Prime
Shipping from Amazon$3.99 per order (est. average)Included
Music streaming$9.99 per month (Spotify)Included
Video streaming$14.99 per month (Netflix on multiple devices)Included
Buying books$15.00 (est. average for paperback)Included
Monthly total$28.97$7.99
If you utilize Amazon Prime to replace other music and movie streaming subscriptions, you'll realize that it's a great price.

If you maintain your other subscriptions, however, the free delivery may not be worth it on its own unless you have items mailed frequently.

What Does This Mean for the Competition?

Amazon's influence on local bookstores and small businesses has already been felt, and it hasn't been positive. With services such as video streaming, audio streaming, and ebooks, Amazon is continually increasing its reach. 

They've also branched out into food delivery with the acquisition of Whole Foods, and they just purchased MGM, demonstrating their dedication to growing their entertainment offerings. I have no doubt that they will continue to expand. Amazon's competitiveness is putting a strain on almost every industry.

It's clear to see how having an Amazon Prime membership boosts customer loyalty and spending. Most members will automatically purchase most products from Amazon because of the assured free delivery, inexpensive pricing, and simple returns. In addition,

It's clear to see how having an Amazon Prime membership boosts loyalty and spending. Most members will resort to purchasing most products from Amazon as a matter of course, thanks to assured free delivery, low pricing, and quick returns. The additional free streaming services are really a perk, providing users with an opportunity to save money by canceling other, competing subscriptions.

I'm sure they're not done developing Amazon Prime's capabilities. So, choose the value for yourself and your family, but at the end of the day, if you use what it already offers, it's a very obvious method to save money.

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