Thursday, 10 April 2014

Amazon Prime: Why Prime Is Worth Every Penny

Amazon is a company that has built itself a very successful name throughout the internet, for supplying quality products, competitive prices and fantastic customer service. I challenge you to find somebody that has not heard of the company that continues to grow and continues to widen it's range of products and services all of the time.

I have always been an enthusiastic, yet cautious Amazon shopper for a couple of years... the convenience, wide range of products and product availability, plus the outstanding customer service Amazon prides itself on naturally led me to it's latest shiny offering - Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime is a pioneering product for the company. In the UK, Amazon originally saw Prime as an offering allowing Amazon customers to "Get unlimited, FREE one-day delivery on millions of products" and this continues to be the case. With the vast amount of shopping I already undertook via Amazon and other sites, normally paying additional delivery charges and regularly waiting 3-5 working days for my shopping to arrive, for me Amazon Prime was an offer I couldn't refuse... or at least try! 
Amazon didn't disappoint me. I originally enrolled on a 30-day free trial, which Amazon are happy to let you use without restriction or any charges to try out the service (you can get your own free trial, here). From the moment I upgraded, I could already see the benefits. Forgot a last minute gift? No problem, Amazon can deliver tomorrow. Need something urgently for a project? No problem, Amazon will deliver tomorrow. Increasingly, I found myself turning to Amazon for more and more of my shopping. More often than not, the item prices were very competitive and in addition I would not have to pay any shipping charges AND I could receive my item tomorrow, with the addition of courier package tracking on most deliveries. 

Recently, Amazon has increased the offerings included within Prime. For an annual fee of £79 per year, you can now receive the following:
  • Enjoy all the benefits of Amazon Prime Instant Video.
  • Borrow books from a choice of over 500,000 titles from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
  • Get unlimited, FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items.
Amazon Prime Instant Video piggybacks off Amazon's existing company Lovefilm. It's a Movie/TV on-demand streaming service, which includes unlimited instant streaming of over 15,000 movies and TV shows, which you can watch anywhere, anytime with unlimited access throughout the UK. Another bonus feature of Prime Instant Video allows a UK user to watch exclusive hit TV shows before they air on British TV. Bonus!

Pricing

Amazon Prime has two pricing models. £5.99/month for Amazon Prime Instant Video only, or £79 annually which includes the one-day deliveries and 'borrow-a-book' from Kindle, which allows you to borrow a wide range of books from the Kindle store, for free. I'm not a Kindle user myself, so this didn't really have any benefit for me, however I decided to sit down and review my existing expenditure:

Before Prime:
  • I would purchase a minimum of 2 items a month from Amazon, at about £3.95 P&P per item. This equals £7.90/month on carriage charges (3-5 day deliveries).
  • I already have a LoveFilm subscription which I was paying £7.99/month.
  • Total paid per year = Minimum of £190.68 a year!
After Prime:
The total of these two above points alone meant I was spending a minimum of £190.68 a year! Crazy. Thankfully, with Amazon Prime, this has saved me at least £111 a year and I get an upgraded 'VIP' delivery service for the items I was going to buy anyway!

Is Amazon Prime Right For Me?
The usefulness of Amazon Prime is different for each and every person. I now regularly make 5-10 orders a month, now incorporating my free, fast-tracked delivery whilst watching the movies provided by Amazon Instant Video on the big screen! It's entirely down to your personal preference, however if you often find yourself paying over the odds on P&P charges, get frustrated with delivery times or find you struggle for choice, Amazon Prime is a good bet for you.

Amazon provide a free, 30-day trial of Amazon Prime (including Amazon Prime Instant Video). Try it out, give it a spin, see what you think. It would be great to hear your thoughts and I hope this article has been useful and informative to you!

Good Luck!