Is Amazon Prime Worth The Annual Fee?



At $79 per year, Amazon offers a Prime membership status that has a few perks over a standard membership.  Like 2 Day shipping on all products that are fulfilled through Amazon.com, unlimited streaming of 41,000 movies and TV episodes and Kindle books that can be borrowed digitally for free.  However, is it worth the price of $79 per year (2013)?

Let’s break down each category for a better view on the benefits. Also you can check iMac 2020

Is Amazon Prime Worth The Annual Fee?

2 Day Shipping with Amazon Prime Now

Amazon states if you’re a Prime member (which I currently am), you will receive free 2 Day shipping on all products that are fulfilled by Amazon.com.  I recently required a text book titled PhP6 Fast and Easy, this book was available by Amazon itself for the low price of $33.24 with Free 2 Day Shipping for Prime Members.  That sounds great given the nearest physical copy in my location is asking nearly $50.   However, a quick Google search of the ISN number will show other online stores that offer the same product at competitive prices.  Since this title is out of stock at most locations, and even on Amazon.com, I found a reseller on Amazon that was selling the title for only $26.93 and only asked for $3.99 for standard shipping.  The order already shipped today, but will take about 4 business days until I receive it, which is not that bad given Amazon has been out of stock on this book for over 2 months now.

Another example of the Prime product costing more than normal would be on my favorite subject, the Android dongles.  A simple search for the MK808(b) will bring up their Prime results at the top for the item selling for $43.67 with free 2 day shipping, however by clicking the area that says “New for as low as …..” will bring up all the third party sellers of the merchandise.  From there, the same exact item was found for $29.85 with Free Shipping.  That’s $13 less than the Prime price and I didn’t have to pay an annual fee.

However, there have been times where this perk has been very handy for me.  Many times I’ve ordered products that ship from the East Coast but arrive in 2 Days to my home.  In those times, the 2 Day shipping is very helpful, however the majority of times the sellers for my searched products are in CA, and usually only 20 – 30 miles away from me.  Even if they aren’t, the furthest UPS Ground takes from one end of the country to the other is only about 5 business days.  On some products, the Prime price is the same as the standard price, but with free 2 day shipping.  Unless you’re ordering products through Amazon on a daily basis, you most likely will not utilize the shipping as much.

Amazon Prime Video

The streaming content is kind of a gray area.  They have a lot of great content, however most of it is in a pay-per-view method.  They have more newer movies than what’s offered on NetFlix, however the overall content is still limited.  My favorite show that I watch online is Top Gear, NextFlix only has up to season 18, however Amazon does have seasons 19 and 20 online…….but for pay.  You can either buy the entire season for $19.99 or purchase each episode individually for $2.99.  At those prices, I’d rather order the Blu-Ray or DVD and have physical copies.

Kindle Book Sharing

Amazon is constantly adding to the overall library of content offered on their book sharing program, however currently it’s mostly books for children and teens.  The disadvantage of this benefit is that you will need a specific app or program to read these books on devices other than the Kindle or Kindle Fire.  We don’t believe this benefit would be the actual reason why people would purchase the Prime membership.

Conclusion

Currently there is a free version of Amazon Prime for students with a .edu email address and through that free 6 month trial they can order a full version of Prime for only $40 for the entire year.  The student benefit only gives the benefit of the 2 Day shipping, but that’s what most people sign up for to begin with.   At $40 per year, we can highly recommend the service, but not at the full $79 given most of the benefits can be obtained even without the membership.  Given my 6 month trail is still active, I am still deciding if I should order the full version or not, but from the comparisons I’ve compiled it does not look strong for Amazon.