If you’re a Prime subscriber, take note: your yearly cost will soon go up.
Amazon’s new price jump for their Prime service isn’t particularly small, either: an annual subscription is soon going to be $119 instead of the current $99, says Variety. That’s $20 more than before, which is about a 20% increase.
Amazon Prime has a large number of subscribers. Digital Trends reported earlier this month that Amazon had revealed how many people subscribed to the service. At the time, it was reported that there were over a hundred million subscribers across the world.
Prime likely draws in so many people because it has features that appeal to many different interests. With Prime, you can get free two-day shipping on all Prime-eligible offers. You can also watch a great deal of TV shows and movies for free. This includes some Prime-exclusive shows, like their popular shows Sneaky Pete and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. You can also stream music and rent e-books. Plus you have access to things like Prime Pantry (where you can have household items and groceries sent to you), Amazon Fresh (grocery delivery in select areas), and photo storage in the cloud.
It’s unclear if Prime’s price hike will cause some subscribers to skip renewing in the future. It is a significant price increase, but Prime membership can also become embedded in peoples’ lives because of how many different things are offered.
If you’re considering subscribing for the first time, you have until May 11 to sign up at the current $99 fee, says Variety. They also explain that for current subscribers, rates won’t increase until June 16. So if you’re trying to decide whether to renew your membership or create a new one, you still have a little bit of time to decide before the price jumps.
Amazon is now offering their Prime membership cheaper to another range of people—those who are on Medicaid.
Amazon’s Prime service offers free two-day shipping for eligible items, streaming shows and movies, music, borrowed ebooks, cloud storage for photos, and more. It can often be considered pricey for some, despite the many different benefits. Because of the $99 yearly charge (or $12.99 monthly charge), it simply hasn’t been affordable for a lot of people. Amazon’s new discount will hopefully change this.
Amazon already provided another way to get a membership on the cheap. Amazon Prime Student offers Prime memberships to students for about half the yearly price ($49 instead of $99). Students simply have to provide information to Amazon that proves they’re currently enrolled as a student. This discount can be used for up to 4 years, as long as proof is provided during each year’s renewal.
Now more people will be able to join Prime without killing their budget. Amazon’s monthly charge for Prime is normally $12.99, but for those who receive Medicaid, it will only be $5.99. This is a significant discount, not only compared to the normal monthly charge, but even compared to the yearly charge. A year’s subscription to Prime is $99, but for Medicaid recipients, Prime membership will add up to a little more than $70 for the 12 months.
Medicaid is used by millions of people. CNN reported last year that 74 million people were on Medicaid. This number includes adults and children.
According to Amazon’s discount page, those with an EBT or Medicaid card must provide proof that they’re eligible for the discounted service. Then they can sign up and get Prime for less than half of what it typically costs on a monthly basis. For more information, head over to Amazon’s website to get started.
Ebay is making things a little easier for those on a budget by launching their ‘Under $10’ section.
You may recall the recent introduction of Amazon’s ‘$10 and Under’ section which I wrote about back in January. Amazon collects inexpensive items and groups them in different categories like Men’s, Electronics, and Household.
Now Ebay is doing something similar, giving shoppers a chance to find inexpensive deals in a number of different categories. Ebay’s ‘Under $10’ section collects a large number of items from different sellers, all of which ship free (just like Amazon’s budget section).
Ebay’s section has a much more detailed selection of categories to narrow down your browsing. On Amazon, there are 8 categories to choose from, and then you browse through a bunch of items within that category. On Ebay, however, there are 6 main categories to choose from, but within those 6 categories, there are over two dozen sub-categories, and in those sub-categories, there are sub-sub-categories.
For instance, if you look in the ‘Fashion Under $10’ category, you can narrow down to ‘Men’s Clothing & Shoes’ (or another sub-category), then narrow further with sub-sub-categories like ‘Jeans’ and ‘Sandals.’ This means you don’t have to scroll through a ton of items you have no interest in. It’s easier to focus in on what you really want to browse for. The six main categories on Ebay’s new section are ‘Fashion,’ ‘Electronics,’ ‘Home & Garden,’ ‘Sports,’ ‘Lifestyle & Entertainment,’ and ‘Motors.’
The ‘Fashion’ category includes things like off-the-shoulder blouses, workout pants, and reflective sunglasses. In ‘Electronics,’ you can find waterproof bluetooth speakers and PS4 games. ‘Home & Garden’ includes artificial succulents and vegetable slicers. In ‘Sports,’ there are yoga mats and canteens. ‘Lifestyle & Entertainment’ features things like vinyl records (from many different artists, including Buddy Holly and Incubus) and cat hammocks. And in ‘Motors,’ you can expect to see items like windshield cleaning tools and auto repair parts.
If you’re on a budget but still enjoy shopping, it’s a good time for you. With Ebay joining Amazon in offering a whole section devoted to items $10 or less, online shopping might be a little more convenient. Ebay’s section is great in that it has so many different categories to make finding what you need (or didn’t know you needed) a little easier.
Check out Ebay’s ‘Under $10’ section and see what you can find!
Prime seems expensive: the upfront annual cost went up to $99 since I signed up years ago. But if it was worth it to me then, it is a steal of a deal now, if you consider all the newly added benefits you get access to.
Get Prime by the month: Don’t have $99 lying around, or don’t think you need an entire year of Prime? Sign up by the month and pay $10.99. And you get a deal if you qualify for low-income benefits: it’s only $5.99 per month for customers with an EBT card. Sign up for Prime around Thanksgiving and cash in on all the online Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, with free shipping to boot, and then drop it when you’re done.
Prime Student: Use your school email (ending in .edu) to score four $49-years of Prime. Act soon and you can get 6 months free.
Amazon Household: A Prime account is for your whole household, not just one person. Two adults living in the same house, and with separate Amazon accounts, can link their accounts to share the benefits of a single Prime account. You can share payment methods, and even add profiles for up to four children so your kids can take advantage of all the free reading and streaming of videos and music without being able to order anything. (You cannot use Amazon Household if you have a Prime Student discount).
Prime Wardrobe: Try before you buy. Choose 3 or more items of clothing, and have them shipped to you to try on. Send back what you don’t want in a prepaid box, and only pay for what you keep. Keeping more items earns you discounts, too: up to 20%. Currently, Prime Wardrobe is in beta, but you can ask to be notified when it launches.
Prime Video: Originals like Transparent and Catastrophe are available. They also have Downton Abbey, The Wire, and you can pay a little extra for channels like Showtime and HBO.
Unlimited cloud storage for pictures: Store as many precious memories in the secure Cloud Drive as you want, and stop worrying about losing them.
Prime Music: Choose songs, albums, or a station. More than 2 million available songs and you can also upload your current collection and listen on any device with the app. There is also a paid subscription that gives you access to tens of millions of songs for $7.99 a month; however, the family plan is $14.99 per month and allows up to six family members to use it. That’s $2.50 per person! Quick, I need five people! Anybody?
Food: Have some grocery staples shipped to your door: Prime Pantry boxes ship for $5.99, and you can save 15% with Subscribe and Save. Weekly deals and coupons also make grocery shopping online attractive.
Prime Rewards Visa: For serious Amazon shoppers, the 5% back (in credit, not cash) may be a draw. Add a $70 gift card for signing up.
Free two-day shipping: Of course, this perk is awesome, but it can only be used for certain items. If you shop Amazon for everything, this perk may be worth the fee on its own: leading up to Christmas, the free shipping alone more than pays for my account. However, sometimes you can opt in for slower shipping and get credits for books, music, and more.
Prime Reading: There is a large rotating collection of books, magazines, comics and more available free with your Prime account, and some even have Audible narration, if you would rather listen.
Video games for Prime: Twitch Prime includes a Twitch subscription and free content. Prime discounts on video games could save you some real money, and some pre-orders are delivered ON THE RELEASE DATE. That means you can skip the line and still get that new game the second it is released.
It’s hard to resist all those perks for about $8.25 per month if you pay by the year. Amazon Prime members are much more likely to only shop at Amazon (I can see why), but beware: sometimes they have the best deal, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they really don’t, and getting free shipping may not make up the price difference, especially considering that other online retailers like Walmart and Jet are making a major effort to compete by offering their own free shipping. So remember to shop around.