It’s been nine years folks. Nine years since Amazon launched their Prime service, which started as a membership offering reduced prices on shipping, and has expanded to include streaming video and the Kindle Lending Library for ebooks.
It’s been around for almost a decade with nary a market correction or twitch despite increasing fuel costs, and a number of legal battles over things like state sales taxes. Good old Amazon Prime, always $79.
Now new members and people renewing after April 17th will see that price jump. Amazon Prime will now cost $99 a year and Amazon Student Prime will rise to $49. Amazon Fresh will remain unchanged at $299.
Of course this price increase is arriving with the requisite “loyal customer” echo chamber of whinging and gnashing of teeth.
The people crying for a price decrease because they’ve used it for years. The folks who are suddenly financial experts with the math to prove this $20 increase makes Prime a terrible buy now, especially if you only buy one thing a month and don’t stream video or read ebooks. Those who are certain that Amazon killed their beloved pet after kicking their grandparents in the genitals. The internet is a fun place.
The reality is however, that Amazon runs a razor thin margin business, and often dances near or in the red. CEO Jeff Bezos and crew experiment a lot with products and services, and that R&D is expensive.
Simply from a sales perspective Prime also eliminates a traditional retail crutch. When I used to work in tech sales, you could draw a customer in by offering a lower price than a competitor, but you could usually build some of that margin back in shipping. Prime wrecked that game for a number of merchants.
So that’s it folks. According to the internet, Amazon is done. Pull the plug. Nothing more to see here. It’s over. End of line. Dead. Finito.
Now if you’ll excuse me, writing this article reminded me that I actually needed to buy something…