Amazon is increasing its annual Prime subscription price by $20

midian182

Posts: 7,882   +81
Staff member
What just happened? The price of everything seems to be going up these days, including Amazon’s Prime subscription. The company is increasing its annual fee for Prime users in the US by $20 annually, from $119 to $139, while those who pay monthly will be paying $14.99 instead of the previous $12.99.

The changes will come into effect for new Amazon Prime members on February 18. Existing members have a bit longer; the new price will apply after March 25, 2022, on the date of their next renewal. The change is coming to the US only for now. Amazon said during an investor call that it examines pricing in other countries each year but had no announcements to make.

Amazon says the reason behind the price hike is “the continued expansion of Prime member benefits as well as the rise in wages and transportation costs.”

The last time Amazon raised its US prices was in 2018, when it once again added $20 to the annual Prime fee—it had been $99—and $2 to the monthly sub. The previous rise, to $99, was in 2014.

News of the price hike comes after Amazon’s quarterly report showed net sales in Q4 were up 9% year-over-year to $137.4 billion, while net income almost doubled YoY to $14.3 billion, beating Wall Street expectations and pushing shares up 17% in after-hours trading. However, operating income decreased to $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $6.9 billion in Q4 2020, marking the second quarter in a row that Amazon’s profit has declined.

New Amazon CEO Andy Jassy revealed that the company ran into some issues over the holiday season. “As expected over the holidays, we saw higher costs driven by labor supply shortages and inflationary pressures, and these issues persisted into the first quarter due to Omicron,” he wrote.

According to Amazon, US Prime members received more than 6 billion free deliveries in 2021, and over 200 million members worldwide streamed shows and movies.

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mountains

Posts: 65   +75
OK, it does make sense that some of their costs have gone up, but that is (another) pretty sharp increase. I have a Prime membership, but don't use most of the features. I also recently had an issue dealing with the company that required speaking directly to well over ten people. Simple issues they are great at fixing, but complicated ones they appear to be powerless.

The experience really drove home that this company has no serious competition. I am not one for government regulation, but... there has to be a balance between (and separation of) government and business, and in this case business is running the show.

Please, name some other online retail competitors so we can try to vote with our wallets and create some competition. Are there other online retailers that you recommend?
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,752   +7,668
They also make it IMPOSSIBLE to speak to a supervisor when needed. I ran into a company demanding they edit my evaluation of their product, would not let me do it and demanded I give them a 5 star rating because they refunded money on a defective product. I reported them to Amazon without any effect. I checked back and the company DID change my rating without my permission. When I complained to Amazon ... again, nothing. I have since stopped rating any of their products or services ....
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,014   +1,204
They also make it IMPOSSIBLE to speak to a supervisor when needed. I ran into a company demanding they edit my evaluation of their product, would not let me do it and demanded I give them a 5 star rating because they refunded money on a defective product. I reported them to Amazon without any effect. I checked back and the company DID change my rating without my permission. When I complained to Amazon ... again, nothing. I have since stopped rating any of their products or services ....
Even if all that wasn't a problem (buying reviewers, sellers changing reviews), their whole system is worthless anyways because they mix inventory (unless the brand pays Amazon not to, by opening up their own store and kicking off all 3rd party sellers - like Apple did). With no way to ensure you receive a genuine product, you just end up with the mix of 5-star and 1-star reviews on most name-brand items.
 

mgilbert

Posts: 72   +152
I don't feed monsters. Ethics matter. I don't buy from Amazon, have never had Prime, and never will. I'm not paying for the kind of service I can get from smaller operations for free, and those smaller operators actually appreciate my business.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,026   +768
Here in NZ we have a predicted 6% inflation - Lots of Fruit and Vege up - our closed boarders means Islanders can't come and pick . lefties say growers don't pay enough - but city folk seem to have no interest - no matter the wage . Plus it's a win win - as we want lots of money to go back to Islands - we help them out anyway - plus helps reduce Chinese Expansion plans and vote seeking support .
Feel sorry for low income - feeding kids healthy stuff.
I think inflation is growing in most countries at the moment .
Amazon prime is just a very visible reflection of this .
Note - any fruit picking that does not involve bending down or thorns is quite fun for a month or so - Nice orchards, dappled sunlight , start at 6/7am - finish at 2pm ( they race fruit to sorting and cool stores etc ) - might do it again - though probably just drive a quad bike/small tractor and trailer or pickup - and collect and tally pickers bins - don't need the money - just for fun and a change
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 269   +189
This is absurd. They didn't make a higher profit margin, and that's it. It's not like they didn't make any money whatsoever. After March 25th, I will no longer use Amazon for purchases. I'm tired of getting dimed and nickeled randomly. Plus, Amazon needs to remove the China listings. I have to dig through a million Chinese companies to find a product made here in the US. It's starting to look more like Wish. Nothing but cheap junk.
 
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psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,770
Ebay is superior to Amazon in every respect - their always cheaper plus they have a search function that actually works and lets you screen out overseas sellers. All Amazon has to set itself apart is a few mediocre exclusive videos..everything else you can get from other sources, often without having all your user information sold to every identity thief on Earth.
 

mountains

Posts: 65   +75
Ebay is superior to Amazon in every respect - their always cheaper plus they have a search function that actually works and lets you screen out overseas sellers. All Amazon has to set itself apart is a few mediocre exclusive videos..everything else you can get from other sources, often without having all your user information sold to every identity thief on Earth.
You know, psycros? I will admit that I had not really thought about ebay. I have used them some in the past for used stuff or when desparate for something, but visually their site puts me off. But who cares. I will give ebay more of a spin. And yes! Amazon's search is optimized for Amazon, not the user. Thanks!

Any other suggested alternatives?
 

Lounds

Posts: 1,119   +1,015
Here in NZ we have a predicted 6% inflation - Lots of Fruit and Vege up - our closed boarders means Islanders can't come and pick . lefties say growers don't pay enough - but city folk seem to have no interest - no matter the wage . Plus it's a win win - as we want lots of money to go back to Islands - we help them out anyway - plus helps reduce Chinese Expansion plans and vote seeking support .
Feel sorry for low income - feeding kids healthy stuff.
I think inflation is growing in most countries at the moment .
Amazon prime is just a very visible reflection of this .
Note - any fruit picking that does not involve bending down or thorns is quite fun for a month or so - Nice orchards, dappled sunlight , start at 6/7am - finish at 2pm ( they race fruit to sorting and cool stores etc ) - might do it again - though probably just drive a quad bike/small tractor and trailer or pickup - and collect and tally pickers bins - don't need the money - just for fun and a change
We have a similar thing happening in the UK, where there's a labour shortage with more jobs available than there is unemployed people. The biggest crisis in the UK and Europe though is natural gas prices, with the whole sale cost going up 4x thanks to Russia.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,727   +7,667
I will admit that I had not really thought about ebay. I have used them some in the past for used stuff or when desparate for something, but visually their site puts me off. But who cares. I will give ebay more of a spin. And yes! Amazon's search is optimized for Amazon, not the user. Thanks!
The old saw about, "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's", works for online shopping as well. So, "render unto Amazon that which is most convenient and cost effective on any particular item, unto Amazon". If not, get it from somewhere else.

As far as giving them $140.00 a year for "Prime", that''s completely off the table..

You can't be someone who's too lazy to shop, or waits until the last minute, so that you need that overnight delivery. IE: I'll be out of cat food n a week, time to order more, as opposed to, "oh sh!t, the bag's empty, thank god I have Prime".-

I'm fortunate enough to be right down the NJ turnpike from NYC. Thus, "free priority shipping", becomes, "free overnight shipping", for camera goods in particular. That said, the largest Camera dealers in NYC, also sell computer parts at competitive prices. Again, "free overnight shipping", as well. You can buy their goods from Amazon also, as long as you're willing to have Amazon's 10% surcharge tacked on.

I suffered from "Ebaybuyophobia" as well. As long as you read the buyer's terms carefully, there are great deals to be had there

Obviously this all attaches to shopping in the colonies. As for the UK, you can always thank your lucky stars you don't live in Australia.
 

Underdog

Posts: 262   +156
The only thing I like about Amazon is the delivery system. I am given a specific day to expect delivery and 99% of the time it is accurate. Apart from that, I don't like it at all. It is rarely the cheapest source of items I look for and I find their website is one of the worst on the 'net. Ebay beats it hands down. As mentioned above, you can exclude sellers from outside your own country, or region. I often use that on Ebay because otherwise the search results are swamped with sellers in the US. Postage costs plus import fees make anything from the states crazy expensive. And there is always the need to figure out which items are actually sold by Amazon and which are by outside sellers. Your rights and expectations are different depending on which one it is. Living in rural France I don't have a wide range of shops close by so nearly all my purchases apart from food and fuel are ordered online. My recent experiences with Amazon are becoming more negative than ever. Their high pressure bullying tactics to try to get me to sign up for Prime. It was bad enough previously when you had to seek out the fine print when you buy something that allows you to buy without being automatically signed up for a "free 30 day trial". Several times in the last few months there has been no way to avoid this free trial so I have aborted the purchase. After a couple of attempts to buy something and finding I had been automatically signed up at the last page of checkout, I aborted the transaction and complained to Amazon. I spoke to someone at their Asian call centre who was very apologetic but said although it was unfortunate there was nothing she could do but report my displeasure to "management". I was furious at the time but managed to hold my temper and not take it out on the person at the other end of the line. I have even bought directly from China with very little problem. Although clearly patience is required because shipping from there to Europe can take 3 or 4 weeks.