Chris Baus

I'm addicted to Amazon Prime

Last year I ordered a large gift on Amazon and subscribed to the Amazon Prime trial service to save on the shipping and handling. And of course, as Amazon expects, I didn’t cancel my subscription.

I then became mildly addicted to Amazon Prime. For $79/year you (and 4 people in your “household” wink wink nudge nudge) can have any item Amazon stocks shipped second day for free. It changes the value proposition of online shopping. Before Amazon Prime it didn’t make much sense to order low cost items because the shipping was cost prohibitive. With Amazon’s low cost shipping option, not only do they use a slower shipping method they also do not ship items as quickly. Even with Amazon’s West Coast shipping center just up the road in Fernley, NV it can take over a week to receive goods as the order is processed in the warehouse.

I was planning on writing this entry about how household goods on Amazon are not good value. For instance a Pack of 30 Regular Rolls is $37.73. Although if you sign up for “Subscribe & Save” (Amazon’s subscription service which automatically sends consumer disposables at regular intervals) the price drops to $32.07. You can then immediately cancel your subscription and still save 15%.

It turns out I haven’t been able to find a lower price on Bounty paper towels anywhere. Amazon wins. There are only two drawbacks: you have to buy in quantity, and there are no generics.

I typically buy generic bleach in gallon bottles, but all Amazon carries is Clorox – although I think this a new item. I also recently ordered furnace filters and ended up buying the much more expensive 3M filters rather than the cheap blue ones I get at the hardware store.

Plus those leaning green would not want to see my living room after I’ve been shopping on Amazon Prime. It looks something like this:

Stacks of Amazon Boxes

Everything item ends up in a separate box because there is no advantage in batching your purchases together. It is all: click, ship, click, ship, chick, ship. So if you need boxes for moving, you should contact your nearest Amazon Prime junkie. I’m sure he will have plenty.

So this leaves me wondering: after paying 2 day shipping for boxes containing only one time, how does Amazon make money from me? Do they? Am I beating the system? I like to feel like I am, but I suspect I’m merely a pawn to Jeff Bezos’s empire.