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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year 298

Posted by timothy
from the now-how-much-would-you-pay? dept.
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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Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

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  • how many products? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @06:34AM (#46127249) Homepage Journal

    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).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 01, 2014 @06:40AM (#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.

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @08:15AM (#46127521) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @08:29AM (#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.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@ao[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday February 01, 2014 @08:29AM (#46127551) Journal

    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.

  • by jpellino (202698) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @08:50AM (#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.

  • by SavvyPlayer (774432) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @09:18AM (#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:Why Prime? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday February 01, 2014 @10:25AM (#46127923) Homepage Journal

    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?

  • by theedgeofoblivious (2474916) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @11:21AM (#46128197)

    Nine years ago, I could order whatever I wanted and have it delivered in two days.

    Now every item on Amazon is an "add-on item" that you can only get shipped to you if you're buying more than $25 worth of stuff. Making me pay $25 for extra stuff I don't need or want when I need toothpaste and deodorant is quite an increase in cost from nine years ago. Amazon Prime was almost $80. That $80 investment gives people quite an incentive to choose amazon.com, and it's not even like every item on amazon was available for Prime shipping even before they started doing this "add-on item" crap. There are plenty of times where I've chosen the prime item, not because it was the cheapest, but because it would be here in two days. There are many other sites and many other non-prime Amazon sellers who have better prices. Being locked into a system that doesn't have the lowest prices is not a benefit. It's a burden.

    And to make matters worse, if I decide that I do want just one add-on item, I can't even opt to just pay the cost of shipping on that one "add-on item" that I do want. If shipping is costing you too much, why can't I just pay the cost of shipping to have you send the *one* thing I do want? People who don't have Amazon Prime get to pay regular shipping cost without having to buy $25 worth of stuff they don't need, so why do people who are paying $80 extra have to get screwed over every time?

    Asking someone to pay almost $80 per year to get "unlimited two-day shipping" on things and then hiding most items behind an "add-on item" label and not allowing them to order said items at all unless said person buys $25 worth of stuff every time is not a money saver, and it is not the same price as it was nine years ago. A $40 increase in price for something that is now a burden and not a service is not justified or reasonable.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @11:44AM (#46128301) Homepage

    Nothing is decreasing in price. Please name ONE thing that is still the same quality as before but is lower in price.

    HDTV's are garbage quality compared to what was out 10 years ago, yes UTTER garbage. They used to be repairable by swapping out separate boards, today they are throw-away items because they are made as cheap as possible. Electronics in general are utter crap quality compared to 10-20 years ago. THAT is why it's cheaper.

    You are paying less for a lesser product.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @11:47AM (#46128319) Homepage

    Mostly because Newspapers only hire no talent hacks to write for them that have no education at all in what they are reporting.

    newspapers killed themselves, they deserve the horrible lingering death they are enjoying.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @11:54AM (#46128363) Homepage

    Amazon punishes people who use free shipping, they will refuse to process the order until there is a whole semi truck full going to the section of the state you are in, I have had an item sit for 7 days before they shipped it. It's the scammy Fedex Post they use, Fedex delivers a semi truck to your state region post office then they carry the packages off to the cities around it. If your timing sucks it can be up to 10 days before it ships.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 01, 2014 @01:49PM (#46128969)

    When Amazon introduced Prime at $79, I evaluated it.
    It really didn't offer me enough to compensate for the $79 fee.
    Some people have a life style that the service at makes sense, at certain price points.
    I imagine there are some people for whom a Valet makes sense.

    For you it may be the greatest thing since slice bread.
    For me, the break even is very low. Lower than $79.

    It will be interesting to see what they do.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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