Is Amazon Prime Worth It? Amazon Prime Benefits UK? Amazon Prime UK vs US? I asked myself these questions one year ago when I visited Amazon and found a sign up banner advertising Amazon Prime free trial.
You might probably also be asking yourself the same questions. Before I define ‘what Amazon Prime is’. Here is the definition from amazon.co.uk site.
Amazon Prime is a membership programme that gives you and your family fast and unlimited One-Day delivery for eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of GBP 79.00 (source: amazon.co.uk).
This definition is not different from amazon.com site that also defines Amazon Prime as
a membership program that gives one 2 days free delivery for eligible purchases after paying an annual membership fee of 99 dollars.
As you can see from these 2 definitions, there are two terms that need to be understood ‘unlimited one day UK or 2 day US delivery’ and ‘eligible purchases.
Amazon Prime Unlimited Delivery
Note: By unlimited delivery, Amazon implies that as a member you can order as many items as you like, even a whole tonne of goods and yet get them delivered within one day for UK and or 2 days for US. If you are a member expect many more days. I used to order books from amazon.com and for them to reach me -it used to take between 7 to 10 days.
It might be less or more than this depending on availability of the items but with Amazon Prime, one day UK to 2 day US delivery is guaranteed. In case your goods take more than one or two days to be delivered; if you are a member, do not hesitate to call customer care. The customer care team will not only track your purchase but will also either give you a 5-10 dollar gift card for your troubles or extend your prime free trial prime membership for one month FREE.
For those who are paid members, your free extra membership can be extended 12 times in a year. That means that if Amazon falls short on their promise of delivering within two days, you can receive 12 months free membership.
As for those on the Amazon Prime Student, if your parcel is delayed, your membership can only be extended for one month. The same applies if you are on a free prime trial. Whenever your order is delayed, your free trial will be extended for only one extra month.
Amazon Prime Eligible Purchases
When you visit most Amazon product pages you find that some products are marked Prime while others are not; It is only those product marked prime that are eligible ( they qualify for one day UK delivery and 2 days for US free delivery). In case you end up buying products that are not marked prime on an Amazon product page or checkout; you will be charged the designated product fee because such products are not eligible for prime benefits. However, having said this, most items sold by Amazon are eligible for free delivery (one day in the UK and 2 days in the US).
It is only goods sold by third party sellers and other items that are incredibly too heavy or that need special attention that are not eligible for one day delivery. In a nutshell, Amazon Prime is a membership plan that gives you and your family access to unlimited one day free delivery in the UK and 2days in the US.
But wait; there are other features apart from one day UK and 2 day US free delivery. These features include: Premier Kindle Book Borrowing Service, Free instant access to Amazon Prime videos/ movies and ability to share shipping benefits to 4 of your family members or co-workers.
Here is an overview of each feature.
Free Access to Amazon Premier Kindle Book Borrowing Service.
Access to free premier Kindle Book Borrowing Service is available to Kindle Device Owners. While UK members have access to over 500,000 books; those in USA however, have access to only 300,000 books. On the other hand Both UK and USA prime members have the privilege to loan kindle books with no due dates. These include Amazon’s most sold books and popular books like, for example, the Harry Potter series.
The Amazon Prime Instant Video feature is one that has for a long time been desired by many people in UK. The good news is that now Amazon has added video streaming to the UK prime membership package. Now when you sign up for free UK prime membership plan; you will be given access to over 15,000 instant videos and movies.
For those in US however, free access to Amazon videos and movies is nothing new, it has been there since the launch of Amazon Prime way back in 2005. US Residents have access to over 40, 000 streamed videos and movies. One thing thing to note especially for one residing in UK is that amazon.co.uk has 2 separate sign up options.
You can either signup for a free trial where you will be given access to both free one day delivery of goods and Amazon instant videos; or you can just decide to sign up for only instant videos membership. Upon signup; you will get access to over 15,000 streamed videos and movies only but no free delivery or access to kindle lending library.
Is Amazon Prime UK/US Worth It
Is Amazon Prime Worth It? Whether prime membership plan is worth it or not becomes clear when you examine it basing on the following aspects:
Time saved on numerous trips to the shopping mall
The time you will save on numerous trips to the shopping mall, the convenience of buying most of your shopping online without worrying about shipping/postage fee and the amount of discounts you receive as a member.
The level of benefit however will depend on one’s shopping pattern and frequency.
Guaranteed “free” one day (UK), two day (US) shipping
The key benefit of Amazon Prime UK is the guaranteed “free” one day (UK), two day (US) shipping of any product you buy marked Prime on the Amazon online shop.
This means that you can buy an item that costs as little as 3 dollars and you are guaranteed of the item being shipped to your address in one (UK), two days(USA). In the US, it is not uncommon for the delivery to arrive the next day.
The reverse is also true, you can shop a lorry full of items from Amazon, so long as they qualify (they are marked available for prime members), and you will get your full lorry of goods delivered in just two days (US) and one day (UK).
This is the power of Amazon Premier Membership. Imagine how much you can save if you bought for example a sofa set or king sized bed. Ordinarily, it would cost you some money to ship such big awkward shaped items, which may even outstrip what prime subscription costs you (79 pounds (UK), 99 dollars (USA).
Convenience and Ease of Shopping
Convenience and ease of shopping is another major benefit you get from both Amazon Prime UK and USA. Amazon has a feature called subscribe and save where you can literary speaking subscribe your shopping. With subscribe and save you can schedule your monthly essential shopping.
Things like toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, shampoo and the like will never miss because you can automate their delivery at a schedule that suits your life style. Did I mention that those who use subscribe and save get a 5% discount on their shopping? Yes you get discount for your essential shopping.
Of course as a user you do not incur any extra shipping cost. Your shopping will arrive at your address in one day (UK), two days (USA) pronto. There is nothing as handy as ordering an essential item like a few days before it runs out from the comfort of your home with the assurance that the item will arrive in two days (before you run out).
If you shop online frequently, then indeed Amazon prime was designed for you. This is the case because Amazon products tend to be relatively cheaper that other shops. If you shop at least 10 times a year, then you will save a lot of money on shipping by becoming a member.
Amazon Prime UK Deals and Discounts
Amazon also run deals that complement prime membership, for example Amazon Mom(US), Amazon Family (UK) which offers moms 20% discounts on baby items like. There are also occasional discounts in Amazon of relatively cheap items which do not have “shipping” included in the discount, in such situations, if you do not have free shipping then such discounts become meaningless because the additional shipping cost will push the price up.
This means that as an Amazon member you will get a number of discounts which if added together can be more than the prime membership fees. Amazon also has very compelling deals during festive seasons like Easter, Christmas which can be worth it if you have free shipping.
All these benefits generally save you money especially on the common invisible costs one normally incurs in the traditional stone and mortar shopping. For example you will save on car fuel and car parking charge when going shopping.
It also saves you time you would have otherwise used going shopping because you are able to shop at the click of the mouse on your laptop.
You Can Share Amazon Prime Benefits with Friends & Family
Amazon Prime is one of those incredibly useful features of Amazon that makes it so easy to keep buying stuff from their site.
I realized after using Amazon for years to buy stuff that I would recoup the £99 cost in no time.
Of all the stuff that I buy, 80% is ordered online and 80% of that is from Amazon. The ability to get an item in two days for free or the next day has come in handy so many times it’s crazy.
However, up until now, I thought the only way for anyone else in my family to enjoy the benefits was to order it for them through my account and then just have it shipped to them.
Not a bad way to do it, but I still had to either pay for it myself or get their credit card information, which is kind of a pain. Luckily, there is a way to share your Amazon Prime shipping benefits with others for free.
You Can Share your Shipping Benefits with up to 4 Family Members or 4 Co-Workers. However you cannot share videos, movies nor kindle library lending services. The privilege of sharing one’s prime benefits is available to both free and paid Amazon Prime Members who have signed under the regular Amazon Prime Membership Plan in addition to those who sign up to Amazon Prime as small business subscribers.
However, for those who signed up with either Amazon Mom or Amazon Prime Student are not entitled to share their benefits; probably due to the prolonged free trial period. If you qualify as pointed above indicating that you signed up for the regular Amazon Prime Membership whether free or paid then you are allowed to share your prime membership to up to four family members living in the same household.
Amazon Prime Benefit Exclusive Feature
The only benefit to those who are sharing Amazon Prime is the guaranteed free shipping benefits. However other perks like having access to 300,000 strong Kindle book libraries and over 40,000 free video/TV streaming that comes with the package are not available to invited guests.
To start sharing your shipping benefits,
- Simply login into your Amazon Prime account, head over to “manage prime membership” and click “invite a household member” and fill in the required information.
- Once finished filling in the required information, the invited member will receive invitation from Amazon asking them about date of birth details of the person who referred them.
You therefore need to give your family members or the people you want to share your membership this info in advance because without this information, they would not be approved by Amazon. If in future you decide to remove one of the four invited members or all of them, just “select the bullet next to their names and then click remove” and you are done.
Sharing benefits with family members is helpful because you can then spread the 79 pounds or 99 dollars it costs to sign up for Amazon Prime across at least four people. If you are to share the cost evenly among four people, then the membership fee may be drastically reduced to less than 20 dollars a year.
By the way you can also share with friends/ neighbours living on the same flat as far as they accept to be part of your family and as far as you are sharing the same address. Here invited members will still use their own accounts to buy Amazon stuff but receive free one day/ two day Amazon Prime Benefits.