Your impulse purchases now come at a slightly higher rate. Amazon has announced today that its paid subscription service Amazon Prime will be raising the yearly rate to $99, up from the original $79. It’s student prime membership will also be increasing from $39 to $49 at the same time.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Amazon Prime allows members free two day shipping on a huge amount of prime-eligible items for no extra cost. For people who use Amazon a lot for purchasing items and shipping things the cost of the yearly membership far outweighs the price they would have to pay in shipping on individual items. The success of the program has caused problems to retailers as more and more people have made the move online, enjoying the ease of receiving things two days later than actually going to a store to find them.
The pricing change comes as a shock to some however, as Amazon Prime has been sitting at the same $79 clip since its inception nine years ago. In the statement the company released they attributed higher gas prices and transportation costs were partially the reason for the upcoming price spike. While that may seem farfetched considering it stayed the same for so long beforehand, the options available on Amazon Prime are far more extensive now than they have been in the past. The prime eligible items have gone from one million in 2005 to close to twenty million today, and Amazon now also has Kindle book borrowing and its video streaming service and Amazon is beginning to break into the originally produced content market as well.
Amazon has also started looking into furthering the options for shipping and providing the best possible deals and benefits for their members. Many of you may remember the Amazon Drone proof of concept video that made the rounds next fall, showing plans to provide thirty minute deliveries on products. Amazon has also spent considerable time developing same day delivery as they look to break that in soon enough. They’ve also broken into the grocery delivery market, as the Prime Fresh program delivers food to people in Los Angeles and San Francisco areas for a $299 yearly rate. While the two day delivery format sits tight now, the options may become more varied in the near future.
For myself, I don’t see this price bump as that big of a deal. I’ve used Amazon Prime extensively since I signed up almost two years ago. While my account may have accidentally upgraded since I forgot to delete it, I couldn’t imagine not having it at this point. Especially at school and not having the ease to drive to the store whenever I need something all I need to do is place an order and it’s in the mail room a day or two later. The ease of ordering has removed the need for physical retail stores in my mind. I’ll gladly pay the extra $10 dollars come September when my account is up, and I personally look forward to the new programs they have to offer. But I can only vouch for myself. What do you think about this price increase? Is $99 worth it for a year’s worth of prime benefits? If you have prime are you going to pay the new price hike or cancel and head back to the stores?
Isidore, C. (13 March, 2014). Amazon increases price of Prime. Retrieved March 13, 2014 from: http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/13/technology/amazon-prime-price-increase/