I’m pretty confident that the $99/year I spend on Amazon Prime is the best $99 I spend every year. When you look at what it is, it kind of sounds silly though. Basically you’re paying a company money for the ability to spend even more money with them faster. That Jeff Bezos guy is brilliant!
The tricky part with shopping on Amazon is that they can be a huge budget buster. The convenience of Amazon One Click, where you just click on the item and it’s automatically purchased and shipped, causes garages across the country to be filled with cardboard boxes from items you didn’t even know you bought.
Amazon has amazing algorithms that track the items you might be interested in and then they strategically place those items in your email inbox, your Facebook timeline, and the Amazon homepage until you actually make a purchase. And they’re geniuses at recommending additional products you might be interested in. They know what you want before you know you want it, so much so that they make sure the warehouse closest to you is in stock with the items they think you’ll buy so the shipping is cheaper for them and gets to you faster.
From a marketing perspective, they are amazing.
So as a budget conscious person you have to be on guard for all the Amazon product placement tricks.
But, they usually have the best price on every item you need to buy. From toilet paper and diapers, to printers and TV’s and office supplies, they are pretty much a one stop shop… from the comfort of your iPhone laying in bed.
Why then do you need Amazon Prime? What is it?
Amazon Prime is a paid service that gives Amazon shoppers some great perks. From their website there are 5 Prime Benefits. Free 2 Day Shipping, Prime Instant Video, Prime Music, Unlimited Cloud Photo Storage, and the Kindle Library.
It’s a pretty great list of things for less than $100/year.
FREE 2 Day Shipping
Before buying Prime, if I wanted to buy a package of pens I had to leave my house to go to an office supply store, stare at the selection of pens they had, make a selection without knowing how good the pen is or if it’s the best deal, checkout, drive home… It’s a lot of wasted time if I’m just needing a pen. But shopping online for a pen before Prime meant paying $4.95 in shipping for my $5.95 pen purchase. Also, before Prime you could never buy something that weighed 200 pounds online because the shipping price would be huge. Not anymore. Prime now means I can take care of purchasing those little items, like toilet paper or laundry detergent, that we need anyway the second I think about it and it never gets missed on the grocery list.
You probably already have Hulu & Netflix and are spending just under $20/month for them. Prime instant video is a similar streaming service with basically the same library of shows and movies. The selection isn’t the best, but they do have some movies for free that you can’t stream anywhere else.
As long as you have internet access you have access to your Prime Music library. It’s thousands of FREE songs that you can put in your online library, build playlists, and more. The only downside is that you can’t load the songs up in iTunes or download them to your iPod. They’re only available for streaming from Amazon. But the selection is pretty great and growing.
Unlimited Photo Cloud Storage
Amazon has become a trusted source for protecting their customers information, so I’m not incredibly concerned with a massive hacking attempt to steal all of those naked selfies you’ve been taking. If you back your photos up to the cloud, this is a great solution that comes included with your Prime membership. And it’s UNLIMITED storage.
As an author this is kind of a crazy idea. As someone who reads a bunch of books, this is pretty great. You get to borrow one book each month completely FREE. Just browse through the titles of over 800,000 books on any Kindle device. It’s a pretty great bonus!
You still have to be careful shopping on Amazon because they are fantastic marketers. If you don’t have a system in place for how you’ll purchase things online you may run into some spending trouble. But if you do spend money online, or are just tired of making trips to the store for a single item, Prime is definitely for you.
**Amazon doesn’t pay an affiliate commission for recommending Prime, but they will pay me a $5 bonus in Amazon credit if I refer you by email. If you’re not a Prime member and want to sign up, send me an email and I’ll have Amazon email you a signup link. **