Paycheck Chronicles

Kate Is Clueless About Amazon Prime Shipping and Prices

Today, I saw something new in Amazon-world:  the product I want is cheaper for Amazon Prime customers, and it is available faster (and not just because of the shipping.)  I've never seen this before, and I wonder if it is a new strategy.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Amazon Prime, it is a subscription service that provides free, second day shipping on all Amazon purchases, regardless of the size of the order, plus a host of other benefits such as the Kindle Lending Library and video streaming.    Amazon Prime is super-popular, particularly with military members living overseas who do a large amount of shopping via Amazon.

Amazon recently increased the cost of Amazon Prime to $99 per year, and is in the middle of a series of changes to the program.  It has removed the ability to add up to four people extra people to one account.  Changing soon is the two-day shipping on all items - now certain items may have longer shipping times depending on your location.

While I haven't located any announcement, I saw something new today:  the calculator I want to buy is $88.00 for Amazon Prime customers, and it is available for immediate shipment.  The same calculator is $110.00 for customers who are not Prime members, and it won't ship until 11 September.  It almost seems like they are reserving this popular back-to-school item for their Prime customers until after the end of the busy calculator season.

As I said, I've never seen this cheaper pricing for Amazon Prime members before.  In fact, Amazon has been accused of charging Prime members higher prices.  That certainly isn't the case for me today.

I have several questions for you:  Do you pay for Amazon Prime?  Have you been affected by the changes to the program?  And have you ever seen lower or higher prices for Amazon Prime customers?

As families consider whether Amazon Prime is a good value for their situation, your experience and responses will help people make the right decision for them.  So, thanks in advance!

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