$80 a year for a great, great service

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9 February 2011

Amazon Prime. If you don’t have it, you’re missing out on something great. Get it. You won’t regret it.

It’s $80 a year to get free two-day shipping from anything Amazon sells, and/or $3.99 (per item) for overnight shipping. So you pay for that once a year, and your whole shopping lifestyle changes, in a really great way.

Need something around the house? Go to Amazon (on your phone, if you have a smartphone!) and just hit “Buy now with 1-click” (if you have 1-click set up) and BAM! Two days later it’s at your front door.

Need baby supplies, because you’re about to run out? Spend 2 minutes on your phone, and two days later, they arrive. No need to make a special trip to the store.

Need a Christmas present at the last minute? Spend two minutes (er… maybe more than that, to be sure it’s a good one), and two days later, it arrives – and you didn’t have to fret about paying extra for fast shipping.

Two days is probably sooner than you would have gotten any of these things if you’d put them on your shopping list. And they probably cost less from Amazon, too.

Even if it’s big (e.g. two boxes of 250-count diapers, shipped monthly). Even if it’s small (e.g. watch batteries). Even if it’s food (e.g. the particular brand of basmati rice we like). Same thing: two days later, no extra expense.

And it seems to affect returns also, in a great way. For example, I just received a pair of headphones that I ordered. I opened them and found a broken part. I went to Amazon, clicked a few links to find my order, said I wanted to return it, typed in a description of why, and chose “defective” as the reason. Amazon arranged for UPS to pick up the defective one from my front door tomorrow (I just had to print a page to include in the box, and re-tape the box – UPS will bring a shipping label with them!). The replacement headphones will be shipped tomorrow, one-day shipping, for free, and will arrive the day after tomorrow.

Again, faster (and MUCH cheaper, considering gas costs and time) than having to go back to a store and refund it. And I don’t have to deal with waiting in line, or with annoying store clerks.

So: do yourself a favor. Try a free trial of Amazon Prime, to gain back a little time in your life, and enjoy the experience of having a really great service right at your fingertips, all year long.

(No, I don’t get anything from Amazon for writing this review – it’s just my way of saying “thanks” to them for doing something exceptionally well.)

  1. Amitai Schlair says:

    In addition to the lifestyle change, buying something expensive to ship causes Prime to pay for itself. I bought an air conditioner last year. Renewing my Prime service this year was a no-brainer.

    Not everything on Amazon is covered by Prime, but most everything seems to be.

  2. Amitai Schlair says:

    And now it includes Instant Video. Nothing I’d pay to get, but cool.

  3. Brian Crow says:

    Since you have a young one, you may want to check out Amazon Mom. Purchases through Amazon Mom can get you up to a free year of Amazon Prime.

  4. Nathan Arthur says:

    My mother points out that Amazon doesn’t always have a good price, specifically on grocery-type items (M&Ms, Kleenex, etc.). I agree, and hadn’t thought about it – we don’t usually buy such things from Amazon.

    I’ve also noticed that things “Sold by XYZ and fulfilled by Amazon” usually aren’t a good price deal (although sometimes it’s nicer to buy through Amazon than to buy through the third-party site). We usually avoid such things, even though sometimes they are eligible for Prime shipping (because they are usually over-priced).

  5. Mani says:

    I’ve had this for years. I love it, but this inspires me to make more extensive use of it.

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