We are in the middle of the holiday shopping craze. This week is Thanksgiving and Black Friday is right on its way. On top of that, Cyber Monday starts the week after. This is the week of deals and steals. People will be shopping their minds away until they literally pass out. While I’m not a big Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopper, I don’t mind getting a good deal when I shop. As most of you know, I love Amazon. I do most of my shopping there. I’m also an Amazon Prime member. There was a time when I thought that I wouldn’t renew my prime membership because it jumped in cost. It went from $79 to $99. Now, I haven’t paid the $99 yet. My membership renews in February. After this year, I thought I was done. Well, it looks like I’m keeping it for another year and will pay the $99. I always see people wondering if Amazon Prime is worth the money. Well, I’m going to break it down with math this time. Remember, everyone’s situation is different and you need to do the math yourself.
Is Amazon Prime Worth the Money? – A Mathematical Approach
I’m not tackling this by an emotional approach or a convenience approach. I don’t want to get into that, especially when math works just fine. As we gear up for Christmas, I can easily gauge what it would cost me for shipping if I chose what Amazon gives me in my Prime membership. Remember, for $99 a year, you get unlimited free two-day shipping on anything prime eligible. There are millions of items prime eligible. You also get access to Kindle sharing, Amazon instant video, Amazon Prime music, and other services which Amazon provides. They are also now testing out the ability to check out and use your two-day shipping benefit on other websites. That would be awesome. This breakdown is just going to deal with the two-day shipping as that is what’s easily calculated.
I placed 11 orders this year so far. While not much, I haven’t done my holiday shopping yet. I plan on placing a few more orders, not all at once as I know there will be deal staggered across the holiday season. I also have some regular items I need to purchase. Here is a breakdown of my purchases, just what it would cost for two-day shipping had I not been an Amazon Prime member. These are just two-day shipping charges and nothing else like taxes. Since Amazon has a distribution center in our state (or will soon), we pay sales tax.
|Order||Amount I Paid||Amount I Could Have Paid||Savings|
Now, you are probably wondering why there are shipping charges in the “Amount I Paid” column. Well, the two-day shipping is not really free. It costs you the amount of the Prime membership. Since I paid $79.00, I just divided that amount by the number of orders I placed. This makes the math a little easier to look at. You might also ask how I got the shipping charges since I’m already a Prime member. It was hard to do in my account, but I remembered my wife has an account which she doesn’t really use. She’s not a big online shopper, but has a Kindle, so she has an account. I haven’t shared my Amazon Prime benefits with her yet, but I could. Luckily for me, I hadn’t yet. I found each item I ordered and went through the checkout process as normal. Before I placed the order, I was able to get the charges for two-day shipping. That’s how I arrived at these numbers.
So, Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
For me, yes it is. You can see that I saved quite a bit of money on shipping charges. $167.80 to be exact. That’s nothing to sneeze about. This was how much it was including the Prime membership costs. Now, I know there are some of you saying that Amazon already has free shipping for orders over $35. Yes, they do have free shipping, but it’s not two-day shipping. I can place an order on Monday and have it on Wednesday. There have been times when I would get the package the next day. I’m going to speculate that Amazon puts Prime members in the front of the shipping line. This means those who have free shipping, standard shipping, and super saver shipping are going to be last out of the warehouse.
A few years ago you could order many things on Amazon without Prime and get it two or three days later. That has slowly changed. I think Amazon might be using their shipping speeds to force people to get Prime or at least speed up the sign ups. For me, Prime works and I like it. I also use Amazon Instant Video and Prime Music. I get those services with my membership, so it distributes out my costs. I’m also not done Christmas shopping yet. I plan on saving another $13.86 on this Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce Basket, which I put on my “ten Christmas gifts for him under $35” list.
Knowing that I will be using my Prime membership next year as well, I’m sure I will also win on the shipping savings. I can’t answer the question “is Amazon Prime worth it” for you as each person’s situation is different. I know many people who use the hell out of Prime and save a ton of money on shipping charges. I saved a lot of money on shipping a safe and a dehumidifier. Those would have cost me a pretty penny shipping from another store, even on Amazon.The best advice I have on Amazon Prime is try it out and see if you like it. Yes, it costs $99, but if you shop there a lot and would love to watch movies and listen to music and any other features they plan on releasing, then it might be worth it. Do the math!