A short time before Christmas last year, my husband signed up for a free trial promotion of Amazon Prime. We wanted to make sure that the Christmas gifts we ordered arrived on time, and Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping. I had resisted Prime for quite a while, due to the $79.99 annual fee, but I figured that, once we finished the trial, and Christmas was safely delivered, we could cancel and avoid the fee.
Fast forward a few months, and we haven’t canceled because I’ve decided that I quite like Amazon Prime.
Convenience and Access
In reality, it’s all about convenience. We do a lot of our shopping online. While we try to shop locally when we can, there are some things that we can’t find in our small valley. Specialty foods and a number of inexpensive entertainment items just aren’t available here in town. So, we order them on Amazon.
Before, we just used Super Saver shipping. However, doing so meant that if we didn’t want to pay for shipping, we had to order enough to amount to $25. After doing the math, we realized that we spent more money each year trying to get free shipping than we would spend on the Amazon Prime membership. Plus, the membership comes with two-day shipping. We can get our orders quickly, increasing the convenience.
Another bonus is that we are able to access instant streaming of movies and TV shows. While there isn’t a terribly wide selection right now, it is growing — and some of the offerings are newer than what we can find on Netflix. But one of the real perks for me is the library lending program offered through Amazon Prime. I can “check out” thousands of books for free using my Kindle. I don’t have to leave the house; just use my Kindle to access Prime-available books.
Amazon Prime represents convenience and access on a number of levels. We have found that Amazon Prime is definitely worth the money for us.
Evaluating Whether a Price is Worth Paying
Of course, for someone who only uses Amazon on occasion, Prime might not be the best option. However, we probably should have been using Amazon Prime two or three years ago at my house.
There are many services out there that provide convenience and access for a fee. What you need to decide is whether or not these types of costs are worth it for you. Consider your situation, and evaluate your habits. I have embraced the Kindle, and love reading books on the device. My husband has been won over by streaming TV and movies. With Amazon Prime, we have unlimited access to our favorite entertainment options, without extra cost, and we have the convenience of fast shipping for our purchases.
To us, the convenience is worth it. This concept carries over in other areas as well. Consider how much convenience is worth to you, and whether you will use the services enough to make paying the price worth it. We’ve recently decided to drop the DVD delivery with Netflix because we’re just not using that part of the service and instead been streaming everything. In any case, the important thing is to look at your options and habits, and then only pay for what you will actually use.