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.
In April, Amazon said more than 100 million people around the world pay for its Prime subscription, which in May went up to $119 from $99 a year in the U.S. The NPR/Marist poll found that among Americans, roughly 75 million online shoppers pay for Prime — plus another 35 million use someone else's account. Put together, almost two-thirds of American online shoppers are living inside the Amazon retail universe.
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Bloomberg reported yesterday that Amazon is using its own ‘Vine’ reviewer program to dramatically increase the number of product reviews for some private-label products. Bloomberg’s analysis found that the Amazon Basics motor oil product has almost as many product reviews three months after launch as a close competitor, a Valvoline motor oil product. Eighty percent of Amazon’s product reviews are from the “Vine Reviewer” program, an Amazon program where brands pay for selected users to review their products, compared with zero Vine reviews for the competing Valvoline product.
In April 2014, Amazon announced its Amazon Fire TV set-top box system, a device targeted to compete with such systems like Apple TV or Google's Chromecast device. The Amazon set-top box allows for streaming videos from sites like Amazon's own streaming service as well as others such as Netflix or Hulu. The device also supports voice search for movies, as well as gaming, which includes special versions of Minecraft, Asphalt 8, and The Walking Dead. Amazon announced the Fire TV Stick in October 2014. The device replicates much of the functionality of the Fire TV.
Amazon.com Return Policy:You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellable condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. Amazon.com will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.
Promising review: “I own a BBQ food truck and we sell brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, smoked sausage, and burgers. I was looking for a faster way to pull pork. I looked at those shredders you attach to a drill, but they look like they would turn the product to mush. I brought these Bear Paws and went to pull 30 pounds of Boston Butt. What used to take 45 minutes was done in less than five. No waste. These paws do a great job of integrating the fat in with the meat. I could not be happier. As a BBQ man for 30 years, I would recommend these.” —Michael K. Powell
Amazon Prime lets you add premium video subscriptions -- Starz, Showtime and so on -- to your Prime Video viewing umbrella. (Alas, you don't get any discounts compared with purchasing those subscriptions separately.) As part of Amazon Family, you can score 20 percent off diaper purchases via Subscribe & Save and 15 percent off eligible products in your baby registry. And speaking of family, you're allowed to extend your membership to one additional adult living in your house.
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.
Sprint Unlimited 55+ Plan: Reqs. new account activation. Acct holder must be 55 or older. 2 line max. Includes unlimited domestic calling, texting & data with 3G Mobile Hotspot VPN & P2P data. Discounted phones subject to add'l $25/mo./line. Third-party content/downloads are add’l charge. Plan not avail. for tablets/MBB devices. Select Int’l svcs are included see sprint.com/globalroaming.
Easily the best movie coming to Amazon on November 1 is the 1985 classic Weird Science. In the John Hughes film, a couple of high school nerds use computer technology to create what they think is the perfect woman. Somehow, their creation comes to life, but she ends up making them better and more confident people. While the technology in the movie may not speak well to a younger, contemporary audience, the themes of fitting in and being cool still hold true today.
Nevertheless, our survey found that Amazon apparel shoppers are highly satisfied with the Amazon Fashion shopping experience. In fact, 65% cited the ease of browsing and searching Amazon Fashion as a reason for buying clothing or footwear on the site, ahead of factors such as choice and price. Moreover, only 12% of Amazon apparel shoppers said that they thought the site could be made easier to browse.
And while Amazon’s brands have quickly gained market share on its platform in some areas, in other segments, such as apparel, they account for less than 1 percent of the inventory sold. And when broadened out to include brick-and-mortar stores, its online share of the battery market equals less than 5 percent. Until Amazon’s share of the total market starts to reach closer to 40 percent or more, it is difficult to argue there is an attempted-monopolization case, say legal experts.
Amazon released branded semiconductors to home equipment designers who are working on Internet-of-Things devices, WiFi routers and other smart home appliances. The chips come from Annapurna Labs, which Amazon purchased in 2015 for a rumored $350 million. On January 7, 2016, the company announced that its Alpine chipset was available for a wide range of applications.
Promising review: "My oldest son put this game on his Christmas wishlist. Knowing nothing about it, I purchased it; I was overjoyed that he was asking for something that didn't require batteries or wasn't a video game. Now, I realize I'm going to be judged as a bad parent for purchasing this game and for not doing more research before giving it to my teenage son. I accept that. However, this game is so funny. My husband and I have played it with our son quite a few times and it made us all sit together and just laugh so hard that we snort and end up having some very interesting conversations. Yes, the game is politically incorrect and does have some sexual content, but so does everything on TV and on the internet these days. Anything that keeps my teenager talking to me and feeling comfortable speaking with us about odd or uncomfortable things is a win in my parenting handbook." —Chrysswen
Amazon also offers its own Elements line of products, only available to Prime members. The product line ranges from baby wipes to vitamins. The idea is that Amazon goes the extra mile of telling you exactly where the product came from. In the case of those wipes, I can tell you liquid inside is 97.9 percent pharmaceutical-grade purified water from the White Lick Creek Aquifer in Moorseville, Indiana.