Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

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Austintatious
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Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Austintatious » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:10 am

Hmmm. I just came across this article re Amazon prime stating that Prime subscribers (wow! 40 million in U.S., alone) are spending more than twice as much per year at Amazon than the non-primers. That's an incredible boost in revenue presumably attributed to the Prime campaign.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/2 ... 56374.html

Are consumers making the financially prudent choice by subscribing to Prime or are they being cleverly conditioned by a well designed and orchestrated sales program offering so many great opportunities to "save"? Can it be that, at least for some, signing up for Prime is the bonehead, rather than Boglehead, thing to do?

Steady59
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Steady59 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:16 am

Ah, Huffingtonpost...

Moving on.

I bought a 64" TV with free shipping via Prime. I'm sure that covered the cost of my annual fee for at least 1 year. It really depends upon how much stuff you buy. The free shipping, on the products that fall under that, is great. The streaming video content isn't too bad either though not enough (for me) to ditch my cable subscription. Do I buy stuff on Prime just because I signed up for it? No, but if I am looking for something, I might start there (on Amazon) to compare prices and to read reviews. I'll make the decision where to buy after that which isn't always Amazon. If that means I "drank the Koolaid", then so be it.
Last edited by Steady59 on Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

vveat
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by vveat » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:18 am

But is it a change in spending patterns due to Prime, or is it a self-selected group of people who choose Prime because they already spend more. Could be a combination of both, but I would find more convincing research that compares before and after - how much spending increased after one signs up for Prime.

Personally, we may have had a small increase just from the fact that we are not waiting to combine items for free shipping, but I doubt we've been influenced otherwise. And since we rarely ask for the 2 days delivery, opting instead for the new $1 credit for delayed shipping, we also get a few more movies, but these are for free so not sure it counts.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:19 am

For me its less about saving money and more about not having to go to stores in person. I placed 42 orders in 2014 which is just over $2 per order. Watched a few of their movies and might start using the photo storage soon too. Their return system is easy to use as well. I'm sure I could have saved a little more money by shopping for some items elsewhere but time is money.

ieee488
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by ieee488 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:19 am

I am not paying for my one year of membership. It came with my American Express Blue Everyday card.
I must say the 2-day free shipping is addictive.
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takeshi
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by takeshi » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:21 am

Austintatious wrote:Hmmm. I just came across this article re Amazon prime stating that Prime subscribers (wow! 40 million in U.S., alone) are spending more than twice as much per year at Amazon than the non-primers.
Is Prime the cause or the effect? The answer can and does vary on an individual by individual basis. If one already shops a lot at Amazon then Prime could make sense. If one signs up for Prime and then spends more in general than one would have without Prime then probably not. I have always done a lot of shopping at Amazon so it made sense for me. Prime does make me more inclined to purchase from Amazon but it really doesn't persuade me to spend more in general. I've never made a purchase based solely on Prime. Prime just determines where I make the purchase. However, again, people vary and there are certainly those who do spend more overall because of Prime.
Austintatious wrote:Are consumers making the financially prudent choice by subscribing to Prime or are they being cleverly conditioned by a well designed and orchestrated sales program offering so many great opportunities to "save"? Can it be that, at least for some, signing up for Prime is the bonehead, rather than Boglehead, thing to do?
The study really doesn't seem to address causality. I can only account for my spend. I can't analyze everyone else's spend but of course it can be that people spend more than they normally would because of Prime.

In those regards it seems similar to credit card rewards to me. For some it increases spend. For others it just determines which card is used for spend.
Last edited by takeshi on Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:36 am, edited 18 times in total.

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chumpzilla
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by chumpzilla » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:21 am

Prime leads me to buy stuff on Amazon that I would have bought elsewhere otherwise ... so although my Amazon spending may be up, total spending isn't necessarily so, possibly it's reduced.

Mike Scott
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Mike Scott » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:40 am

The free shipping for a single item I bought last year paid the annual prime fee and more. Another item was offered on a "special one time deal" that we were buying anyway and the savings paid for a couple of years prime fee plus we got the manufacturer rebate also. I am willing to pay a certain amount for convenience but at some price point I would balk; the current $99 point is about it. The value of the video/music streaming is minimal but not $0. Amazon is not always the cheapest on some things so you do need to comparison shop but there are days that I will pay a bit more for something online to avoid the drive and experience of going to (name your favorite large box discounter). On a related note, I wonder how long their business model of losing money can last.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by niceguy7376 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:44 am

For us, we are buying more at Amazon because they are necessities and we either buy from brick and mortar store or Amazon.
Also, we share our prime with 3 others and thus the fee is also spread across us.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Blues » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:46 am

We find Prime to be quite useful as we avail ourselves of many of its benefits...shipping, video, music and very occasionally the lending library. Considering that one can usually find a discount on the subscription offered at least once annually, it offers good bang for the buck imho. Beyond the value itself, the convenience (for us) is a bonus.
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miles monroe
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by miles monroe » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:47 am

i don't shop becasue i have prime; i got prime becasue i shopped.

nowadays, i'd keep prime even if i stopped shopping because of the video streaming.

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Hub
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Hub » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:57 am

barnaclebob wrote:For me its less about saving money and more about not having to go to stores in person.
We are same. I simply do not spend any time in retail stores beyond the grocery store. The "free" 2-day shipping thing is much more about the speed than the cost to me. 2 days means I can afford to wait for it instead of having to go to the store.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by jstrazzere » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:59 am

Austintatious wrote:Are consumers making the financially prudent choice by subscribing to Prime or are they being cleverly conditioned by a well designed and orchestrated sales program offering so many great opportunities to "save"? Can it be that, at least for some, signing up for Prime is the bonehead, rather than Boglehead, thing to do?
Anything is possible, but I haven't yet seen the convincing evidence.

I've used Amazon in equal amounts pre-Prime and post-Prime. For me, it has saved money. I can't speak for others.

zimmer0
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by zimmer0 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:08 am

Amazon is my go-to for anything/everything unless a specialty item. Have prime account thru work so use it for work and play. Need to start buying household things via Prime. I'm sure you can get good deals on bulk items similar to costco/sams.

tj
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by tj » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:14 am

I don't pay for Prime, I was added as a "family member" to my dad's accout, which means I can't do the streaming music or video, or but I do get the prime shipping. It does not cost me a penny more, and actually they are getting less revenue from me because I am not finding things to add to my orders to achieve the minimum for 'free shipping'.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Pizzasteve510 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:18 am

Both.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Ketawa » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:22 am

Correlation is not causation.

Prime is also worthwhile for video streaming. $99/year is basically the same as $96/year for Netflix streaming. Amazon has a lot of HBO's back catalog available for streaming, including all-time great shows like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, and Deadwood. It's a lot cheaper than paying for an HBO subsription for HBO GO and Netflix doesn't have HBO on streaming.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by sesq » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:56 am

It is effective to make me default to amazon for smaller orders because I like the speed of delivery, and sometimes bigger orders I want on a schedule. When the dollars add up I still shop around. I use the streaming service and it really pays off for us at Christmas.

It also helps that I can get 5% off with the discontinued Citi Forward card, and/or buy amazon gift cards at office stores with Ink (5X in points) or other stores where I can get discounts. I can also clear nuisance balances (e.g. rebate on a visa card) to an amazon GC and I know it will get used eventually.

There customer service is pretty decent via e-mail and chat too. I had just renewed prime when they had their one day sale. I sent an e-mail on that day and they issued a credit.

Postmon
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Postmon » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:02 pm

Prime has truly been a lifestyle change for us for the better. We buy almost everything through Amazon. We've saved so much time from having to run stores/malls. Think about how much time you spend over a year driving to/from stores, finding parking, trying to hunt down certain items, etc. Some may enjoy shopping, but for me, the annual fee more than makes up for all the time savings. You also save wear/tear on the car and gas! And, I've found their customer service to be superb.

The free shipping on bulky/heavy items (large TV, basketball hoop, generator, etc.) also saves the hassle of "how am I gonna get this thing home."

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Toons » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:16 pm

Prime has revolutionized the way I shop.
Saves Time ,Money,Gas.
Bought everything from cables to Smart Tv.
I may have purchased a few items on a whim.
If that is the case it "ain't no big deal". :happy
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by swaption » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:27 pm

Classic micro economics, where investment (the annual fee) reduces marginal cost, thereby driving up volume. Years ago, I lived in NYC and did not own a car. When I needed a car, I rented, but that was not very often, and it was expensive. When I owned a car (the investment), this drastically reduced the marginal cost of all sorts of activities (i.e. buying groceries at Fairway on 125th Street), so my car use increased dramatically. With Prime, there are many transactions that likely would not have otherwise occurred.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by gerrym51 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:36 pm

we have prime that we started when we bought a kindle. the good thing about prime is that you never think twice about the costs of shiping. However the products sold using prime are not ALWAYS the best deals.

i'll give you an example. printer cartridges. when i have to put in a new cartridge right after i do it i order one from amazon-comes in 2-3 days later. have it for next time i need it. don't have to go out or stock up.

using this as an example-on this i priced it versus staples and the price was also less expenive(this is not always the case). however if you factor in the hassle componet it is a good deal. Just my opinion.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by TWG1572 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:01 pm

Postmon wrote:Prime has truly been a lifestyle change for us for the better. We buy almost everything through Amazon. We've saved so much time from having to run stores/malls. Think about how much time you spend over a year driving to/from stores, finding parking, trying to hunt down certain items, etc. Some may enjoy shopping, but for me, the annual fee more than makes up for all the time savings. You also save wear/tear on the car and gas! And, I've found their customer service to be superb.

The free shipping on bulky/heavy items (large TV, basketball hoop, generator, etc.) also saves the hassle of "how am I gonna get this thing home."
Exactly. My Amazon spending went up when I got prime, but it was more than offset by the fewer dollars I spent elsewhere plus the reduction in travel costs and time. Amazon is my go-to purchasing option now and the first place I check. If they don't have it, then I resort to local stores.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Gropes & Ray » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:05 pm

I have no doubt that I spend more because I have Prime. It makes it fast and easy to get things on a whim. But, I also buy things on Prime that I would normally go to Target or Wal-Mart for, so it saves me time and a little gas money, and I can have it in 2 days instead of waiting for the weekend. I also watch the videos. All in all, it's a really good service, I just need to be mindful of purchasing things I don't really need.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by saltycaper » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:30 pm

Had prime on and off. We probably spend LESS when using prime, because we don't feel compelled to add something else that we "kinda sorta need" or "will eventually need but not right now" just to meet the 35$ free ship minimum.
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Postmon » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:34 pm

The whole idea of calculated conditioning is really no different than what the brick and mortar stores do. Advertisements and circulars to get you in, product placement strategies, special sales, etc. How many of us have went to the store for one thing and came back with more. I find it much easier to skip the impulse buy on Amazon than when the actual item is staring me in the face..

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by anil686 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:40 pm

I think it is both for our family. We think it is a good deal on some items (household staples such as paper products) as well as kind of one time buy items (i.e. dog toys) as well as free/fast shipping that eliminates time wastage for a special stop at certain stores. However, I have seen a shift in prices (significant) where larger retailers (WMart and Target) have similar or better prices on items that used to be about 10% more buying in the store. I don't know if others have noticed that - but we do subscribe and save to save even more with prime and the cost of toilet paper (for example) has come down at Wmart and Target to match the S&S price at Amazon (not true even last year). I think many of the larger retailers are surfing Amazon and trying to price match - but that may be a short and inaccurate view...

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by texasdiver » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:44 pm

I don't think it is really any different from warehouse membership fees such as the annual fees charged by Costco. I buy a ton of stuff at both Costco and Amazon, not because of the fees, but because they are the best combination of price, convenience, and service.

In any event, the prime membership replaces Netflix so the free shipping is basically a free perk for those who use streaming.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Postmon » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:50 pm

anil686 wrote: I think many of the larger retailers are surfing Amazon and trying to price match - but that may be a short and inaccurate view...
I think long term it will all converge Many of the major chains now advertise that they'll price match Amazon. On the other hand, I read that Amazon is planning to open a retail store in NY.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by tnbison » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:53 pm

Wife and I placed 67 orders in 2014. Lots of things purchased for the best price we could find, some for the convenience. We also both use it to order things for work too.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Xpe » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:00 pm

vveat wrote:But is it a change in spending patterns due to Prime, or is it a self-selected group of people who choose Prime because they already spend more. Could be a combination of both, but I would find more convincing research that compares before and after - how much spending increased after one signs up for Prime.

Personally, we may have had a small increase just from the fact that we are not waiting to combine items for free shipping, but I doubt we've been influenced otherwise. And since we rarely ask for the 2 days delivery, opting instead for the new $1 credit for delayed shipping, we also get a few more movies, but these are for free so not sure it counts.
There's absolutely a self selection factor here, people who buy more from amazon are more likely to get their money's worth from prime.

Once you have prime, there is also a strong incentive to do all or most of your online shopping from amazon as opposed to other online retailers. For example, i used to buy a lot from backcountry.com, but now i am more likely to purchase from amazon for the free shipping.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:22 pm

I was a Prime subscriber for many years and cancelled last year when they increased the price for it.

I haven't done any scientific study of my shopping behavior, but it is pretty clear that I have bought a lot less on Amazon since then. I would like to claim that I have in fact have bought a lot less, period. In other words, I don't feel like I shifted my spend so much to other merchants as that I now think twice about clicking the "Buy Now" button since it either costs me shipping or takes a fairly long time to get here (unlike most other online merchants, they seem to take a good 2-3 days to actually package stuff up and hand it to the shipping company now that I am no longer a Prime customer).

I am also at the moment doing a "decluttering" of my house in anticipation of a move later this spring. And I come across quite a few things that I regret ever spending money on.

The $72 discounted Prime offer last weekend was tempting... But I resisted the urge :)

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by E-M-H » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:28 pm

First, Prime doesn't really pay for itself with just a single large purchase unless the 2-day delivery is really important to the buyer . Most (but possibly not all) large items qualify for free shipping anyway. But I must admit that the quick delivery has become addictive.

Also, with Prime it seems that you pay more than the yearly fee for the shipping benefit. For many products, Amazon cautions that the same item may be available for a lower price from merchants not offering Prime. The implication is there is both a fixed and variable component to the Prime shipping cost, and the net cost of using Prime is higher than $99.95 per year.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by tj » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:33 pm

E-M-H wrote:First, Prime doesn't really pay for itself with just a single large purchase unless the 2-day delivery is really important to the buyer . Most (but possibly not all) large items qualify for free shipping anyway. But I must admit that the quick delivery has become addictive.

Also, with Prime it seems that you pay more than the yearly fee for the shipping benefit. For many products, Amazon cautions that the same item may be available for a lower price from merchants not offering Prime. The implication is there is both a fixed and variable component to the Prime shipping cost, and the net cost of using Prime is higher than $99.95 per year.

it has not been my experience that there is stuff listed for cheaper than Prime when you consider the shipping costs from the Marketplace sellers.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by englishgirl » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:34 pm

I had Prime for free for a year after I bought a Kindle. I found it somewhat addicting, and I definitely spent more because of it, so I didn't renew it. Without Prime, I find there is a built-in resistance factor when I either have to make a trip to the store or add up a basket for $35, plus the fact that regular shipping takes a week. I often ask myself if I really need an item, and can frequently talk myself out of buying it at all. With Prime, it was super easy to hit "buy" and that was that.

I suppose it is the same as the research that suggests that people spend more when they put it on a credit card. When it is so easy to shop, why not? Forking over hard cash is more difficult - not that I have stopped using my CC as I am not about to carry about wads of cash, but I can see the principle behind it.
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by fandango » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:37 pm

I have been a Prime member since the program began. I have always felt that I got my money's worth. I have run several cost analyses.

My biggest complaint now is that Amazon uses the USPS to deliver packages. For me, this means that many items are crammed into my mailbox by the postal carrier because he is too lazy to get out of his vehicle and bring it to my door. Some items are fragile and have been damaged that way. And, there are the endless complaints by the mail carrier that I order too may packages and that he is working too hard. Never heard any complaints from the UPS driver!

Going to the USPS for Prime customers was a poor decision by Amazon.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by celia » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:53 pm

My son was working on a fundraiser to collect craft supplies for hospitalized kids. A few friends sent him packages of crayons. I asked why they would pay more for shipping than the value of the crayons. He said it shipped for free as they had amazon prime. Yeah, why not ship $1 or $5 items overnight for free :oops:

College students can get prime for free for 6 months if they have a college email account (ending .edu). Now that is "conditioning" the buyer!
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by celia » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:56 pm

tj wrote:it has not been my experience that there is stuff listed for cheaper than Prime when you consider the shipping costs from the Marketplace sellers.
I disagree. I buy a lot of used books, many for $0.01 plus $3.99 shipping. That is often less than the new book at Amazon.

The other day I had an order and had a hard time getting up to $35 from the Amazon warehouse as most of the things were coming from third parties.
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Gropes & Ray » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:59 pm

E-M-H wrote:Also, with Prime it seems that you pay more than the yearly fee for the shipping benefit. For many products, Amazon cautions that the same item may be available for a lower price from merchants not offering Prime. The implication is there is both a fixed and variable component to the Prime shipping cost, and the net cost of using Prime is higher than $99.95 per year.
I have noticed this. My (bad) habit is to sort items to see only Prime offerings, but often lower priced items are available with free shipping, but not two-day shipping. So for some items, the shipping is built into the price.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by mlebuf » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:08 pm

Whether or not Amazon Prime is worth is simply a matter of it's worth $99 a year for you to subscribe to their benefits.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ ... =200444160

For some it's worth it and for others it's a waste of money. As consumers, we each have to make the choice that's right for us. I subscribe to Amazon Prime and find it worthwhile. Can't say the same for the Huffington Post.
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Youngblood
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Youngblood » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:11 pm

I had prime membership for one year. Amazon used to be a better deal and with free shipping I thought it was a good deal. Lately with the price increase to $99. and the fact that Best Buy matches prices and has the advantage of 3D hands on as well as an easy return policy I let my membership expire. Wal-Mart often has lower prices and also has a very easy return policy. I buy 10 bars of Ivory soap aloe for $2.97 at Wal-Mart. I just checked at Amazon and the same 10 pack, personal size was $12.50.

I also greatly prefer Netflix and Pandora.

Tax is the same whether I buy at a retail store or on Amazon.

I do buy less now that I no longer have AP and the fact that Amazon prices are no longer always the lowest.
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by UADM » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:19 pm

I save tons on gas, not having to drive everywhere. I save tons because prices are cheaper than competitors. I get an extra 1% cash back(3% vs 2%) with the amazon card. I don't buy extra. If things are cheaper elsewhere, then I buy them elsewhere. Comparing prices online is easy.

I also have watched 2 shows using prime video.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Caduceus » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:29 pm

I love Amazon, but it doesn't matter to me whether my item reaches me in 2 days or 10 days, so I don't see the point of Prime.

The other thing is that Amazon rarely has site-wide coupons, whereas many other online retail stores have 10%, 15% or 20% promo codes you can easily find on the internet, so they often turn out to be significantly cheaper.

Amazon's customer service is really good though. They always make good on a problematic delivery at very little hassle to the customer.

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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by UADM » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Caduceus wrote:I love Amazon, but it doesn't matter to me whether my item reaches me in 2 days or 10 days, so I don't see the point of Prime.

The other thing is that Amazon rarely has site-wide coupons, whereas many other online retail stores have 10%, 15% or 20% promo codes you can easily find on the internet, so they often turn out to be significantly cheaper.

Amazon's customer service is really good though. They always make good on a problematic delivery at very little hassle to the customer.
Amazon now offers slower shipping, if speed isn't important. You get $1 off ebooks, music, and some other things each time you do it. I've made back $20 this way so far.

I did get one 30% off any book coupon in December and $10 off 100 in shoes around the same time. Still, even without promo codes, the prices usually beat competitors. If not, then you buy from them. Even with target's 5% off credit card, which also gives free shipping, their prices, even with promos, aren't generally nearly as good as amazon and their selection is usually much, much worse.
Last edited by UADM on Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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knpstr
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by knpstr » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:37 pm

Steady59 wrote: I bought a 64" TV with free shipping via Prime. I'm sure that covered the cost of my annual fee for at least 1 year.
Just for full disclosure, I went to Amazon.com and put a Samsung 64" TV in my cart, it was free shipping

... I'm not a Prime member. I don't think you made up for your annual fee on that purchase.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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mike143
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by mike143 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:17 pm

You can share the prime shipping benefits with four other people. Even at the $99 it cost now that is only $20 a person. Between home and work I had 191 orders for 2014. I compare price against Google Shopping and buy from Amazon when it makes sense. Recently bought a humidifier not on Amazon because they charged tax and another reputable vendor did not, same pre-tax price.

2014: 191 orders
2013: 172 orders
2012: 167 orders
2011: 89 orders

I buy a lot of odd ball items that you cannot pickup in a local store. Recently needed a low wattage medium base LED bulb. Try finding a 25w equivalent medium base LED bulb at the store.
Nothing is free, someone pays...You can't spend your way to financial freedom.

fsrph
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by fsrph » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:18 pm

I'm sure some people buy more because of Prime and some don't. You save significant shipping costs with Prime on big items such as a lawnmower. But is that the best way to buy a lawnmower? To me it isn't.

Prime is a tool. If you use Prime for items you would otherwise buy that's great. But control your impulse purchases because of the free shipping. What I've found is other outlets can be even cheaper than Amazon. I've bought items from Walmart.com that were better priced than Amazon.

Francis
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie

Raladic
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Raladic » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:08 pm

I have prime since 2012 and I don't buy more (in general) because of Prime, but I may decide to buy it through Amazon for convenience, including small convenience items, such as Command strips - sure I could have gone to the Container Store, but why not just press "buy now" and wait 2 days.

Also - there are quite a few 3rd party vendors that do "fulfilled by Amazon", which gives me free prime shipping, instead of buying through the vendors own website that may charge for shipping.

I do also use Kindle and have found a few new authors through the free monthly book and the occasional free Prime Instant movie is a nice plus.

Khanmots
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by Khanmots » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:36 pm

Caducues, I've been surprised at how much of a difference the expedited shipping has made in my purchasing habits. Broken toilet seat? I can live with that for 2 days and save $30 over buying the replacement at the local home improvement store (and amazon has a far larger selection!) Pre-prime days though I'd have been buying it local at the premium as I wouldn't want to live with it that long. Lots of other little things. Realize I'm about to run outta floss? Rather than make a special trip to the store I'll just order it. If I don't floss for one day, oh well. Not flossing for a week or more on the other hand... :P

Before I had prime I'd be ordering DVDs or books or whatnot. And yeah, 2 days or 10, whatever. But the only types of purchases I was making was those where 2 days or 10 was all the same. What prime really seems to be doing for amazon is shifting people's purchases of the little "need in the next day or two" things to amazon.

I'm paying for prime for the convenience, not for the "savings".

Standard free shipping from other vendors is usually available for roughly the same price or less as the prime item. Actually, just ordered something yesterday that was less from a non-prime vendor that fell in the "2 or 10, meh" category. And if you check free vs non-free shipping vendors, you'll usually find that it's about the same there too. Shipping really does cost someone money ;)

Only savings comes when you really do need 2-day shipping... like when you forget to order xmas gifts until December 23rd... :oops: (they showed on the 24th!) Prime saved me a bundle there (and was what drove me to first pick it up actually :mrgreen: )

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oneleaf
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Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

Post by oneleaf » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:56 pm

Having Amazon Prime actually has some major lifestyle implications, that is hard to measure, some of which can have major financial gains. I know more than one couple, who can now live with only one car in the household, because they can do so much shopping using both Amazon Prime and Google checkout, including groceries. This is a huge financial saving. This of course depends on the region you live in, but I think that the trends are really showing that people's lifestyles are changing as a result of many of these new conveniences.

So what if these people are now spending much more on Amazon as a result of Prime? The statistic that Huff Post provides hardly explains what is actually happening in terms of money spent, consumption level, time savings/conveniences, etc.

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