backtop


Print 57 comment(s) - last by km9v.. on Feb 3 at 10:39 AM


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos  (Source: Salon)
More price hikes likely in store for Amazon customers

For those that frequently shop on Amazon.com year round (or even just during the holiday shopping season), Amazon Prime is like a gift from the gods. The service allows customers to get packages delivered to their home with two business days (sometimes even faster if you’re close to an Amazon distribution center), gives users access to a growing digital video library (movies, TV shows, original programming) and special Kindle “lending” perks.
 
However, it appears that the $79/year Prime membership may be getting a lot more expensive. Citing increased shipping costs; Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak made it clear that the online retail giant is “considering” a price hike for Prime membership.
 
According to Szkutak, that price increase could be anywhere from $20 to $40, which would put an Amazon Prime membership at $119/year if the bean counters get everything they want.
 
The writing has been on the wall as Prime has been around at the same $79/year price for nine years, and Amazon recently bumped the free shipping threshold for non-Prime members to $35 (from $25) on orders.
 
Amazon has also come further under assault from tax collectors in various states, with North Carolina residents becoming the latest to “face the music” when it comes to paying taxes on Amazon purchases.

Source: The Verge



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By stm1185 on 1/30/2014 6:07:24 PM , Rating: 5
Since getting it, I have transitioned into buying almost everything besides food online. It's just easy. No driving around, no having to find some guy to go into the back to grab one, no having to wait in line, no having to get my receipt checked at the door.

2 Day shipping without the high cost makes it possible. I can't go back to the 20th Century. $120, $150, $200, I'd still pay it.




RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By MadMan007 on 1/30/2014 6:21:23 PM , Rating: 3
That's what they expect - it's like a crack dealer giving you a taste then once you're hooked, BAM!

I've never really considered getting Prime just because it seemed like an unnecessary cost. The extras aside from shipping wouldn't really matter to me, and it used to be* that Amazon stuff from a close distribution center only took a few days to get to me. *There may have been other reasons like holiday demand, but I feel like a few recent items have had their shipping intentionally delayed, which wouldn't surprise me and I'm not upset about but still feels kind of slimey when stuff used to just be shipped asap instead. But whatever, nothing I order online is 'critical' to my life so I can wait a few extra days.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Roffles on 1/30/2014 7:18:17 PM , Rating: 3
I too have noticed these artificial queues with the last few purchases. It would usually show up in 3 to 5 days. The last few times its been 8 to 10 days.

I look at it like there is some person standing in front of me selling cotton candy for $5 and I'm first in line to buy it. So the guy takes my $5 and says, "The cotton candy is yours, it's in my hand and ready to serve to you, but you can't have it yet. I need you to go stand over there for an hour because you won't give me $6 even though I'm selling it for $5. You have to pay an extra dollar for the privilege of me handing it directly to you. And even though there is plenty of cotton candy to go around and no reason for any delay except for the one I have just created, that hour-long wait should be plenty of time for you to think about whether or not you want to cough up that extra buck for the privilege of me handing it directly to you."

It almost seems like some harmless form of extortion.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By someguy123 on 1/30/2014 7:36:18 PM , Rating: 3
I think you guys are being a little to cynical. I've noticed delays (and screw ups) too after prime, but it's more about prime taking priority. If you order something without a set 2 day window they'll just process and ship the 2 day prime orders first since they have to guarantee those orders, which makes sense since they basically paid for the faster order.

It's not like physically waiting in line since they aren't going and shipping some cotton candy to you from the register to your mouth or something.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Roffles on 1/30/2014 9:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, so you took the cotton candy analogy a bit to literally. Here's my actual real world example:

In early January, I ordered a $450+tax Vitamix on a Sunday night and chose free shipping because the thing already cost a small ransom. I don't mind waiting until it arrives next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday like free shipping items traditionally have in the past... this is what I naively told myself.

I waited all day Monday and Tuesday and my order finally processed on Wednesday. So it seems that even processing an order gets delayed for non-Prime shoppers. My patience is being tested now. I continued to wait until Friday to get my shipping confirmation. I'm remaining patient but kicking myself for not cancelling my order when I had the chance. When it finally arrived in the mail, it was the next Thursday. So I've waited 11 days to get my item.

The same $450+tax is what I would have payed if I had driven literally 5 minutes down the street from my office during a lunch break to Bed, Bath & Beyond. There were plenty of moments towards the end of that 11 day wait where I though about how I made a stupid purchase decision and won't be doing that ever again.

Now I know it's standard practice for Amazon to toss aside any orders from anyone who isn't subscribed to Prime. So in the future, my Amazon purchases will only be when the item is very heavily discounted and I don't care if it takes a week or a month to arrive.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By someguy123 on 1/30/2014 9:51:48 PM , Rating: 4
That is an awkwardly long wait. I don't know what to tell you because the worst I've had are 2-4 day processing delays with 2~3 shipping for free shipping, so around the 8 days they said it would take. When I ordered 2 or 1 day I'd get them in the expected time except one screw up in december.

Again I really doubt they are holding the thing ransom. I've worked in warehouses and retail back in college and, even for chain stores that aren't dealing with the volume amazon deals with, you frequently have left overs whenever orders start flowing at unusual rates or you have shelves empty because another warehouse decided to ship you 50,000 little packages mixed inside random boxes that someone has to physically sort before it hits a conveyor or even another person. Often you prioritize because there is no other solution, and with prime amazon has to cater to them first out of obligation.

For a company the size of amazon you end up just hiring anyone that is willing to move boxes, which means the speed and quality will vary greatly and should generally lean towards terrible. The fact that places like tiger direct and amazon are so efficient is pretty amazing considering the types of people up for the job of "box taper" and "UPS entrance unlocker".


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Roffles on 1/30/2014 11:00:55 PM , Rating: 5
First world problems, I know, and I still like Amazon, but the last couple orders have shown me that I should go to a B&M if I want it that week. Probably my worst example was having to wait something like 4 weeks back in August to get my Nexus7. There was a supply limitation with the 32GB models and Prime members were getting theirs right away! I sort of looked at it as payed line cutting but didn't really care about the wait.

A coworker of mine had ordered a Motorola Surfboard modem a few weeks back during my own issue and he was also into his second week of waiting. We were the ones who came up with this "conspiracy theory" but I hear a lot of people around me and on the internet saying "It takes longer than it used to". Maybe it's a regional thing but I'm convinced non-Prime orders get negative priority processing.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Jim_Liquor on 1/31/14, Rating: 0
RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By syslog2000 on 1/31/2014 10:51:54 AM , Rating: 2
You used something (minor, inoffensive) he said to get on your soapbox and behaved like a jerk. Jim_Liqour, you, sir, are the tool.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Dorkyman on 1/31/2014 12:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
He may be a tool but you gotta admit that "Jim_Liqour" is a cool name. That counts for something.


By Dorkyman on 1/31/2014 12:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, actual name "Jim_Liquor." Still cool.


By troysavary on 1/31/2014 1:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
First World Problms is a joke. It is those of us who know we are privileged making a bit of self-deprecating humour when we recognise we are complaining about things that really don't matter.


By Bonesdad on 1/31/2014 8:43:26 PM , Rating: 1
logged in just to downvote that


By EricMartello on 2/1/2014 10:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
He's right, liberalism and anything left-wing needs to die along with these idiotic bumper-sticker sentiments like "first world problems".

Look at it this way, if you live in africa you probably crossed the evolutionary finish line long ago, so you should be cheering because the first world is still running that marathon today while africans are co-habiting with livestock and living like it's 2014 BC.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Solandri on 1/30/2014 11:40:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
n early January, I ordered a $450+tax Vitamix on a Sunday night and chose free shipping because the thing already cost a small ransom. I don't mind waiting until it arrives next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday like free shipping items traditionally have in the past... this is what I naively told myself.

I waited all day Monday and Tuesday and my order finally processed on Wednesday.

You have to read the product description carefully. A lot of Amazon stuff isn't sold by Amazon, it's sold by third party resellers who pay Amazon a percentage if Amazon lists them. I picked the first prime-eligible Vitamax that came up in Aamzon and it's sold by TechGiant, fulfilled by Amazon.

That means if you don't have Prime, all Amazon can do is pass your order on to TechGiant, who actually handles the order. The ordering is done through Amazon's servers and you get Amazon's return protections, but it's sent to TechGiant for processing. As long as TechGiant processes the order in time for you get it within the 3-5 (or however long it is) standard shipping time, they don't get in trouble with Amazon.

quote:
Now I know it's standard practice for Amazon to toss aside any orders from anyone who isn't subscribed to Prime.

In the case where the order is from a Prime subscriber, Amazon tells the reseller, "Per our Prime agreement, you *must* ship this order out with 2 day delivery." If TechGiant fails to do so, they get into trouble with Amazon and perhaps lose their Prime labeling.

So in all likelihood the difference you're seeing (order not processed for a few days) is on TechGiant's end, not Amazon's. I ordered a lot of stuff before I got Prime, and I don't remember Amazon taking more than 24 hours to process any order (if they were the seller).

Click through the "15 new from $xxx" text from time to time. Sometimes the price Amazon shows isn't the lowest available price, sometimes for the same price you can get a much more reliable seller (a bigger company instead of someone running the operation out of his garage, or from Amazon itself).


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By gman64 on 1/31/2014 10:56:26 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
You have to read the product description carefully. A lot of Amazon stuff isn't sold by Amazon, it's sold by third party resellers who pay Amazon a percentage if Amazon lists them. I picked the first prime-eligible Vitamax that came up in Aamzon and it's sold by TechGiant, fulfilled by Amazon.

That means if you don't have Prime, all Amazon can do is pass your order on to TechGiant, who actually handles the order. The ordering is done through Amazon's servers and you get Amazon's return protections, but it's sent to TechGiant for processing. As long as TechGiant processes the order in time for you get it within the 3-5 (or however long it is) standard shipping time, they don't get in trouble with Amazon.


This is incorrect. If it says "fulfilled by Amazon.com" the seller has shipped his inventory to an Amazon.com distribution center, and it is Amazon.com that processes and ships your order. The original seller simply gets paid minus a handling fee.


By AmbroseAthan on 1/31/2014 9:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
As some others have pointed out, this can be very item dependent. Similar to the OP, I will gladly keep paying for Prime for the two-day shipping alone and nothing else.

As an example why it works for me, I'm in NYC without a car, so driving somewhere to buy stuff is not as easy for me. I wanted soundbar for my TV for this weekend's Super Bowl. The soundbar I ended up buying from Prime was $20 more than if I did a non-prime seller. But that $20 guaranteed delivery to my apartment by Wednesday; shipping from the other seller was $70 to guarantee it by Friday! Even buying it here in NYC was the same price, plus tax and the cab ride home. Similarly, I bought my dishes from Amazon which is what made me join Prime a couple of years ago. It was going to be $50 for standard shipping (5-8 days) on them until I joined Prime, than 2-day was free.

Personally, I now buy almost everything online from Prime and it shows up two days later, or the next day for $3.99. There are very few items I have found which are not prime eligible. You just have to make sure if you have a Prime membership you are buying the Prime eligible items/version.


By eek2121 on 1/31/2014 12:01:40 PM , Rating: 3
Amazon does not appear to sell Vitamix products. Most (all?) Vitamix products are sold by third parties. A quick check on a couple different vitamix products shows that the product was actually shipped FROM a 3rd party seller NOT amazon. That explains your shipping delay.


By flatrock on 2/3/2014 9:03:19 AM , Rating: 2
Crating such artificial delays would be a logistical nightmare that would make it much harder for them to deal with real problems in a timely manner, and considering how much they ship they are undoubtedly dealing with real issues on a constant basis.

For me, Prime is definitely worth it. I order a lot of stuff online. I wouldn't pay for two day shipping on all the stuff I order if I didn't have prime, but I probably would pay $80 or more a year on expedited shipping. It is a bargain in the long term for me. The $120 price point is a bit less appealing. Maybe they could split off the prime instant video benefit into a separate option to avoid too much of a price hike.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By techmedics2078 on 1/30/2014 6:33:20 PM , Rating: 4
While there is value in a Prime membership, as I am a member myself, your statement is absurd, in my opinion.

$80.00 a year is high enough already for the paltry content on Amazon Prime Video (although all the services lack in a total entertainment package), in conjunction with the 2 day free shipping. Prime's value is in it's total package and none of it's individual features.

The whole concept behind the Prime membership (besides adding value for customer who already shop at Amazon.com) is that people who KNOW they're going to get free shipping on a purchase will frequent that online retailer more than another, and more often. The concept works.

I've spent more in 2013 on Amazon purchases than all previous years of having an Amazon.com account COMBINED.

Last year was the first year I had a Prime account and I can say with 100% confidence that knowing I had fee shipping because of my membership directly affected my decision to shop at Amazon.com VS going to a brick and mortar. Those decisions were because of convenience, NOT price.

The simple fact of the matter is that Amazon.com prices for items just isn't that much lower than brick and mortar retailers any more (and in some cases is absurdly higher). It's about convenience now, not price.

Amazon Prime is the tipping point between price and convenience and right now the price is right.

For me, personally, if it goes any higher than it is currently, I'm going to cancel and only shop when my order would regularly exceed the free shipping limit for non-Prime members. A higher price for membership devalues the service unless they significantly beef up the components of the offer (i.e. free 1 day shipping and a much, MUCH stronger video library with a free premium movie rental once or twice a month).


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/14, Rating: 0
RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By troysavary on 2/1/2014 7:07:02 AM , Rating: 2
So because he is on the edge of finding it valuable now and may not stay with it if the price goes up, he's on drugs? What the hell is with you and your need to hurl insults if people don't like what you like?


By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2014 9:41:40 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, that?

Yeah I wrote a long well thought out post, and Daily Tech's spam filter ate it and I got pissed off.

So I paraphrased it with that statement. Not as eloquent, granted, but hey what do you want from me.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By FITCamaro on 1/31/2014 8:10:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm kind of on board with you. The prices aren't really any cheaper for the most part. And in another 2 years, we'll be paying sales tax on Amazon purchases as well here. So then there's really no value to it. Then we're just paying for convenience to not have to go to the store. And that's not THAT big of an inconvenience.


By Reclaimer77 on 2/2/2014 7:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. With the added sales tax, Prime becomes even more attractive. Because the shipping savings absolutely wipes out the loss from paying sales tax on most items. You still come out ahead.

The last PC case I ordered was nearly 50 pounds. The shipping alone would have been over $25 without Prime. And no store in my area carried it, so it's not just about convenience.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By MrBlastman on 1/31/2014 10:15:51 AM , Rating: 3
I'm pretty stingy (frugal) myself. I'll usually wait until I can load up an order past the threshold required for free shipping and then I'll buy stuff off Amazon. I don't mind waiting a few days to get the things usually, either. So... I've never bothered buying Prime membership. The movies are no value to me as I already have Netflix which has more stuff to watch--though lately the streaming content even there has been lacking.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By Rukkian on 1/31/2014 11:43:38 AM , Rating: 2
When I have looked at the free stuff on the streaming library, it is just not worth it, now if they up that, and get at least to a Netflix level, I could see paying the fees, however, I also get the shipping portion of prime for free, as my brother has it, and once you pay for it, you can give the shipping benefits to 2 others to use for free. I do not get the other perks (free video library being one), but the prime membership is very nice.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By FlyBri on 1/31/2014 4:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's not even getting to the level of Netflix with their content, but the fact that there are no native apps for mobile to watch it except on Amazon hardware. They need to open up Amazon Prime Video to all mobile devices.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By kmmatney on 1/30/2014 8:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
I bought it last December for the first time, and it seems to already have paid for itself. I was the instant video selection was better, but the free shipping is awesome. It will be hard to give up 2-day shipping, but a $40 price increase just might be too much for me - not unless they seriously upgrade instant video to the point where I can ditch DirecTV.


By stm1185 on 1/31/2014 2:00:57 AM , Rating: 2
I first bought it during the X-Mas rush, and yeah if I didn't do 2 day shipping I would save money, but if I don't do 2 day shipping the convenience of shopping online goes way down and I am back shopping at the Mall. I HATE THE MALL.

So for me the cost difference is not $120 vs nothing, its $120 vs the cost of 2 day on every package I buy every year vs my hate of malls.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By kyleb2112 on 1/31/2014 12:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
But half the stuff doesn't qualify for Prime. The Prime enthusiasts never mention that.


By stm1185 on 1/31/2014 2:47:22 AM , Rating: 2
It's only half because Amazon links to so many other sellers. I'm like 35/1 Prime/Not Prime ordering.


By Salisme on 1/31/2014 7:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
And most of the prime items are $4-5 more expensive than the same product non-prime.

(I am a prime user and love it still).


By npcomplete on 1/31/2014 1:09:49 AM , Rating: 2
It's definitely worth it at $100 / yr, maybe $120 max, but not more for me. Prime video is a perk I rarely use so it's the shipping savings that matter the most to me.

Not just free two day shipping but also CHEAP 1-day shipping including weekend delivery. $3.99 for that kind of shipping is pretty amazing. I wonder if too many people taking advantage of that over the 2-day M-F shipping is a contributing factor. But considering the general inflation a price increase should be expected.

The reason why my threshold is lower ($100 is fine.. more than that I'll start to reconsider) is because I still use other specialty online stores. Amazon actually doesn't carry everything I want or has the greatest deal sometimes.

For example I still use Newegg, in addition to Amazon. The inventory, types of times, and especially Newegg's search and categorization feature is superior to Amazon's. I mean searching for electronics on Amazon is utterly frustrating. Unless Amazon has a much better deal, which is not often, or it's out of stock at Newegg, I'll stick with Newegg and wait a bit more for shipping.

Or as another example, Packt, InformIT, or Mindshare for specialty book publishers, you can get deals for buying both the physical book and DRM-free PDF and epub, which I prefer over Kindle.


By marvdmartian on 1/31/2014 7:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
While I'm just the opposite. I can live with 5-8 day free shipping. Though the 2-day shipping is nice, it's definitely not anything I need.
Same with their library of movies & TV shows (I simply don't watch much TV, so that's of no added value for me), and the Kindle lending "perk" has been of no value, since I have yet to find anything of interest to read, in their free offerings.

I guess, if you're doing a LOT of shopping on Amazon, it might be worth $50 or $60 to upgrade your shipping to 2-day, but their $79 setpoint has always been too high for me to bother with. Pretty easy to see that they're not going to get me to change my mind with a price increase!

Maybe, instead, what they ought to offer is an Amazon Prime a'la Carte. Pick the services you want to take advantage of, then pay for only those. Until they decide to do that, though, I'll simply take advantage of their 30-day free trial, right before Christmas, and cancel it out before the trial period is over.


By piroroadkill on 1/31/2014 8:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
Even better in the UK. Prime = Next day.


RE: I'd pay it. I can't go back now.
By kattanna on 1/31/2014 9:46:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since getting it, I have transitioned into buying almost everything besides food online.


as a prime member who just had 400Lbs of cat litter delivered.. i agree LOL


By Dorkyman on 1/31/2014 12:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's a big cat you've got there.


By mmichii on 1/31/2014 5:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
i love prime. if you just factor in how much most places charge for 2 day shipping you make that back in savings real quick. Also you can share your prime by inviting people like i have with family and friends and share the cost and it just is really a steal. You also have to factor in things like the easy and no hassle returns and exchanges. Most places want their broken stuff back first before they ship you a new item. Amazon just wants you to return your broken item within 30 days with prime using a PREPAID shipping label all the while having sent you out a new item using 2 day. Most places will make you pay for that shipping. Next day is only 3.99 per item. Have you checked out how much some places charge for next day? Also how much gas would you blow driving around getting your stuff from the store. I really don't mind them raising their rates since its been nine years and a lot of stuff involved with the shipping process, especially fuel, has gone way up in that time. Even with a 40 dollar hike its still really worth it.


By jimbojimbo on 2/2/2014 12:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
I hope they split the old prime benefits and the video streaming. If they kept the price the same and just gave us the free 2 day shipping it's still a deal like it was. However, my TV doesn't stream Amazon nor does my tablet and phone and even on the HTPC I've found that I have not wanted to stream anything that was free from prime. The only times I streamed from Amazon I had to pay for them so prime membership bought me nothing in the way of video streaming.
Split it up, Amazon, like how Netflix split it all up!


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki