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

For those that frequently shop on 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

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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.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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