Is Amazon Prime a Good Deal?

Is Amazon Prime Worth Its $79 Fee?

Last week, I decided to pay $79 for shipping on cotton pads — and this may be one of the smarter financial moves I've made recently. Sounds crazy, but let me explain. Amazon.com has a program called Amazon Prime, and the annual $79 fee covers free two-day shipping on millions of items. Naturally, it covers the beauty department (which has more than 400,000 items!) along with books, snacks, electronics, and the like. Find out why it makes financial sense.

Let me break it down: My neighborhood has no mom-n-pop drugstores, the chains charge $5 for a measly tube of toothpaste, and getting to the nearest big-box behemoth requires either a $7 train ticket or a pricey car rental. Considering the time suck and not-insignificant stress of shopping on weekends, I'm happy to avoid the crowds. In the long run, Prime saves me time and money. My partner and I split the cost, so it works out to $3.30 a month for each of us to get what we need in just two days. Factor in a 15 percent discount on the everyday items (toothpaste, face wash, etc.) that we choose to have delivered on a regular basis, and the idea of ordering things at home becomes not just appealing but smart. Here, the pros and cons of Prime:

Pros

  • Shipping is incredibly fast. I ordered some kitty supplies on Wednesday night, and they arrived on Friday.
  • Pricing is about the same as a big-box store, and less expensive than city drugstores. Plus, I can set up a subscription to save another 15 percent.
  • Prime includes access to thousands of streaming TV shows and movies.
  • Everything is delivered to my door. No schlepping to a crowded store, no lugging heavy kitty litter uphill.
  • Prime covers gifts, so I can get things to friends and family quickly.

Cons

  • The $79 annual fee doesn't make sense if you shop rarely.
  • Despite having a vast selection, Amazon.com doesn't stock everything.
  • If you need something immediately, you'll have to get it from another store.

Source: Flickr user sⓘndy° phtoography

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