Amazon Prime subscriptions may go up by $20 or $40, first time in nine years

By on January 31, 2014, 2:00 PM
amazon, amazon prime, shipping, price hike

Amazon Prime subscriptions have cost $79 a year ever since the free two-day shipping service launched in 2005. Since then, however, the company has been adding perks, including a catalog of movies and TV shows available for streaming and the option to lend up to one Kindle e-book a month. Well, after weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, the company is considering raising the price of Prime by $20 or $40.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Szkutak announced the possible move in a conference call with analysts, though he stopped short of giving a timeline or sharing details of how they’d go about implementing the hike.

The move would also put Amazon’s streaming service at a greater disadvantage next to main rival Netflix, effectively charging more for a smaller catalog -- and no award-winning original series. It’s probably not far fetched to say that most Prime subscribers are in it for the shipping benefits, not Prime Instant Video, and many would be willing forgo the service if it meant keeping the old $79 a year rate.

That said, Szkutak notes that the potential price increase had more to do with rising transportation costs and customers using Prime shipping more, rather than covering costs associated with Prime Instant Video or the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. The company has refused to disclose exactly how many Prime members exist, but it said back in December that the number was in the "tens of millions."




User Comments: 15

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Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They've already increased the cost of many Prime next day shipments from $3.99 for anything, and set a range from $3.99 up to $8.99, so I expected that this would come soon enough. Either way, for people like myself that purchase a lot from Amazon, $20-$40 increase in yearly cost is still a good deal. I don't think it hurts them at all when competing with Netflix, as there are so many more benefits to Prime, and most people don't buy a prime membership just for the video streaming alone.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I had primed since 2009 and 2013 was the last of it. Subscription service to get your packages in 2 days or less.

C rating on Amazon Prime Packages.

How they're get packaged most of the boxes get here damage. UPS, Laser, USPS, FedEx. Take your pick. Ordering full King Size Form Mattress or 7 people Dinning Room Table. Those are something to see how they get here. Last item I got that was huge was Ultimate Gym System. Funny that box wasn't damage. It was very heavy.

Amazon Customer Service isn't that great either I have to fight with them to get a credit on packages not getting here in 2 days because of some error on their part. The system isn't that great as everyone tells you.

D rating on Amazon Instant Video suppose to be free but it's not perfect system. Can't save anything to a queue like you can with Netflix.

In all I am on Super Free Saving (aka FedEx Smartpost to USPS) That's a joke because you are suppose to get it for $35 in orders but that's more like $50 in orders. Otherwise you pay more.

If they're raising prime subscription service is really what your paying to use prime service only free if you buy into it. I am not buying into it. Getting packages on Saturday was $3.99 extra then it gone up to $8.99 per package. That's nonsense!

$79 to $99 to $139 a year nope see ya!

1 person liked this | treeski treeski said:

I'm all about Prime. The streaming service is lack luster, to be sure, and it's often difficult to tell what's free and what's not included (especially on Prime apps). However, I definitely order enough small things throughout the year that I end up saving on shipping alone.

j05hh j05hh said:

I love prime, definitely makes up for all the small prices purchases I make over the year to justify the service.I often see my package does not arrive on day 2 but rather day 3, a few times even 4 days. Their customer service isn't the great. With the price increase hopefully we can select a "prime package". I don't even use the streaming service and see it more as a joke compared to netflixs. Why pay more for some of the bells and whistles you don't even use? Here's a green thought... Get better fuel efficient vehicles?

1 person liked this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

C rating on Amazon Prime Packages.

How they're get packaged most of the boxes get here damage. UPS, Laser, USPS, FedEx. Take your pick. Ordering full King Size Form Mattress or 7 people Dinning Room Table. Those are something to see how they get here. Last item I got that was huge was Ultimate Gym System. Funny that box wasn't damage. It was very heavy.

I had 113 packages shipped from Amazon in the last year, and I've only had one damaged item come to my door. When I called, Amazon CS immediately took care of it, and I had a replacement on my doorstep the following day.

Amazon Customer Service isn't that great either I have to fight with them to get a credit on packages not getting here in 2 days because of some error on their part. The system isn't that great as everyone tells you.

I've never had an issue with their customer service. Not one. I've never even dealt with a company, in my 35 years, that even came close to beating Amazon's customer service quality.

D rating on Amazon Instant Video suppose to be free but it's not perfect system. Can't save anything to a queue like you can with Netflix.

I agree, it's not perfect, but people don't sign up for prime because of the instant video, they sign up for the shipping benefits.

In all I am on Super Free Saving (aka FedEx Smartpost to USPS) That's a joke because you are suppose to get it for $35 in orders but that's more like $50 in orders. Otherwise you pay more.

If they're raising prime subscription service is really what your paying to use prime service only free if you buy into it. I am not buying into it. Getting packages on Saturday was $3.99 extra then it gone up to $8.99 per package. That's nonsense!

$79 to $99 to $139 a year nope see ya!

Suit yourself, but the service paid for itself for me 10 fold in shipping savings alone last year. I challenge you to find ANY other company that will ship an item to you the next day, for $8.99.

1 person liked this | insect said:

Someone doesn't like Amazon... Spamming the same post over and over.

I've used Prime since I was a student back in 2005 (free for two years). We order stuff every day so the shipping alone has saved us thousands (especially the large stuff... gym equipment, appliances). Checked my records for the year and my wife and I spent over $10k on Amazon. Pretty sure the savings are there on the shipping.

They could raise it to $200 a year and I'd still save about $3k a year on shipping.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Prime shipping is great, especially next day delivery on saturdays for 8.99. Regular fedex or UPS would cost between 30 and 100 depending on the items. Prime streaming is sh*t, this year would be 4 years since I signed up and I'm yet to have a 720p or 1080p stream delivered. Customer service is great to me. I never had an issue they didn't resolve.

ryan29121 said:

I could care less about the instant video. I am only in it for the shipping benefits. But $120 or $140 for what I get a year is not worth it. If this price goes up, I will drop by Prime service for sure.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I had 113 packages shipped from Amazon in the last year, and I've only had one damaged item come to my door. When I called, Amazon CS immediately took care of it, and I had a replacement on my doorstep the following day.

I've never had an issue with their customer service. Not one. I've never even dealt with a company, in my 35 years, that even came close to beating Amazon's customer service quality.

I agree, it's not perfect, but people don't sign up for prime because of the instant video, they sign up for the shipping benefits.

Suit yourself, but the service paid for itself for me 10 fold in shipping savings alone last year. I challenge you to find ANY other company that will ship an item to you the next day, for $8.99.

I am sure I've exceeded your packages you said. I am not saying all are damage but the larger ticket items came in damage boxes. In the beginning everything was great but late 2012 to 2013 things weren't the same. I still use them but only with the free non-subscription. I feel that it's not worth it. Wal-mart .com offers free shipping their service is top-notch all packages come undamage they package them in two boxes. Amazon doesn't do this always. My packages come from KY hub.

I'll still use them but not like I have been not 100%. I'll shop where I can't get the items local or through the warehouse clubs. Then use Amazon only if I have too.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am sure I've exceeded your packages you said. I am not saying all are damage but the larger ticket items came in damage boxes. In the beginning everything was great but late 2012 to 2013 things weren't the same. I still use them but only with the free non-subscription. I feel that it's not worth it. Wal-mart .com offers free shipping their service is top-notch all packages come undamage they package them in two boxes. Amazon doesn't do this always. My packages come from KY hub.

I'll still use them but not like I have been not 100%. I'll shop where I can't get the items local or through the warehouse clubs. Then use Amazon only if I have too.

Well until Amazon has their own shipping service, rather than relying on UPS, Fedex, USPS, etc., the blame for damaged boxes falls on the shipping provider. Amazon just accepts the responsibility whenever an item is damaged in transit when they replace the damaged items. Maybe you should set up a camera to make sure your shipper isn't mishandling your packages.

1 person liked this | mailpup mailpup said:

Well until Amazon has their own shipping service, rather than relying on UPS, Fedex, USPS, etc., the blame for damaged boxes falls on the shipping provider. Amazon just accepts the responsibility whenever an item is damaged in transit when they replace the damaged items. Maybe you should set up a camera to make sure your shipper isn't mishandling your packages.

I doubt Amazon would want to get into the shipping business but that's just my opinion. Most or all of the damaged items should be covered by insurance so Amazon should come out fine. They ship so much I'm sure it's included in Amazon's contracts with their carriers. I don't happen to know if the insurance is self underwritten by the carriers or borne by third party insurance companies. I'd guess third parties.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I doubt Amazon would want to get into the shipping business but that's just my opinion. Most or all of the damaged items should be covered by insurance so Amazon should come out fine. They ship so much I'm sure it's included in Amazon's contracts with their carriers. I don't happen to know if the insurance is self underwritten by the carriers or borne by third party insurance companies. I'd guess third parties.

I imagine you're right about the insurance, though my first sentence was a little bit sarcastic. My intent was to point out that Amazon shouldn't take all the blame for damage most likely caused by shipping services known to blatantly disregard for other's property.

Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

I buy a fair bit from Amazon.ca (city of a million selection here is terrible), they have always offered Prime, but I have never gone for it. They offer what you buy at a discount plus some shipping benefit. All my Amazon stuff gets to me in totally excellent condition, never a problem yet. May have to look into Prime benefits in Canada. Just have been too concerned with money to shell out for the whole cost of Prime at once.

Scavengers Scavengers said:

tipstir - Amazon has watchlists. Just click "add to watchlist" and it will be added.

Dave

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I buy a fair bit from Amazon.ca (city of a million selection here is terrible), they have always offered Prime, but I have never gone for it. They offer what you buy at a discount plus some shipping benefit. All my Amazon stuff gets to me in totally excellent condition, never a problem yet. May have to look into Prime benefits in Canada. Just have been too concerned with money to shell out for the whole cost of Prime at once.

When I originally signed up for Prime, they were doing a monthly subscription promotion/market study for $7.99/mo. I jumped on it, because I didn't have the money to shell out at one time either. After a year, I went ahead and paid in full. It's cheaper in the long run, and pays for itself almost immediately. I can imagine it would benefit you greatly in Canada. Have you done the 30 day trial of it?

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