I was recently asked the question: what is Amazon Prime and should I spend the money on it? So I decided to do some research and see if that is a product or service worth the money and a “wise investment” or not. Here’s what I found the Amazon website to say about the Amazon Prime program:
Amazon Prime is a membership program that gives you and your family unlimited fast shipping, such as FREE Two-Day shipping and One-day shipping for $3.99 per item on all eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of $79. Amazon Prime members can enjoy instant videos: unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video at no additional cost. Members who own Kindle devices can also choose from thousands of books — including more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers — to borrow and read for free, as frequently as a book a month with no due dates, from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Eligible customers can try out a membership by starting a free trial.
After doing some further research, I learned that the free shipping is typically your products that are already eligible for “Super Saver Shipping” which is the offer to purchase $25 or more and receive free 2 day shipping, so as long as I group my purchases of these items, this is really not a benefit worth paying for.
The video part sounds great. I like the fact that they offer both movies and TV shows, so if that is a service I would be using, it can possibly save me money versus renting or purchasing those movies. Or if I choose to stream my favorite shows Amazon Prime would be less expensive than cable for my television!
Then as far as the books, it is limited to someone who owns a Kindle device itself, so users who use a Kindle application on their iPad or iPhone like myself would not be able to check books out. It is also limited to one free book per month, so you are in essence getting 12 free books per year. These are books to be checked out not purchased and kept. You have to return the previous book before checking out a new one, so if you take a while to read your book, you may get less than the full twelve.
So the real question is, would you get a good return for your money? Would the benefits equal or outweigh the cost? My thought is really that the video and TV part is the key benefit; however, my family does not watch much television…so we would not benefit from it. But you might, so check it out and weigh the benefits and cost for yourself.