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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.

Businesses 276

An anonymous reader writes with official news that, as expected, "Amazon officially announced that it is increasing Prime Membership fees from $79 to $99. Amazon Students will pay $49, and participants of Amazon Fresh (the grocery shopping service) will continue to have a $299 fee. The price hike in Prime Membership is attributed to rising shipping costs, but some wonder if the 'real question around Prime is whether it's sustainable at all, even at a higher price.'"

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Still worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476701)

The 2 day part is just a perk, but honestly even if I were paying for the normal 7-10 day shipping it'd come out to more than $100 a year just from the textbooks and general things I order.

Re:Still worth it (5, Informative)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 8 months ago | (#46476789)

They already have free shipping at the $35 order mark, so... no.

Re:Still worth it (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46476845)

They already have free shipping at the $35 order mark, so... no.

The free shipping is "standard 5-8 day shipping", so it's not quite the same as free 2-day prime shipping.

Plus, my orders rarely exceed $35, so it might take weeks to accumulate an order that big.

Prime still provides value to me (I dropped my $7.99 Netflix subscription when Amazon added free Prime movie streaming - both Netflix and Amazon streaming catalogs are equally poor), even when they increase it from $6.60/month to $8.25/month.

Re:Still worth it (5, Informative)

guru42101 (851700) | about 8 months ago | (#46477021)

Really? My brother has Netflix and it looks to be leaps ahead of Amazon in terms content available. Amazon has a larger and more recent library but only if you include episodes and movies that you have to purchase, which run $1.99 (for an episode) - $29.99 (for a season or a movie).

Re:Still worth it (4, Interesting)

Chas (5144) | about 8 months ago | (#46477175)

I have both (and am sneaking in at the end of the month at the current $79 price for my renewal).
The Netflix streaming player is much more mature than the Amazon streaming player (Amazon's is basically a half-step up from YouTube).
Netflix will save my spot and I can get miniscreen previews as I'm selecting where I want to be in a film.
But Netflix can be tetchy at times. Trying to manually pick a time point in a film in short succession usually winds up leading to an endlessly pre-buffering scenario until I refresh the tab.

The shipping is nice though, for when I order things.

With Netflix, if they don't stream what I want, I have to waste time with shipping a DVD.
With Amazon, they have a decent amount of content available for free, and if I want more, I can purchase (or in some cases rent).

Re:Still worth it (1)

pregister (443318) | about 8 months ago | (#46477371)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has the endless buffering when moving the time point (is there a word for this? Fast forward and rewind don't really seem to apply anymore).

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477423)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has the endless buffering when moving the time point (is there a word for this? Fast forward and rewind don't really seem to apply anymore).

Jumping?

Re:Still worth it (1)

The Rizz (1319) | about 8 months ago | (#46477561)

The Netflix streaming player is much more mature than the Amazon streaming player (Amazon's is basically a half-step up from YouTube).
Netflix will save my spot and I can get miniscreen previews as I'm selecting where I want to be in a film.

I get those same features from Amazon on my PS3. My friend's TV plays Netflix, but cannot choose subtitles/languages. What device you're using makes a big difference, as different ones have different feature support.

Re:Still worth it (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 8 months ago | (#46477193)

I have both and Netflix is definitely better, but Amazon has been catching up (especially since Netflix has lately seemed to be moving backwards, with more and more movies and seasons of series disappearing from my queue). And Amazon also offers the advantage of being able to mix in movies and TV shows that you've purchased individually on Amazon as well, with a HUGE selection on that front. I wouldn't exactly call it a Netflix replacement, but it's improving. And the price sure is right.

iPhone exclusive (2)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46477563)

Let me know when any phone other than Apple's supports Amazon video.

Re:iPhone exclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477773)

Apple's Amazon video only works over wifi too.

Re:Still worth it (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#46477637)

I have never found a single thing to watch on Amazon (that wasn't already on Netflix).

Re:Still worth it (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 8 months ago | (#46477651)

We ended up Amazon Prime after me or the wife forgot to uncheck the box and were billed for it during the christmas holidays. We were ordering a lot during that period and it wasn't until a month later when we got the credit card statement that we realized it. Well we looked and quickly found Amazon Prime had everything we were watching on Netflix plus a few shows no longer available on netflix. So we cancelled Netflix and kept prime.

The biggest reason why we've kept it now is because my wife and I are both busy professionals now with young kids. We don't have a lot of time to shop and the two day shipping makes it convenient for a lot of things.

So for $99 a year we'll take the expedited shipping and as far as I'm concerned the streaming is just a nice bonus.

Re:Still worth it (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46476881)

Just so you aren't in a hurry. Free "super saver" shipping has gotten slower and slower over the last year or so. It's gotten so bad that I actually shop around again. They should not underestimate the effect this has on customers - I took a vacation from Newegg when they started occasionally using some bizarro shipping scheme that had my packages leaving my state for Kentucky and then eventually coming back after a hand-off to the USPS.

Re:Still worth it (2)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46476983)

Newegg got really cheap on packaging too. I'm OK with Amazon for the stuff I'd buy from Newegg if they can avoid that mistake.

"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477029)

You trolling piece of shit http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4885825&cid=46474817

APK

P.S.=> How many times do I have to show everyone you're a worthless piece of crap troll? This, is just yet another... apk

Re:"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (-1, Redundant)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 8 months ago | (#46477375)

How many times do I have to show everyone you're a worthless piece of crap troll?

Zero more times.

Re:"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477395)

I think he ought to keep it up since the troll lgw keeps running away

Hey, APK! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477411)

Do you like Beta? I expected to see you trolling about it, but you have been pretty scarce.

Say hi to your Mom for me!

No problems with "beta" @ all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477509)

Via hosts & this single line -> 216.34.181.45 beta.slashdot.org (since that makes it so I never see it, only classic, no stupid cookies required)... it beats even webserver-side redirects (just like it protects you vs. downed or kaminsky flaw redirected DNS servers too).

APK

P.S.=> Of course, a moronic troll like YOURSELF would never have the education or saavy of things networking to realize HOW that is done. so I showed you, now... apk

hardware-beta.slashdot.org (0)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46477691)

Via hosts & this single line -> 216.34.181.45 beta.slashdot.org

Until you get redirected to hostnames like hardware-beta.slashdot.org, games-beta.slashdot.org, etc. One limit of hosts files is that unlike zone files, hosts files can't match wildcards. I appreciate your work on DNS blacklist tools, but eventually there comes a time for a more flexible way of specifying overrides than hosts file syntax. Ever considered writing your own DNS resolver? (ObAmazon: You might even be able to provide it as a service using Amazon's cloud.)

a moronic troll like YOURSELF

Ad homs like this don't help your cause.

(Digression posted without bonus.)

"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477249)

You trolling piece of undereducated USELESS shit http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4885825&cid=46474817

APK

P.S.=> How many times do I have to show everyone you're a worthless piece of crap troll? This, is just yet another... apk

"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477673)

You trolling piece of undereducated useless shit http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4885825&cid=46474817

APK

P.S.=> How many times do I have to show everyone that you're a worthless piece of crap troll? This, is just yet another... apk

Re:Still worth it (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 8 months ago | (#46477445)

Theyre going to Kentucky because the shipper sent it there. Louisville is a major shipping hub.

Im pretty sure Newegg does not determine the route your package takes.

Re:Still worth it (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#46477665)

Living 15 minutes or so from Newegg really helps. I get stuff from there the next day practically every time despite paying regular (or free) shipping. Amazon "super saver" started getting held for weeks for no reason and I realized that with the extra money we were spending "getting to" free, it was probably cheaper to just get prime.

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476905)

With prime you also get access to a considerable amount of streaming content as well. So there is technically more to it that just free shipping (although you would still have to decide if it's worth it) plus the ability to get 1-day shipping for 4 bucks. Getting an in window air conditioner delivered in a day for 4 bucks is a pretty fun trick.

Re:Still worth it (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#46477179)

Typically I spend $30 a year on Amazon so it doesn't help out either way :-)

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476857)

There's nothing free, price of shipping is included. They increase prices for prime members, was on the news yesterday.

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477199)

I'd have to see some hard facts on that. Like here's the price before I log in - 9.99 with 2.99 shipping. Price after login 13.99 with prime shipping.

From the articles I read on this it sounded more like 3rd party sellers would offer items prime and add the cost of shipping into the purchase. Not wholly unsurprising. They have to pay amazon to utilize prime, people find prime attractive, if you can increase the chance of a sale and make the same amount...

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477713)

Exactly that. Some increasingly irrelevant two-bit local news jockey thinks they can get a big scoop... whoop de doo.

Re:Still worth it (1)

nickittynickname (2753061) | about 8 months ago | (#46476883)

You know they have a student discount right? http://www.amazon.com/gp/stude... [amazon.com]

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477645)

OP here: Yeah and I abused it over a couple accounts :P Now I'm graduated and can afford to pay for it, so figured I might as well.

Re:Still worth it (1)

pla (258480) | about 8 months ago | (#46476893)

This. Over the course of a year, Amazon's free (normal) shipping easily saves me a few hundred bucks. Last year, I bought one especially large item that would have cost that in shipping by itself (and perhaps not entirely coincidentally, Amazon's price beat every local brick-and-mortar for that item by very nearly the cost of shipping). Then for some bulkier items, hey, I'd rather have something like a sofa delivered to my doorstep than try to figure out how to squeeze it into a subcompact car. ;)

That said, I don't pay for prime, because seriously, people can't wait a whoooole week to get their stuff (anything I need now, I simply buy locally)?

Re:Still worth it (3, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#46477015)

I had that attitude, but so many of the local sellers are just gouging. I needed a 12 foot HDMI cable a while back. It was going to cost me $10 on Amazon, but I wanted it right now. I went to Best Buy, half a mile down the road. They wanted $40 for the same cable.

Instant gratification is not worth a $30 surcharge.

Re:Still worth it (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 8 months ago | (#46477303)

"Now" is an expensive luxury. Don't be surprised it's priced rather luxuriously.

Re:Still worth it (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 8 months ago | (#46477749)

I had that attitude, but so many of the local sellers are just gouging. I needed a 12 foot HDMI cable a while back. It was going to cost me $10 on Amazon, but I wanted it right now. I went to Best Buy, half a mile down the road. They wanted $40 for the same cable.

Instant gratification is not worth a $30 surcharge.

Being a lousy shopper apparently is, for you could get the HDMI cable far cheaper if you simply checked to see what Wal-Mart, Target and many other stores are selling it.

My personal favorite are the little stores you only see in the flyers that come on your doorstep with the free newspapers. Because they often have them cheap cheap cheap ($6 for 12').

Of course, it actually requires doing some real physical work and looking at ads.

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477209)

It would cost more than $100/yr just in fuel for me to drive to and from local stores for the same goods I buy on Amazon. That's not even considering that Amazon often has a better price, better information about the product, better customer service, and the value of my wasted time travelling to stores.

Re:Still worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477641)

for same day delivery... i'd pay that

Turned off auto-renew today (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476709)

I got the email today, just like everyone else that has Amazon prime.

First thing I did was go try to turn off auto-renew. It turns out that they've hidden that feature, and you actually have to attempt to cancel your membership to do it. Then it gives you an option to end immediately if you qualify for a rebate or end at the normal time (6 months from now in my case).

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476963)

I got the email today, just like everyone else that has Amazon prime.

First thing I did was go try to turn off auto-renew. It turns out that they've hidden that feature, and you actually have to attempt to cancel your membership to do it. Then it gives you an option to end immediately if you qualify for a rebate or end at the normal time (6 months from now in my case).

Why? A $20 increase isn't that bad. Especially when you consider that if you pay ofr 2-day shipping on one or two items it would easily make up that difference.

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477105)

I wasn't getting $80 of value out of my prime membership, so the extra $20 was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477123)

Same thing here, I was already considering a cancellation and when I got the email I went to do it immediately. First attempt did nothing went back and clicked same link and it ended it upon expiration as I wished it would.

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 8 months ago | (#46477245)

You must not use it much if an extra $20 a year is a deal-breaker for you. I use it all the time (along with the movie/TV streaming) and it's a helluva bargain, even with a $20 price bump. And I haven't even looked into the extras I could get on the Kindle.

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (4, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 8 months ago | (#46477317)

They've had the "turn off" option obfuscated for a while now. I accidentally signed up a while back and it took a while to find it. I do have it now, but doubt I'd enroll again. I've seen a Amazon prime "tax" in effect on pricing that makes me suspect I'm not really getting my money's worth.

Seems like it has been taken care of. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477747)

Amazon Prime message:

Your preferred payment method is not valid

As a result, your membership might not renew automatically. Please edit your preferred payment method. If we cannot charge your preferred payment method, we will try to charge another payment method you have on record with us so that your benefits are not interrupted.

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 8 months ago | (#46477407)

Just "ended my membership by telling to to not auto-renew. I hate dirty tricks like that. I hope 50% of more of prime members do what you and I both did. Wall street thinks only a small group will quit but revenues will still double. If enough people quit it will actually cause revenues to fall which would be catastrophic.

Re:Turned off auto-renew today (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#46477697)

Canceled next year as a response to the price hike. Thanks for the tip.

How is $99 prime? (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 8 months ago | (#46476729)

Well, one would think that the new fee would be $97 to keep in line of being "prime". Maybe I'm being too literal here. :P

Re:How is $99 prime? (3, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46477309)

Although 5 is prime, I think this comment deserves at least a 7, possibly 11 score...

This can only be due to one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476735)

...the upcoming Amazon Beta!

Free shipping required $35 now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476767)

Just noticed today.

Re:Free shipping required $35 now (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46476885)

Just noticed today.

That happened back in October:

http://www.dailyfinance.com/on... [dailyfinance.com]

Maybe if they shipped better (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 8 months ago | (#46476803)

When I can place a single order and get each item in its own huge box with lots of padding and empty space, maybe they can work on that too

The items come from multiple warehouses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476831)

when that happens. Would you prefer they ship each item to a central spot first, then wrap them together and send them to you?

Re:The items come from multiple warehouses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477079)

That only explains why they arrive in multiple boxes. It doesn't explain the need to use huge boxes.

Re:The items come from multiple warehouses (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 8 months ago | (#46477659)

I've noticed that too. My theory is that when the shipment comes from multiple warehouses their software (or their packers) pull a box for the whole order, even though they are only shipping part of the order. I'm guessing that they will work out this fine detail eventually, but because they pay their shippers by weight and not volume it's not high on the priority list.

Re:Maybe if they shipped better (1)

dleewo (80434) | about 8 months ago | (#46476869)

At least for me, they already do that. Many times I place multiple orders throughout the day and if the items are in the same warehouse, they end up getting shipped to me in a single box

Re:Maybe if they shipped better (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46476911)

When I can place a single order and get each item in its own huge box with lots of padding and empty space, maybe they can work on that too

I'm certain that Amazon's data analytics team knows exactly how much it costs them to ship empty space (probably not much since they must have very preferable rates from the carriers), and whatever it costs them must be less than it would cost to stock boxes in more sizes or pay someone to pack goods tighter.

Re:Maybe if they shipped better (2)

dthulson (904894) | about 8 months ago | (#46476969)

I'm not sure. They talk big about data analytics, but have you ever noticed how bad their recommendations are? E.g. I just bought a pack of phone screen protectors, and then I started getting emails suggesting I buy other screen protectors. So either their recommendations are terrible or they think their product is terrible. And that doesn't even touch how badly they compare to Netflix's video recommendations!

Still Worth It (2)

The Cat (19816) | about 8 months ago | (#46476823)

The book borrowing feature alone is worth it twice over.

Re:Still Worth It (2, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46476887)

But that strikes me as "Paying for the right to continue using your own property as you wish".

Re:Still Worth It (4, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 8 months ago | (#46477031)

No, it has nothing to do with paying to continue using something.

Every month, members get to borrow a book that they don't own and keep it for the month. When they pick out a book the following month, they have to return the one they borrowed the month before. They don't buy the book, so they don't own it.

Re:Still Worth It (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#46477047)

Well, no, it's more like "being lent a copy of a bestselling novel each month at no extra cost." That's $10/month in value right there. I don't get to keep it, because it was borrowed, but I didn't pay for it to begin with. If I wanted it permanently I'd get a dead tree format instead.

Re:Still Worth It (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46477067)

My mistake then. I failed to understand the feature from the name.

Re:Still Worth It (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | about 8 months ago | (#46477253)

How so? Prime members get to borrow books from the Amazon library that others would have to buy.

Re:Still Worth It (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 8 months ago | (#46477555)

Too lazy to google
Do they lend you a dead tree book?

Still not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476849)

I've currently got Prime, I suppose even at this price its not bad. I've probably ordered at least a 20 things through amazon this year, sometimes I try to group an order & sometimes I just order a single item. At $79 I was probably pretty far into the black even before taking into account watching quite a few movies/shows on Prime (I wish they'd get compatible with Chromecast), $99 is probably cutting things pretty close on the shipping only but it still might be worth it for the "Instant Video" portion.

Amazon just wants to see how much they can squeeze (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 8 months ago | (#46476871)

They have a horde of loyal customers who are willing to pay a FEE just to have "exclusive" access to free shipping and some media streaming. What about that needs to be "sustainable", the goal is merely to make people feel compelled to prefer to shop where they have a vested interest (also known as the human nature to "send good money after bad"). Are they collecting as much from the prime fee as it costs them to ship all that crap? Probably not, but that's hardly the point. The question to ask is: would they make more money if prime didn't exist? Meaning, would all those customers who bought with prime have just shopped elsewhere instead? The answer is probably yes, otherwise Amazon would be pulling the plug instead of doubling down and increasing the rate. The last thing they want to do is drive away customers.

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (2)

Delarth799 (1839672) | about 8 months ago | (#46477083)

I read an article a while back that actually looked at this in depth. They said every time amazon cut the cost of shipping for customers their sales volume went up anywhere from 10% to 20% with each cut to shipping costs for customers.
If anyone feels like they are trying to squeeze extra money out of Prime with this $22 increase they really need to pull their head out of the hole its currently in and realize that after the 8 or 10 years Amazon Prime has been $79 its finally going up a little bit. I wish gas prices would follow the Amazon Prime model and stay the same for 8 to 10 years.

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (4, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#46477093)

What happened was that Amazon expected more people to take advantage of the other Prime features besides free shipping. Instead, free shipping was by far the only thing people really used it for. Their streaming services don't have any of the things I want to watch, unfortunately, since the streaming rights to those shows were all gobbled up by the competitors.

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477101)

Um. Sorry to point it out but, all you've done is rephrased the question. If Prime results in equal or higher net profit from physical and digital sales (at least in the long term, though preferably also the short/medium term) then it's sustainable. Also note that future net profit can be achieved in many different ways, including driving out the competition now, getting higher attach rates, increasing the number of locked-in customers (Apple is the master there), negotiating better rates from shipping companies due to huge volume, etc, and is not limited to actually profiting more form each sale right now.

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477141)

In other words: Is Prime sustainable? ;-)

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (3, Insightful)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 8 months ago | (#46477125)

I can't speak for anyone but myself (and my facebook posting about this has generated quite a bit of discussion about this amongst my friends), but this will result in me spending less at Amazon, as well as not renewing Prime next year. Prime is great for things I don't need today, but would love by the end of the week (2-day shipping). It's great for the one time every couple years I need something tomorrow with $3.99 overnight. The video services I don't use (hulu + netflix), and I don't do the kindle sharing thing. The Kindle itself has replaced almost all of my book buying habits, with the exception of technical books, which I still prefer in dead-tree edition. This has reduced the need to actually ship things to me. Over the last year or so, I've begun exploring stuff like buying toiletries via Prime, just to make it semi-worthwhile. I still don't use Prime to order computer parts, or giant TVs and the like as I'd rather have a local return point vs. packing and shipping defective items, etc, but I could be convinced if the value was there. Basically, at $79 a year, I felt that was fair enough that I didn't even bother to create a new account with my educational email address to pay the student rate. At $99/year, that value proposition no longer holds true for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

So, after my Prime runs out, I'll be shopping more locally and maybe paying a little more, to get the things I normally would have ordered from Amazon. Oh well, such is life.

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 8 months ago | (#46477363)

I'm the exact opposite. For me, the streaming is what I want and the 2-day shipping is just a bonus.
Why bundle and force everyone to pay for things they don't use? Some people want the streaming,
some people want the free expedited shipping and some people want the kindle sharing.
It would be better to sell them individually and then maybe offer a discount for people that bundle.
$80/year was not a bad deal for streaming as it was slightly cheaper than netflix with slightly
better (for me) selection. $99 is a deal breaker for me as I only ever used the streaming and
now netflix is cheaper and doesn't charge me a full year at a time.

Re:Amazon just wants to see how much they can sque (1)

fermion (181285) | about 8 months ago | (#46477497)

Or they are willing to let customers go. If you only use it for free two day shipping, then maybe $99 is too much. Then you stop using the service. And Amazon profits go up.

Here is why i originally bought Amazon Prime: because it was taking a week to get an order. Not because shipping took a week, but because packing often took a few days. Prime forces Amazon to prioritize my orders. That means costs beyond what they would be paying if they could ship 5-8 days. I can imagine these costs to be increasing over time, not paying the shipper mind you, but paying enough staff to pack so that my order leaves the warehouse in time for the shipper to get it to me in two days. All for $100.

If I order a $20 widget a week, that is around $2 per package shipping, around $1000 revenue, and probably zero profit. Yes, amazon is shaking in it's boots because people who only use shipping are going to cancel.

OTOH, if I didn't have amazon prime I would be more likely to shop elsewhere.

Prime is a stopgap (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#46476937)

Until Amazon can build out their warehouse network to support same-day and next-day shipping using local, low-cost couriers. Also why Amazon gave up their fight against internet taxation - with warehouses in every state they'll have to collect sales tax anyway.

Re:Prime is a stopgap (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 8 months ago | (#46477639)

Wait until they launch yesterday shipping [youtube.com]

Re:Prime is a stopgap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477685)

yeah they already built these in my town... but some reason they call them targets and wallmarts.

Depends on what you use (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 8 months ago | (#46476955)

If you are using the prime video, books, free shipping, then 99$ is completely reasonable, an exceptional deal actually. If you just use one or the other probably not. (isn't netflix alone like 90$ a year?)

I can see them scaring off the people they want (infrequent shippers) and keeping who they don't (low value, frequent shippers).

Also, I don't know why they stick with the yearly subscription. I can't imagine most people wouldn't shrug off a monthly increase from 6.50 to 8.25. 79$-99$ *seems* like a lot more. Actually at a monthly rate I think most people are bad enough at math they could get away with a much higher yearly rate in monthly payements.

I dunno, I'm not a marketing guy.

Cost (1)

slapout (93640) | about 8 months ago | (#46476995)

Drones are expensive

not worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477011)

The "standard 5-8 day shipping" is crap, it is more like two weeks. I actually cancled my last two orders, when the items hadn't shipped, after ordering in stock, at around the 10 day mark. I won't be an amazon customer anymore.

Re:not worth it (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46477271)

huh? Prime is two day shipping.

Re:not worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477489)

The "standard 5-8 day shipping" is crap, it is more like two weeks. I actually cancled my last two orders, when the items hadn't shipped, after ordering in stock, at around the 10 day mark. I won't be an amazon customer anymore.

Standard means an estimated 5-8 *business days*. So that translates into "like two weeks".

What on earth are you complaining about? (1, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about 8 months ago | (#46477025)

So are we no griping about Amazon Prime costs? Not me.

It's still a GREAT deal if you use their streaming video service. Netflix streaming only is about the same cost (a few bucks more for DVD's by mail) and they have a lot less stuff than Amazon, at least stuff I want to watch. The free shipping thing is of dubious value, at least for me, because most items are more expensive if they have prime shipping available. Some other Prime benefits help make my kindles more usable (Free books, downloadable video streams for off line viewing). But all these extras are over and above the video streaming.

Where $79 would be preferable $99 is still cheap so I'm not complaining. We are still under $10/month here.

Re:What on earth are you complaining about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477513)

Agreed. The price difference is the same as one extra cup of coffee a month. If you can't afford that then you probably shouldn't have a prime membership or be ordering things off there anyway.

Re:What on earth are you complaining about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477531)

I actually haven't found the "higher price if Prime is available" to be the case at all if you are willing to wait for price drops and/or sales, etc, or combine coupons with 15% subscribe & save, and so forth. For example, yesterday I picked up a 240GB Crucial M500 SSD for 109.00 shipped via Prime. It has never been sold new by a reputable dealer for less than that anywhere else that I've ever seen or heard of.
Quite often their computer component prices are right on par with Newegg, etc, or they decide to price match, which makes Prime customers come out ahead by getting it in 2 days (and less chance for mishandling during a several-day shipping trip) for the same price.

Amazon = best avoided. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477049)

Supporting a company which treats employees like shit
carries a heavy load of collateral responsibility.

Remember that when the shit hits the fan in YOUR life.

Re:Amazon = best avoided. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477467)

Good luck with that. Go ahead and buy only from mom & pop shops, until either you go broke from paying 50% more or mom & pop sell out to the big boys too.
Give the choice, Amazon seems no more evil than pretty much anyone else, and a LOT better than many.

Re:Amazon = best avoided. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477717)

Amazon... no more evil than pretty much anyone else

can't steam video content (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 8 months ago | (#46477053)

on your computer because of their drm schema if you have one monitor connected via DVI.
A lot of new products aren't shipped by them and don't qualify for free (79 now 99$ a year shipping price).
I don't have a kindle.

Re:can't steam video content (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 8 months ago | (#46477171)

Not sure what you've tried, but I stream to a monitor connected via DVI all the time. Also have used VGA, and HDMI on both PC and Roku. You can also read kindle title using the Kindle app on your smartphone or PC.

Re:can't steam video content (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46477815)

I don't see why not. DVI-D and HDMI use the same signaling, and newer DVI monitors support HDCP.

A 25% increase is ridiculous (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 8 months ago | (#46477239)

...but we'll continue paying for it here I suspect. That doesn't mean I'm happy about it.

Re:A 25% increase is ridiculous (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 8 months ago | (#46477455)

Really? 25% is ridiculous? The price has been stable for nine years. So, that's a 2.5% increase/year. Quite a bit less than the annualized increase in gas costs (which have got to be have a significant correlation to shipping costs).

Re:A 25% increase is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477745)

Really? 25% is ridiculous? The price has been stable for nine years. So, that's a 2.5% increase/year. Quite a bit less than the annualized increase in gas costs (which have got to be have a significant correlation to shipping costs).

And there would have been less outrage if they had gradually increased it every few years than having this sudden big jump. Also if they billed monthly instead of yearly most people would hardly notice the increase either.

Well, they got me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477353)

On May 1st 2005 I was planning to make a bunch of purchases on Amazon and saw this new Prime thing. I signed up for the free month figuring I'd cancel and come out way ahead because I was going to buy a huge and heavy metal ladder, a 200lb snow blower, computer UPS, heavy books, etc, anyway, and getting them faster was a great plus too. The next month, I realized I'd still come out way ahead even if I paid for Prime. This led to shifting a number of formerly brick-and-mortar purchases online because it was simple and easy and stuff would just show up on my doorstep in a couple days without even needing to drive to the big box store and shop around and find they'd run out of the item, etc.
I was fully hooked at that point, and maintained Prime ever since. As soon as I think "eh.. maybe it's not worth it" they add more stuff. I was a little annoyed by the "Add on item only" thing, but really it makes sense rather than having to ship a whole order for one ball point pen. I was also a little disappointed when the 15% discount for Subscribe & Save went away and they also stopped shipping the first order 2-day for Prime members, but that kind of made sense too, and I found all I had to do was sign up for Amazon Mom (free), maintain Prime, and ensure I had 5 subscriptions arriving the same month and the 15% discount came back.
The streaming and lending library are just icing to me. It makes financial sense for my household to keep the Prime membership even without them and at the increased price.

One wish though. I wish they'd let use renew early at the now-current rate. I mean, why not? It means extra revenue for them right now, and still most people will keep the auto-renew turned on for next year. They could even let you pre-pay multiple years up to say 3. Kind of the same concept as Forever stamps.

Lock in $79 for next year (5, Informative)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | about 8 months ago | (#46477471)

Copied from Slickdeals.net forums:

INSTRUCTIONS TO LOCK IN $79 RATE
Quote from orick:
If your current Prime membership is scheduled to expire on or after April 17th, and therefore would auto-renew at the $99 price, you can effectively lock in the $79 price by taking the following steps:

(1) Look up your Prime expiration date. (Let's say yours is June 11th.)

(2) Purchase a Prime Gift Membership here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/prim... [amazon.com]

Set the delivery date as the date after your membership expires (in this case, June 12, 2014).

Enter your own e-mail address as the gift recipient. It is okay if this is the exact e-mail address already associated with your Amazon Prime account.

Place order (total will be $79).

(3) Turn off your Prime auto-renew. (End membership - at expiration)

(4) On the day after your membership expires, you will receive an e-mail from Amazon with the gift membership. Follow the instructions to apply it to your account.

This is a pretty straightforward way to save $20.
HOW TO CANCEL AMAZON PRIME AUTO RENEW:
Source: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help... [amazon.com]
Quote :
Go to Manage Prime Membership https://www.amazon.com/gp/subs... [amazon.com]
Review the renewal date listed on the left-hand side of the page.

If you currently have an Amazon Prime free trial, click Do Not Continue .
If you currently have a paid Amazon Prime membership, click End Membership .

Turn off your renewal using the link below the renewal date.

Note: Your membership will expire at the end of the current period. It will NOT end before your current paid subscription is over, nor can you cancel it early for a refund.

As an Australian (5, Interesting)

trawg (308495) | about 8 months ago | (#46477725)

...that has recently moved to the USA, I am stunned by Amazon - I mean, I always knew it looked awesome but until I got here I didn't fully understand how much stuff was on there and how amazing it is to order basically anything.

Prime simply adds to my amazement - I can order (almost) anything and it will arrive (almost always) 2 days later. My shopping behaviour has changed significantly, to the point where I'll not buy something while it's right in front of me in a store because I can just have Amazon bring it to my house a few days later, saving me the effort of carrying it around or trying to get it home (I don't own a car yet).

Even at the new price it seems like a fantastic deal, and that's before I add the streaming video service, which I've also gotten a lot of use out of, despite having Netflix and Hulu.

I guess I am surprised by the people complaining about the price hike. I'm back in Australia right now for a couple weeks and from the wistful look everyone here gets when I explain how great it is, I know they'd happily pay twice the new fee just to never have to deal with the local retailers ever again.

Anyway, my 2c: this price raise would in no way dissuade me from renewing next year (if I'm still living in the usa).

Too much for me, I'm out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46477765)

So much competition nowadays, I get free shipping from most places I shop online and I'm not impatient... Even regular shipping gets to me in two or three days, so no big deal... The movie content and delivery system is worthless to me. Good bye Amazon, fare well.

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