Does this sound familiar? Celebrating your family member’s or friends’ birthdays whom you haven’t seen in years or you’re just “not that close to” and yet you are supposed to divine their birthday wishes. You phone your aunts, uncles, your friends’ friends, and stalk their Facebook pages to see their interests. Luckily, they have an Amazon.com Wishlist and even luckier for you: You have an Amazon Prime Membership!
Amazon’s incredible Prime Membership offers the ever-accurate free two-day shipping or next day shipping at an astounding $3.99. If the party was tomorrow, you’d be able to select all the Prime Eligible items and get them delivered next day (even “gift-wrapped” without a price tag and a greeting!) You just saved a bunch of time and money. Who has the time these days to walk around a crowded superstore for presents? Amazon Online makes it easy to choose the right present at the right color and have it delivered quickly using their superb 1-Click checkout.
For the past 9 years, Amazon has charged its loyal clients a humble $79 per year of Prime Membership fee. Without notice, the strange amount would populate on your bank statement and you would go online, smack your head and say “Oh… That’s right!” Well, that $79 charge has been just transformed into $99.
Looking at the market as a whole though, Amazon has done a phenomenal job in maintaining its $79 charge for as long as it did. Services such as the completely electronic OnStar system charges anywhere from $200 to $300 per year. Though they serve completely different functions, OnStar provides GPS and safety support from a distance while Amazon can deliver a slow-cooker to your house for free in two days. Could gas prices have played a role in this increase? “Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years.” The Prime Team hinted in an e-mail on early Thursday morning.
There have been mixed reactions to this increase: Some people will drop Prime Membership, some will stay and some have to make their own decisions based on their ordering history.
“I love my Amazon account, $20 more a year is definitely worth all the money I save on shipping. Plus, Amazon’s website is so bright and cheerful that I can’t resist it. It’s the first and almost only place I go to for just about anything I need.” Says Judy Williamson, a Prime Membership subscriber.
On the other hand, some Prime Membership subscribers such as Thomas Spool state: “The whole reason I signed up for Amazon is because they were the only ones not changing their prices. They had integrity and kept their price stable for their clients. I sense they will get a taste for it and before you know it they will be charging ridiculous prices for membership. I’m sorry and I’ll miss the shipping but its back to Walmart and Target for me.”
One thing is for certain, Amazon is going strong. Much stronger than their competitors. With Video Streaming and millions of titles and series in their library, Amazon is crushing Netflix’s stock which has dropped -1.49%. And who can forget Amazon’s arch nemesis: eBay. Apparently some people forgot, as their stock dropped -2.10%. The undisputed champion is Amazon whose stock was up by .70%.
Whether it is a gift for your bashful, kitten loving-friend or a wacky cousin obsessed with the color of lime- for $20 extra Amazon still delivers Prime.
By Atar Kishon
Amazon’s Prime E-mail