Amazon Prime: Is It Worth It?

I've been using Amazon Prime Membership for three and a half years now. The membership features:

  • Unlimited two-day shipping on Amazon items sold on their website
  • An option of overnight shipping for an additional $3.99
  • No minimum size order required
  • Membership-sharing for up to four household members

When I worked a full-time office job, I rarely had time to shop in physical stores, much less bargain shop. Amazon.com has below retail prices and great customer service. I even signed up for an Amazon.com credit card and my husband and I put all our expenses on it and paid it off each month just so we'd get the credit vouchers for Amazon.com.

Lately, we've been switching back to the debit card and cash, and I work from home so it's easier for me to shop in stores. With a $79 Amazon Prime Membership price tag, I've been wondering if it's worth it for our family anymore.

Plus, I've noticed that Walmart online often has cheaper prices on similar items and very low shipping (it's also very slow). But, WalMart doesn't have some of the name brands like Amazon does when it comes to clothes and shoes.

So I looked up how many orders I placed each year on Amazon.com:

  • 2008: 37. ($2.13 shipping average)
  • 2007: 78 (about a dollar per order -- I had a baby that year and didn't leave the house much!)
  • 2006: 39 ($2.02 shipping average)

With the cost of postage rising May 11, I think it's a deal worth keeping around, especially when you consider the average cost two-day shipping. (USPS Priority mail is 1-3 day shipping with rates starting at $4.95 prior to the postage increase.)

Is it worth it for you? Amazon Prime is worth it if you:

  • Place more than 16 orders a year on Amazon.com
  • Don't have time to bargain-hunt in store or online
  • Buy a lot of books and music
  • Often need your items quickly

This service is also great for last-minute birthday gifts.

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