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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee 276

An anonymous reader writes with official news that, as expected, "Amazon officially announced that it is increasing Prime Membership fees from $79 to $99. Amazon Students will pay $49, and participants of Amazon Fresh (the grocery shopping service) will continue to have a $299 fee. The price hike in Prime Membership is attributed to rising shipping costs, but some wonder if the 'real question around Prime is whether it's sustainable at all, even at a higher price.'"
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

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  • Re:Still worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @04:36PM (#46476845)

    They already have free shipping at the $35 order mark, so... no.

    The free shipping is "standard 5-8 day shipping", so it's not quite the same as free 2-day prime shipping.

    Plus, my orders rarely exceed $35, so it might take weeks to accumulate an order that big.

    Prime still provides value to me (I dropped my $7.99 Netflix subscription when Amazon added free Prime movie streaming - both Netflix and Amazon streaming catalogs are equally poor), even when they increase it from $6.60/month to $8.25/month.

  • by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @04:37PM (#46476871) Homepage Journal

    They have a horde of loyal customers who are willing to pay a FEE just to have "exclusive" access to free shipping and some media streaming. What about that needs to be "sustainable", the goal is merely to make people feel compelled to prefer to shop where they have a vested interest (also known as the human nature to "send good money after bad"). Are they collecting as much from the prime fee as it costs them to ship all that crap? Probably not, but that's hardly the point. The question to ask is: would they make more money if prime didn't exist? Meaning, would all those customers who bought with prime have just shopped elsewhere instead? The answer is probably yes, otherwise Amazon would be pulling the plug instead of doubling down and increasing the rate. The last thing they want to do is drive away customers.

  • Re:Still Worth It (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @04:38PM (#46476887) Homepage Journal

    But that strikes me as "Paying for the right to continue using your own property as you wish".

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @04:52PM (#46477093) Journal
    What happened was that Amazon expected more people to take advantage of the other Prime features besides free shipping. Instead, free shipping was by far the only thing people really used it for. Their streaming services don't have any of the things I want to watch, unfortunately, since the streaming rights to those shows were all gobbled up by the competitors.
  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @04:55PM (#46477125)

    I can't speak for anyone but myself (and my facebook posting about this has generated quite a bit of discussion about this amongst my friends), but this will result in me spending less at Amazon, as well as not renewing Prime next year. Prime is great for things I don't need today, but would love by the end of the week (2-day shipping). It's great for the one time every couple years I need something tomorrow with $3.99 overnight. The video services I don't use (hulu + netflix), and I don't do the kindle sharing thing. The Kindle itself has replaced almost all of my book buying habits, with the exception of technical books, which I still prefer in dead-tree edition. This has reduced the need to actually ship things to me. Over the last year or so, I've begun exploring stuff like buying toiletries via Prime, just to make it semi-worthwhile. I still don't use Prime to order computer parts, or giant TVs and the like as I'd rather have a local return point vs. packing and shipping defective items, etc, but I could be convinced if the value was there. Basically, at $79 a year, I felt that was fair enough that I didn't even bother to create a new account with my educational email address to pay the student rate. At $99/year, that value proposition no longer holds true for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    So, after my Prime runs out, I'll be shopping more locally and maybe paying a little more, to get the things I normally would have ordered from Amazon. Oh well, such is life.

  • by neo-mkrey ( 948389 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @06:05PM (#46477923)
    I truly feel I get my money's worth out of this. The same can not said of my overpriced ISP and my overpriced cell phone service.

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