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Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the now-how-much-would-you-pay? dept.

Businesses 298

colinneagle writes "Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak hinted during the company's earnings conference call [Thursday] that we might see an increase to the company's popular Amazon Prime service. As it stands now, Amazon Prime costs $79 per year and offers users free shipping on millions of items, free book borrowing for select Kindle titles, and last but not least, free streaming to the company's video on-demand service. Going forward, Amazon may increase that pricepoint to either $99 or $119. That's a rather significant price increase, but it's important to keep in mind that the price of Amazon Prime has remained the same ever since Amazon first started the program nine years ago." How many products do you use that haven't increased in price for that long?

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how many products? (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46127249)

hmm lets see.

isp is cheaper now than 9 years ago.
the tv I got at back home I could not have afforded 9 years ago.
my mobile subscriptions are cheaper than 9 years ago. I can order stuff from china cheaper than 9 years ago(transportation costs).

Re:how many products? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127329)

I could not have afforded 9 years ago.

You grew up and got a job?

Re:how many products? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46127469)

no, the price of 55" fullhd tv's came down... as have prices for usable refrigators, washing machines and other household shit. not everything goes up in price yearly even if the article summary implies that.

in regards of amazon prime.. has shipping gotten more expensive or are people ordering more stuff?

Both (2)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46127995)

has shipping gotten more expensive or are people ordering more stuff?

Both. As wages and fuel prices increase, shipping costs increase. (Much of this ultimately results from cost-push [wikipedia.org] when the U.S. minimum wage and other wages tied to it rise.) And people have been ordering so much stuff from online stores in general that in the fourth quarter of 2013, parcel volume exceeded even UPS's reserve capacity.

Re:how many products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127343)

you really make no sense. are you aware?

Re:how many products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127347)

No I a sleep.

Re:how many products? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46127355)

What about cost of living?

Re:how many products? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127371)

I spend way too much on living. I'd save lots of money if only I could shake my food addiction. I tried going cold turkey but then I developed an overwhelming craving for cold turkey.

Re:how many products? (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 6 months ago | (#46127463)

Depends on where you live and what your costs are. Real-estate prices are down in some places and up in others. Oil prices are up considerably from the '90s, though roughly flat for the past few years. Natural-gas prices are up in Europe, but way down in the U.S. due to the shale-gas boom. Food prices are relatively stable overall, though specific food items have gone up or down. Amortized cost of car ownership has gone down, due to a mixture of cheaper initial-sales prices and longer average lifespans. Amortized cost of ownership of a family computer suitable for basic email/web has gone way down, due to advances in technology. Airfare has gone down in Europe (due to competition from low-cost airlines), but up in the U.S. and internationally (due to increased oil prices, plus maybe related to airline consolidation). Etc., etc.

So, if you live in Pittsburgh, use a lot of natural-gas for heating, drive a basic car relatively short distances, and have a home computer, your overall cost of living has probably declined over the past 20 years. On the other hand, if you live in Boston, take frequent roadtrips or plane trips, and heat you apartment with fuel oil, your cost of living has probably increased over the past 20 years.

Of all these, rent/housing costs are typically the dominating factor in most CoL equations.

Re:how many products? (4, Interesting)

MickLinux (579158) | about 6 months ago | (#46127527)

Generally speaking, we are in deflation, not inflation. So as the commenter correctly points out, a lot of things are decreasing in price.

Here's the problem: our wages are also decreasing.

Here's another problem: a lot of things -- especially thing which we are *legally required* to buy from one source-- are increasing in price. So housing, electricity, union leadership, health insurance, the cost of government, public schools, taxes, bailouts... all are crashing through the roof.

Basically, if the purveyor thinks he has a captive market, he's grabbing everything he can.

But, that being the case, the appropriate question is not as the original headline, "how many things haven't increased in price in that long", it is instead, "how many things, when they increased in price 25- to 50-%, did you have the option to not buy, and still continued to buy?"

Typically speaking, when something went up in price 25- or 50- percent, I stopped buying it. That is, my purchases went to something like 5% of what they had been before. Often, I stopped buying it completely, because I had the incentive to find better alternatives. Once I had the better alternatives, I was done.

Here's a better question: in today's era of retail cannibalization, how will Amazon's market share hold up if they increase prices?

Re:how many products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127699)

I completely disagree. If you go by government "official" numbers you are correct. However, it ignores the price of energy/fuel and food. Are you paying anywhere close to what you were for a gallon of gas from 9 years ago, or are you paying 3x the costs. Is your weekly grocery bill anywhere close to what it used to be, or price for eating out.

Computer type stuff, or electronic in general is down, but EVERYTHING else is up, way up. If your at the bottom of the wage scale it is now impossible to pay your bills and the government cuts out the parts you can't afford to keep inflation down. They do this because Social Security increases are based on the inflation numbers and if those were real they couldn't afford the yearly increases to match the costs of living. Its just one of a number of tricks they are playing to keep SS from imploding on itself without having to do the eventual raising taxes and officially cutting of benefits or raising retirement age.

Re:how many products? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46128019)

Why not tie retirement age to life expectancy?

Re:how many products? (2)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 6 months ago | (#46127561)

Plus the products we sell are the same price they were 10 years ago. We've offset cost increases by increases in productivity, and our margin has actually gone up. I have prime, I would drop it if it goes up. I also have Netflix, which kicks Amazon's ass when it comes to video interface. Amazon is constantly trying to up sell you, making it much harder to find and enjoy videos than Netflix. Right now, I have Prime only for the shipping savings.

The Umbrella Corporation. (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46127829)

I enjoy the convenience of Web shopping for personal and professional use.

I can order from online companies I have never heard of, without fear of being cheated, when they are under the umbrella of the Amazon corporation. This is their prime benefit to me.

The reduced prime membership rates also include a nominal fee (sometimes $3.99) to upgrade to one day shipping... very handy when shopping parts for a job. It is still almost magical to me that I can order something from a city 1500 miles away at 1400 hours and, despite signs at both gates to leave the package outside the fence, have our puppy chewing the box it was delivered in the next day.

Re:how many products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127911)

Half of those are fixed, one-time purchases, so I'm not sure those should count.

The other half counts though.

Re:how many products? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 6 months ago | (#46127951)

Your tv from 9 years ago lasted 9 years. One you buy this year won't.

Re:how many products? (1)

nightcats (1114677) | about 6 months ago | (#46127983)

oh c'mon give Jeff a break, it's hard to sell newspapers.

That's a slant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127261)

Is OP trying to convince me not to consider the cost/benefit of Amazon prime? This site may be the last place to try to do that.

"Sumsing vwrong here!" (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127269)

"Sumsing vwrong here!"

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/03/amazon-prime-could-soon-cost-next-to-nothing/

Re:"Sumsing vwrong here!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127279)

^^^^ posted by ChuckMz.

But but there has been no inflation in 10 years (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127273)

According to the US federal reserve governments are printing billions of dollars all over the world to prevent the horrible horrible deflation that might happen. Why there has been no rising prices in stocks, food, commodities, or cars, or anything. Nope no inflation anywhere.... Just like all the unemployment numbers are perfectly fine and everyone is doing much better. After all gold is super cheap. I don't possibly see why Amazon would jack up prices all of the sudden, especially since its been making so much money the past few quarters... After all the last failed revenue report, they just said they intentionally weren't making money. Amazon has often believed in making up losses with volume. Maybe Amazon is making a play to be a central bank.

Re: But but there has been no inflation in 10 year (1)

JWW (79176) | about 6 months ago | (#46127431)

Your final thought there made me think of something. Imagine if all the spare cycles on EC2 were devoted to mining bitcoin any time they were idle. Amazon probably does have the capacity to corner the market on crypto currency, Google could as well.

Re: But but there has been no inflation in 10 year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127441)

If your EC2 instances have spare cycles, you're using it wrong.

Re: But but there has been no inflation in 10 year (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46127557)

You having them != Amazon (or any other host) having them.

Re: But but there has been no inflation in 10 year (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46127555)

There are two things wrong with your post. The first is that the electricity cost just from the CPU is significantly higher than the value of the BitCoins created. The second is the assumption that there are a lot of spare cycles on EC2. The entire design of datacentres like this is to ensure that the computers are used efficiently by ensuring that there is always some job ready to run.

Prime is for those that take advantage of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127281)

The Amazon Prime option is for those that can take advantage of it. My neighbors get lots of shipments of diapers and don't have a TV. They even spread the joy by offering some sweet Amazon Prime for their neighbors when they need it.

Maybe that's part of the cost increase.

Prime is for those who don't understand marketing (1, Flamebait)

justthinkit (954982) | about 6 months ago | (#46127893)

Prime is for those who don't understand marketing.

Why do manufacturers come out with those two-bit coupons? The handling on that $0.25 discount is probably $25.00. What do they get for that?

(1) They get some advertising of their product, sure, but most importantly (2) They lower the barrier to entry/purchase so that (3) More people buy their product with (4) Less thought about it.

Gift cards are a similar idea. Give someone a gift card and they will spend it as a "bonus". Give them cash and they will treat it like all their other cash. When gift cards first came out, they used to offer something extra, for your trouble. That something extra was a tip-of-the-icebergian fraction of what they were gaining from the transaction. Now we are all so accepting of, and enamoured with, gifting hunks of plastic that they charge...up to $10...for a "gift" charge card.

When you have "free shipping" you buy (1) more stuff, (2) more often, (3) with less thought about it. And Amazon laughs all the way to the bank.

If I want something and it is over the $25/35 cutoff, then I order it. Otherwise I put it on the wish list and forget about it. For video watching I use Netflix. Amazon Prime is for $DerogatoryWord.

There have been more subtle increases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127309)

With Prime, you used to be able to do $3.99 overnight shipping. They've now modified it, so that you pay a range, from something like $2.99 to $15.99. It may still be cheaper than overnight without it, but it really was a cost increase if you used the feature at all.

It would still be a bargain (2)

reboot246 (623534) | about 6 months ago | (#46127311)

Just in the savings in shipping costs it would still be a bargain for me. I order a boatload of stuff from Amazon, and watch their steaming service all the time. I think of their streaming service as my humongous DVR. Even at $119 per year we're still talking about less than $10 a month, just slightly more than my Netflix subscription. It's like having Netflix with the added benefit of free two day shipping.

Re:It would still be a bargain (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127325)

I would rather pay $79 and couldn't give a crap about prime video (or Kindle book lending), no matter how badly they'd like to foist it on me through Prime. These are side benefits *some* people use. Don't make me pay for them.

Re:It would still be a bargain (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 months ago | (#46127517)

Nobody is making you pay for them. If you aren't going to spend more on shipping than a Prime membership then don't get said membership if you don't want the other features.

Re:It would still be a bargain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46128037)

Nobody is making you pay for them. If you aren't going to spend more on shipping than a Prime membership then don't get said membership if you don't want the other features.

Why the hostility? Does it offend you when people look at a business's new offering and discuss whether it would benefit them? Why would it offend you, because you like that offering more than they do? You're a really petty little man, you know that?

It doesn't offer free shipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127315)

... the shipping costs $79 a year. Or $99. Or $129. Before you even buy a single product.

Personally I love prime, but at $129 I would actually count my purchases, do the math, and might settle for 5 day shipping instead.

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46127335)

Personally I love prime, but at $129 I would actually count my purchases

Prime makes financial sense if you make on average more than 2 orders a month items that would be covered by prime that would not be eligible for free shipping, at $5 shipping.

The streaming videos and free upgrade to 2 day shipping on prime eligible items: add additional value.

I suppose what would be interesting is if they started offering a "Prime Lite" for $60 a year --- with no streaming videos, no 2 day shipping, but free standard shipping on all normally prime-eligible items fulfilled by Amazon.

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127505)

That's the thing, they use those to feed their other services such as the kindle and the kindle fire. They want you to sign up for Prime. Offering a shipping only plan would just make it worse.

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (1)

MrP- (45616) | about 6 months ago | (#46127515)

I make at least 1 order a week (more like 1 order a day). I think I've watched a video once on their site. If they give an option for just prime shipping at the same rate I'd take it. But if not I'll still pay the $119 since I order so much

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46127655)

I agree, they should offer a Prime Shipping only option, at the old price.
But even if it did increase to $120 I would still pay it, as long as Amazon remains sales tax free

anyway my Prime subscription renews in October, so I have time to save up for the increase

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46127565)

Is Amazon shipping more expensive in the US? I can't remember the last time I bought anything from Amazon that didn't come with free shipping. The only difference is that Prime gives you next day, whereas their super-saver free delivery gives you 3-5 days (typically closer to 3). I've found that if I need something very urgently then I will go into town and buy it - there are few situations where tomorrow is soon enough, but in a few days time is not.

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127851)

Is Amazon shipping more expensive in the US? I can't remember the last time I bought anything from Amazon that didn't come with free shipping. The only difference is that Prime gives you next day, whereas their super-saver free delivery gives you 3-5 days (typically closer to 3). I've found that if I need something very urgently then I will go into town and buy it - there are few situations where tomorrow is soon enough, but in a few days time is not.

I'm guessing you're in the UK. Amazon US is very different from what you describe. Prime here is free 2-day shipping with no minimum (assuming you don't order "addon" items, then $25 minimum). Free Super Saver Shipping is a minimum of $35 now, and usually takes 3-5 days to even ship out from Amazon, and another 3-5 days for delivery. Non-prime Amazon customers are really treated as 3rd class customers compared to other online stores.

Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46127989)

Free Super Saver Shipping is a minimum of $35 now, and usually takes 3-5 days to even ship out from Amazon,

Interesting... I suppose it depends on item. Some items have significant shipping, but are prime eligible. A few items are ineligible for super saver shipping; for some items there is a "Subscribe and Save" option that includes free shipping and a discount --- for automatic reordering of the item on a continual X week basis.

Some big ticket items include automatic free shipping, even without prime.

Some 3rd party sellers have items where shipping is free with or without prime.

Other 3rd party sellers have charges for basic shipping that apply to prime users --- when the seller's not a "fulfilled by Amazon" seller.

AWS prices reduced up to 50% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127337)

In other news. Starting today.

I expect things to get cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127359)

Progress, you know.

Re:I expect things to get cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127387)

Given an increasing population and a limited supply of land, the price of real estate will never get cheaper.

Re:I expect things to get cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127399)

There's more land, in space! Spaceward, ho!

Re:I expect things to get cheaper (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46127539)

The population isn't increasing, at least not everywhere. Ever heard of the demographic time bomb?

Re:I expect things to get cheaper (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127767)

The population isn't increasing, at least not everywhere. Ever heard of the demographic time bomb?

Is that the way all the spics, niggers, fatties and other undesirables keep multiplying like rats because the welfare system means they never have to pay to raise those fatherless bastard thugwannabe kids of theirs?

Re:I expect things to get cheaper (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 6 months ago | (#46127567)

Given an increasing population and a limited supply of land, the price of real estate will never get cheaper.

Yeah, I know; house prices never go down, isn't it?

worth it to me, with the free shipping and video (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 6 months ago | (#46127395)

Not sure I'd be paying for it for just one or the other, but the free shipping on eligible items and Amazon Video on my Roku make it a sweet deal.

My coworkers get a laugh at how many packages I get, but for anyone who's busy, there are countless items that are just a pain to get in the store, but easy as pie to just show up in a box and bring home from work. (Have 'em shipped to work to avoid the whole randomness of where packages get left thing.)

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127423)

Your cow-orkers don't steal your packages, don't break your packages, and don't bully you for receiving packages? Must be nice not working among humans.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 months ago | (#46127521)

Your cow-orkers don't steal your packages, don't break your packages, and don't bully you for receiving packages? Must be nice not working among humans.

If that is happening to you then you're the one not working among humans.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127619)

I wish I were working among superintelligent gayniggers!

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (0)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 6 months ago | (#46127701)

From Outer Space?

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127755)

I hear the Musculaturus fleet is recruiting janitors to clean the Brown Ring.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127785)

Gay or not the superintelligent blacks are the ones who reject thug culture because they understand it is self-destructive. The biggest threat to them is the blacks who weren't so smart. After all valuing education and not thinking of jailtime as a trophy is "acting white" and running a business is being an "uncle Tom".

Course the media would rather blow a few instances of real white racism out of proportion than talk about what really keeps black people down. No one in media or politics is interested in actually solving a problem. That would hurt their business.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 6 months ago | (#46127475)

Have 'em shipped to work to avoid the whole randomness of where packages get left thing.

This is getting common enough that some companies are starting to complain, though. If a few people do it occasionally it's no big deal, but if 500 employees are each receiving multiple packages a week, it starts becoming a significant added burden on the corporate mailroom.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127511)

The mailroom staff are demanding bribes or they'll go postal.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 6 months ago | (#46127549)

This is getting common enough that some companies are starting to complain, though. If a few people do it occasionally it's no big deal, but if 500 employees are each receiving multiple packages a week, it starts becoming a significant added burden on the corporate mailroom.

The relationship between company and employees, at first approximation, is that employees come to work, and the company pays them money. In a better approximation, employees do useful work to advance the purposes of the company, while the company does things to keep employees happy. Adding a person to the mailroom is a cheap way to make 500 employees a lot happier, so they will work for you instead of someone else if everything else is equal.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127579)

A strict ban on personal packages is cheaper and easier for the company. Employees can either obey or find employment elsewhere.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127949)

find employment elsewhere.

Yes, I believe that is what gnasher719 was getting at.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 6 months ago | (#46127583)

That's certainly an option. However around here, we got an email in December asking us to please not have all our Christmas shopping sent to the office address. No real enforcement, just "hey don't ship everything to the office pls". My guess is that this will become more common if more people start doing it: right now the people ordering from prime regularly to their work address at most workplaces are a pretty small proportion of employees, so it's not a big deal to accommodate them.

Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127811)

This is getting common enough that some companies are starting to complain, though. If a few people do it occasionally it's no big deal, but if 500 employees are each receiving multiple packages a week, it starts becoming a significant added burden on the corporate mailroom.

The relationship between company and employees, at first approximation, is that employees come to work, and the company pays them money. In a better approximation, employees do useful work to advance the purposes of the company, while the company does things to keep employees happy. Adding a person to the mailroom is a cheap way to make 500 employees a lot happier, so they will work for you instead of someone else if everything else is equal.

Not doing this falls under "keep employers and coworkers the fuck out of my business thankyouverymuch", a policy that has served me well. I know a lot of people use the workplace as a substitute for having a real social life. They're the ones who want to have some stupid "potluck" or awkward office party every other day so they can waste your time and make you have to bring something in like you weren't already busy enough so they can feel significant for a whole afternoon. But when you have a real social life and meet those needs in a more healthy way, you realize the virtue of keeping nosy gossips out of your business. You're also more productive when you come to the workplace for the sole purpose of working, something bosses tend to appreciate.

My employer already knows a lot about me. What I order and from whom and how often and what the busybodies can infer about me doesn't need to be added to that list. Believe me, they'll take the most innocent act and twist it around. If you think this isn't happening to you, it's happening behind your back. It's nothing more personal than how petty and childish the average person has become. Besides, most of the reasons why you'd send packages to the office are resolved in a much more satisfying way by living in a decent neighborhood.

amazon is a Service, not a product (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 6 months ago | (#46127397)

services have definitely decreased in prices, however the question is about products. HDTV's, books/magazines, and some popular prescription medicines (depending upon where you shop)...have all decreased in retail price over the last nine years.

Milk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127401)

Was $1.10 in 2003, now it is $0.99

Re:Milk (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 6 months ago | (#46127491)

Also, natural gas: was around $6.50 per million BTU in 2003, now it's $2.25.

Re:Milk (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about 6 months ago | (#46127589)

Was $1.10 in 2003, now it is $0.99

Last time I checked, it was over $40 a galon 128 fl oz.
Yeap, it starts at $45 now [amazon.com] , but can get as high as $120,000.00 [amazon.com] (+$13.49 shipping).

Re:Milk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127635)

But is it organic milk from certified virgin lesbian cows that have never felt the touch of a bull?

c08 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127525)

Makes sense from a shareholder PoV (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 6 months ago | (#46127551)

This makes perfect sense from a shareholder point of view. Raising the price to $119 will decrease the number of Prime members, thereby decreasing the cost of providing the Prime service, but the people who stay with Prime will likely more than pay for those who leave. So, it's a win-win for shareholders and Amazon.

Re:Makes sense from a shareholder PoV (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 6 months ago | (#46127739)

I'm not so sure. I order twice a month on average and use the hell out of prime videos. Anyway, when I first heard this on NPR I thought to myself that I'd be okay with $99 a year, but at $119 it would be time to think of switching to Netflix or Hulu and stick to shopping locally.

Brilliant strategy: Pay more for less (5, Interesting)

rayd75 (258138) | about 6 months ago | (#46127577)

I find it interesting that this comes just as Amazon has fallen in love with hybrid shipping services such as UPS Mail Innovations and FedEx SmartPost for Prime delivery. These services utilize UPS or FedEx only to the destination city where your package is then handed off to the USPS for delivery. As a result, Prime "guaranteed" 2-day delivery has become "often 2-day" or "occasional 2-day" ...and now, they feel like this is worth more? Wow.

Oh, they still haven't dropped the magic word "guaranteed". Their offering to satisfy the guarantee is an additional month of inconsistent, slower than stated service.

Re:Brilliant strategy: Pay more for less (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127587)

The worst is when they use OnTrac. OnTrac is a Colorado, Nevada, etc. regional carrier. Once you see OnTrac just add a day. Their website will say "guaranteed delivery date of Jan 30" but it won't be there till the 31st. Guaranteed.

Re:Brilliant strategy: Pay more for less (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127737)

I live in Portland and often get Prime packages sent from NV by OnTrac. In my experience they've been pretty darn reliable as far as transit times to the city, but the delivery drivers are some of the laziest around. A couple times they didn't even bother to attempt delivery although that hasn't happened since I complained.

Re:Brilliant strategy: Pay more for less (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127719)

Same here. USPS adds at least a day to delivery, and even at that my "assigned" post office is 28 miles round-trip (the nearest one is 4 miles away, used to be our "assigned" PO).

That's not worth anything to me - UPS, FedEx, and DHL are happy to deliver to our house, but USPS doesn't feel it's worth their effort because the road dead-ends. This is why we need a government monopoly - to ensure "universal service".

I've complained to Amazon, asked to be put on a "no USPS" list - so they can live up to their guarantee, but the best they could offer was to forward the message on to management. Maybe it's my fault prices are going up. :) I can't blame Amazon for the Federal Reserve's dollar-depreciation strategy, though.

CAPTCHA: bilking

Re:Brilliant strategy: Pay more for less (1)

hobbes vs boyle (974630) | about 6 months ago | (#46127981)

If Amazon does indeed give you a guaranteed delivery date and the item doesn't arrive on time you can complain to CS and they'll give you 5 to 10 dollars off/one month of free prime.

Computers have gone DOWN in price (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 6 months ago | (#46127601)

Computers have gone down in price.

I paid $10,000 less for my new tractor than the one 12 years before and the new one is 50% more powerful.

Music, DVDs and other entertainment cost less - I don't go to the theater which I hear costs more but the fact that it costs more is part of why I don't go.

Amazon Prime has even less to delivery than computers so by your logic it should decrease in price over time.

Already have a marker to canel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127605)

Addition of sales taxes at amazon + more competition in streaming service makes this a deal breaker. I was on the fence at $79.

Seeing as it's not a product... (2, Insightful)

jpellino (202698) | about 6 months ago | (#46127609)

...it really doesn't need to be justified. It's a leash. Like your Sam's, BJ's or Costco membership. It makes you want to buy more stuff at Amazon (on account of you don't want to waste that $80 you handed them) and they make it all up on volume and margins. No way the $80 ever offset the shipping in any reasonable fashion. I get free shipping from Bean's and pay nothing up front for it.

They do need to get more money though, if only to replace the drones that will no doubt be used for plinking practice by the neighbor kids.

Re:Seeing as it's not a product... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127787)

You mean anti-capitalist terrorists? They have drones to deal with that.

Re:Seeing as it's not a product... (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 6 months ago | (#46127889)

Disagree. It's not free shipping. It's free two day shipping. That's a big difference. The difference of having to spend a couple of hours to buy stuff at a store 10 miles away, vs having it on my doorstep in a reasonable amount of time. Many times it's there the next day. With two kids, this not only is worth it, it actually saves money big time for or family. Then throw in the occasional free instant video, it's golden.

bad move Amazon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127617)

This is a bad move on Amazons part. I dumped cable in favor of Netflix. I dumped Netflix in favor of Amazon Prime. All 3 have crap content so price point is my comparison. Except Amazons interface is the crappiest of all 3 AND it forces me to stream from an iPod or iPhone to an AppleTV because there is no app for the AppleTV (yet?) and so the resolution is less than other choices. I am not firing up my Playstation every time my kid wants to watch some Nickelodeon stuff as its a power hog.
Amazons prices in general don't encourage me to purchase anything and "free" shipping as a Prime member is not free if the shipping is built into the price of the product. I have made one purchase in 3 months through Prime and that was for a pile of computer memory offered through an affiliate of Amazon.

I WILL go back to Netflix if I am presented with a bill next year that is the same or more than Netflix per year.

Prime air? (1)

JC61990 (2653877) | about 6 months ago | (#46127645)

Maybe they are going to start collecting more to help fund prime air. Either way i get it 50% off with my student discount :P

I'd buy it at $99, maybe not $119 (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | about 6 months ago | (#46127659)

Having Prime makes me more likely to buy an item. In fact, when I search I generally click the "Prime" filter. Many of the items I won't buy without Prime because the extra shipping discourages me .It's not that I care all that much about the actual shipping cost, just the total price. When a retailer puts an artificially low price then tacks on a large shipping price then I get annoyed and don't buy from them. With Prime, I know the price I see is what I'll pay and have it there in two days.

I don't use the Prime video service because it sucks. I can't watch it on AppleTV or Chromecast natively and selection is quite poor.

If only Prime were a premium service... (5, Insightful)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | about 6 months ago | (#46127693)

As a Prime member, for every non-prime eligible item I find, I look for a Prime eligible counterpart. The price for the counterpart is _always_ about $3-5 more expensive, usually by the same amount as the quoted shipping price on the non-Prime eligible item. So what we are getting here is the 2-day upgrade for free, not the entire cost of shipping. Most of the time, 2-day vs. 4-day shipping makes no difference to me.

We do occasionally stream Prime content, but the vast majority of titles on Prime are also on Netflix. If I could cancel my Netflix subscription and replace with Prime, the $120 pricepoint might not look so steep, but alas, it often seems Amazon's library is only about 25% the size of Netflix, so that's not an option.

So as it stands, I feel I am not really getting $80 in value from Prime as it stands. $120 with no improvement to the service is out of the question. I like the idea of a premium Amazon service, it just needs to actually _be_ premium.

Re:If only Prime were a premium service... (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 6 months ago | (#46127929)

Except non prime items ship for $8. They just hide your "savings" in the shipping cost. So you still save $3-$5 on prime and you get it in two days vs a week. With extremely liberal free returns vs paying shipping on returns to 3rd parties.

Well, according to the government (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 6 months ago | (#46127695)

"...How many products do you use that haven't increased in price for that long?..."

Pretty much none. Of course, the government (of both parties) has been telling me "inflation's at/near 0%" for longer than that....

Prime is 29 Euros in Germany (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 6 months ago | (#46127771)

Just FYI

Oh no the sky is falling!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127779)

Darn those pesky first world problems. They have provided a decent service and if you really need to cover the increase, then hit a few garage sales and buy some books cheap to sell back to amazon.

Bad Idea :(......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127795)

NOOOOOOO!
This is a bad idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

still very good deal if you use streaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127809)

Well I have children who love Netflix. However, Amazon prime video has enough stuff now that it's pretty comparable. Plus if there's something I really want to watch and it's not in Prime it is usually available for instant on-demand streaming for a fee (don't have to wait for a DVD per Netflix, which I'm never interested in doing). So I get free shipping + a decent netflix clone for $100/year? It makes sense to me. I suspect my price-point to drop it is over $150 honestly, since I do a large percentage of my shopping on Amazon. I may drop Netflix though.

Why Prime? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 6 months ago | (#46127815)

I never saw the fascination of Amazon Prime. I figured that, like most people on /., I'm not in the target demographic. I'm quite happy to wait 3-5 days for a package to arive. In addition, when I buy a movie, I like to hold the disc in my hand.

Prime is for the people that must have what they bought now. Whatever happened to delaying gratification?

Re:Why Prime? (2)

guruevi (827432) | about 6 months ago | (#46127825)

It's not really the wait time, it's mostly that almost all shipping is free. Where regular Amazon users generally pay a few bucks in shipping per order (yes, there are free 3-5 day shipping items but not everything is), Prime users don't pay anything at all AND they get a 2 day delivery. I order just about anything for my office from Amazon, the Prime cost is recouped in less than a month.

Re:Why Prime? (2)

sehryan (412731) | about 6 months ago | (#46127833)

Amazon Instant Videos, which includes much better movies than are available via Netflix. $79/year breaks down to being cheaper than Netflix Streaming.

The free two-day shipping is just a perk for me. You can also share Prime shipping with other Amazon accounts, which allows my wife (and the business she runs) to benefit from Prime with no additional cost.

Re:Why Prime? (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 6 months ago | (#46127853)

As far as the free shipping goes - It's not just about two day shipping, the "free" (non-Prime) supersaver shipping option only applies on orders over $25. Ordering one book or one DVD won't qualify. Prime, on the other hand, lets you order something for $5 and not have to either find $20 worth of other stuff you don't really want, or add 20-50% to the price just to cover shipping costs.

By itself that's of questionable value, but quite nice, but the fact Prime also includes a Netflix type streaming service and an eBook library makes the subscription worthwhile, at least at its present price, for me.

It *used to be* no taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46127887)

But now that's changed here in Mass. So I'll probably drop in any case in favor Netflix and slightly longer shipping / more comparison shopping.

Re:It *used to be* no taxes (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46127925)

Surprising - our State doesn't extract taxes on sales here in NH, but so many of my friends have Prime. We use it to replace driving. I can get a package overnight for what gas costs to go to the local urban sprawl and do other things with my time. Plus, if you need anything odd, the local & big box stores rarely have it. Yeah, the local store will order it for you if you have two weeks to wait, but to do that you have to go there and not find it in the first place.

Re:Why Prime? (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46127923)

Prime is for the people that must have what they bought now. Whatever happened to delaying gratification?

You don't go to stores? Prime is to replace driving to do store shopping, not getting a book you will read next month. Need an odd concrete anchor bolt you can't find at the little hardware store or Home Depot? Just get it on Amazon and save the hour and a half drive to the specialty concrete yard

Our washing machine died, and I paid $4 to have the part here the very next day. Sears was a week plus shipping and double the price. What benefit would I have gained by waiting a week to fix the washer?

Re:Why Prime? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 6 months ago | (#46127941)

Easy. Don't use it.

Food has gone down in price. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 6 months ago | (#46127823)

In real dollars food costs far less than it did 30 years ago. Not everything goes up in price. In fact, accounting for inflation, a lot of things go down in price.

If it wasn't such a mess in Europe (2)

jbernardo (1014507) | about 6 months ago | (#46127881)

I have Prime for the German amazon, as it is the closest (less delivery time) to where I live, the prices are in euros, and has the most diversity of the European amazon stores.

However, I have my kindle set to amazon.co.uk because I only understand a few German words, most my reading is in English, my magazine subscriptions (Analog) are available only from there or the US, and I'd rather read some of my favourite authors in the original UK English spelling.

As such, I can't loan kindle titles (only if I had my kindle set to the German amazon), and of course I don't have the streaming. The interesting part here is that I can have prime either with German, French, Italian or UK amazon, without living in any of these countries, but I must pay a Prime subscription in each country, like if it was a different company and not the same one with headquarters in Luxembourg.

My Pirates Bay Prime is still the same price... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 6 months ago | (#46127999)

Smarmy answers to rhetorical questions....

The Demonoid made me do it.

Aaarrrrr. Aarrrrrrr...

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