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For many people, Amazon Prime is an essential. If you haven’t heard of Amazon Prime by now, you have most likely been living under a rock. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you could be missing out, but it depends on how you like to shop. I’ll be honest I don’t typically shop online, I’m #oldschool like that, but every once in awhile it’s necessary and I hate paying for shipping so I decided to try Amazon Prime and write an Amazon Prime review.
What is Amazon Prime?
I realize this is likely a bit basic, but if like me you don’t shop online you may not know what all Amazon Prime includes. I’ll assume you’ve heard of Amazon and likely the free 2-day shipping that comes with Amazon Prime, however, it comes with a lot of other stuff too.
Amazon Prime is Amazon’s membership program. For a set fee that can be paid annually (saves about $30) or monthly, you get free 2-day shipping, access to Amazon Music, Amazon Video, books, magazines, games, and early access to sales. You can try out all of these things with a free 30-day trial.
Free Two-Day Shipping
Just what it sounds like, so long as you are buying one of the many qualifying items (I’d say most items qualify) then you can get it shipped to your door in two days for free. It’s one of the biggest perks for Amazon Prime members. If you need something, and you don’t have time to make it to the store, you can always order from Amazon and receive it in two days.
Prime Music & Video
If you don’t want to add Hulu or Netflix to your monthly bills, you can still enjoy tv shows, movies, and music, with Amazon Prime. You can enjoy over 41,000 movies and show titles, and 2 million songs all with the click of a button. If you just want Amazon Video you can get it for $8.99 a month, so it’s pricing is on par with Netflix and Hulu.
If you live in a high-cost area, or feel like you are always grocery shopping, Prime Pantry could save you quite a bit of time and money. Prime Pantry is exclusive to Prime members and provides you with quite a few food, personal care, and household items. While it doesn’t carry everything, you should be able to find most of your favorite products, or their alternatives.
The greatest thing about Prime Pantry is that you can fill a box, and it only costs $5.99 to ship all of your items that fit in that box. $5.99 may seem like a dud, especially if you are used to free two-day shipping, but since most Prime Pantry items are cheaper than they are at other groceries stores, you can still save yourself quite a bit of cash. And you can actually get free shipping if you buy 5 qualifying pantry products.
The Kindle library is one of the greatest pros for those that love to read. Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of books, magazines, and even Audible narrations. You can also access the Kindle library on most devices, including your phone and tablet.
Why I Tried Amazon Prime
I’ll be honest it was for the free shipping. I also really wanted to watch their show Good Girls Revolt that I’d seen a bunch of ads for (successful marketing). Free shipping was nice because, it allowed me to stay at home and still get the things I need, which when you have a sick puppy dog made life a little easier.
However, as someone who works from home, I kind of like heading out to run errands, it’s a good break in my day. Anyway, my take is that Amazon Prime is great for convenience especially if you’re busy or if you don’t work at home and would rather spend some more time at home. The extra perks and bonuses of video, music, and the Kindle library are like icing on top of the cake.
Pros & Cons
As always, I can’t give a proper review without listing the pros and cons. I want to be as honest and transparent as possible, while also giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about Amazon Prime.
- Free Two Day Shipping – saves you from running out
- Great content on Amazon Prime Music & Video – stuff you’d actually want to watch, highly recommend The Americans
- Prime Pantry – if unlike me, you aren’t just shopping for yourself
- Kindle library – Free books? Yes, please, sadly my local library is not the best.
- May end up shopping more and therefore spending more – I’m sooo guilty of this
- Best for a frequent shopper
A Little More Detail on Those Cons
Since the pros were pretty well covered in the What is Amazon Prime Section, I thought I’d give you a little more detail on what I view as cons to Amazon Prime.
Can Create The Want To Shop
While this is more about self-control than it is Amazon, I have to add this as a con. You should never feel compelled to buy things just because you have access to them, but Amazon can make it hard to resist deals. If you find yourself purchasing unnecessary items just because they are on sale, you aren’t really saving money. Shopaholics beware, Amazon is addicting.
When I had the trial, I definitely found myself spending more. It’s not that I bought items I didn’t need or use, it was just that I probably would have spread those purchases out more throughout the year. But instead because of the free shipping I got during the trial, I grouped my purchases.
Best for the Frequent Shoppers
Regular online shoppers will get the most out of Amazon Prime. However, if you aren’t used to shopping online, like me, then you either end up spending more or not getting your money’s worth.
There is one exception since Amazon introduced monthly pricing for Prime and you can cancel whenever you want. So if there is a month, like say before a holiday or graduation season, where you will be buying online, you could sign up at the monthly cost and then cancel when you’re done. P
aying $10.99 on a monthly Prime membership will likely be less than what you would pay for shipping. Plus you can cancel/turn off Netflix for the month and watch Prime video instead. That way your cost isn’t much more than what you would regularly pay. I regularly turn subscriptions off and on depending on my schedule.
How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost?
Amazon Prime has two payment options. You can either pay $10.99 a month or $99 for the whole year (saving a little over $30). However, if you’re a student that price get’s cut in half to $49 a year.
If you are skeptical about using Prime, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial. I love that Amazon Prime offers you the opportunity to try them out without making a huge commitment.
For some people, $10.99/mo or $99/yr is quite a bit of money to spend on a service. While I don’t necessarily consider the price as a con, I think that if it doesn’t fit in your budget, you shouldn’t feel compelled to purchase it.
How Amazon Prime Made Life a Little Easier
Having Amazon Prime for a month, made life a lot easier. If I know I’m running low on something, I could order it quickly online and receive it in two days. I also loved that I had the options for tv, books, and audio books.
These are things that I would typically have to pay separately, but with Prime, I get them all in one place, AND that helps save money. Why pay $30-$50 a month for Netflix, Hulu, Audible, and a book subscription service when I could just use Prime?
You may have guessed by my past tense that I no longer subscribe to Prime. As I said earlier, I found myself shopping/spending more than I usually would. Plus while I think all the content is fantastic, seriously I debate switching to Prime Video regularly, I don’t have time to watch, read, listen to all of it. I work from home and am usually hustling since I work for myself.
That being said, for someone that commutes to work, it could be nice to listen to audiobooks or music on the way to work and to have half the grocery shopping done with just a few clicks. It all just depends on your lifestyle.
Is Amazon Prime Right for You?
Even with the cons mentioned above, I think Amazon Prime is a great deal for the right person. It saved me quite a bit of money. It also saved me a lot of time running to various stores, and getting everything delivered right to my front door (or occasionally my apartment complex package room) was really nice.
Amazon Prime can definitely make life easier in general, but it’s also been a great tool if you need something on the fly! If you are tired of spending a ton of time and money, running errands or if you already shop on Amazon and are sick of paying for shipping then Amazon Prime is for you.