Some of the best parts of shopping on Amazon are the wide selections and low costs, but those things can also make it difficult to root out what's really worth spending your money on before you've stretched your checkbook too thin. It can also be hard to tell which affordable options are similar (or better) in performance to their higher-priced competitors to save you some money. The huge selection and low costs can be a great advantage if you have the inside scoop needed to navigate them confidently — if not, it can be a huge drain on time scrolling through reviews and trying to parse out who means what they're saying.
A.: If you tend to make infrequent Amazon purchases that exceed $25, the service is probably not for you. (Spending $25 or more will get you free shipping, even without a Prime membership.) Likewise, if you get your e-books from Barnes & Noble, Apple or Kobo, the free Kindle book will not benefit you much. If you already subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, you have access to a wider selection of unlimited streaming video than what Amazon Prime offers.
Customers are given a time window of four hours for the package to be delivered. Once the courier opens the door, the Cloud Cam records a clip until the door is locked, which is sent to the customer's smartphone. Participants in the service can also use the Amazon Key companion app for iOS and Android to lock and unlock the door, monitor the camera, and issue virtual keys.
Amazon squeezes small publishers. For instance, Amazon cut off Swindle sales for an independent book distributor in order to press for bigger discounts. (The article ends by promoting ebooks for another platform, the Shnook from Barnes and Noble. While that company is not as nasty to small publishers, its ebooks do violate your freedom in most of the same ways.)
That’s according to new research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggesting that in the past year, Prime memberships grew 8 percent — the lowest annual rate since the group began tracking the data in 2012. The group also put the number of U.S. Prime members — a statistic that Amazon has famously kept under wraps — at 97 million, with Prime shoppers spending an average of about $1,400 per year, compared with $600 per year for nonmember shoppers.
We present these figures with the caution that no research firm truly knows how much clothing and footwear is sold on Amazon. We also note that some research firms have enjoyed substantial media coverage on the back of estimates that have placed Amazon as one of the very largest retailers of apparel in the US. We further note the risk of a herding effect, whereby some research firms may be reluctant to estimate figures that vary susbtantially from those published by other firms and that are already in the public domain.
"I have probably 50 pairs of shoes, and yes, I do actually wear most of them! I have a variety of shoe storage solutions at home, but this one is by far the best and least intrusive in my closet. It only takes up a few inches of hanging space but holds so many pairs. I can even double up on sandal storage where I have room for multiples." — Sally Kaplan
If you’re a vinyl record collector, we offer a wide selection of easily searchable LPs so you can get the best of Bob Dylan and David Bowie or the latest from Nine Inch Nails. We also offer a huge selection of CDs and MP3s. And if that wasn’t enough, we also offer a music trade-in program that can help you turn your eligible albums into Amazon.com gift cards. With other programs like our Live at Amazon series, Best of the Year, Artists on Tour, free tunes from new artists, and a huge selection of music deals, you can explore new and chart-topping favorites.
Given all the benefits, there really aren't that many cons to an Amazon Prime membership that don't come around to the price. But that price keeps rising, and may be a hefty cost for shoppers if they don't frequently purchase items online. At $119 per year, it is worth examining how many benefits you will actually use with a membership to see if it is worth the expense.
A.: Amazon Prime Music is a streaming music service, similar to Spotify or Pandora. Users can choose albums or songs to stream, or allow Amazon to create a customized profile to suit their tastes and do it for them. Currently, the service offers more than two million songs, but its selection still pales in comparison to those of Spotify and Pandora. Amazon Prime members can also download these songs and listen to them online (as long as their Prime membership remains active). Its newer service, Music Unlimited, gives you access to "tens of millions" of songs and weekly new releases. If you own an Amazon Echo, you can pay $3.99/month for this service, but you'll only be able to stream on your Echo device. For $7.99/month, you'll be able to stream on all of your devices.
"These are by far the cheapest blue-light-blocking glasses that I've found, and they work really well. I was having headaches nearly every day of my last semester of college from working full-time and taking night classes — both of which relied heavily upon screens. These were truly lifesavers, and I've rarely gotten so much use out of $9. I've written a review of them before, and I'm wearing them now." — Mara Leighton
In December 2014, Amazon announced that as a benefit to Prime members located in parts of Manhattan and New York City the capability to get products delivered to them within one hour for a fee of $7.99, or within two hours for no additional fee. As of 2014, 25,000 daily essential products were available with this delivery service. In February 2015, the service was extended to include all of Manhattan. By mid-2016, it had been expanded in the United States to include parts of Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, Portland, San Antonio, and Tampa. Outside of the United States, it has expanded to parts of the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, and Singapore. To meet the on-demand needs of Prime Now, Amazon further launched Amazon Flex, a platform for independent contractors to provide delivery services.
Seems like for Prime membership, you should have access to more titles than are available. Often I get blurred/ pixelated video for several minutes, with great internet speed. For those reasons I often find myself using another service where I don’t have those issues. However, on iPad, I do like the ability to easily backup or move forward 10 secs at a time. Quickly click 3 times on the left side of the screen and it goes back 30 secs. 6 times, it jumps back a minute. Awesome feature. I also enjoy the commentary/trivia notes about the show during filming or background on the choices made... these include actors, continuity issues, places, etc. The notes are tied to the associated frames when you tap the screen while playing OR you can view the list of notes and click to jump to that section in the movie.
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.