Your Amazon Prime Membership Is About to See a Bump in Price for the First Time in Years
Gone are the days when Amazon was a cheeky bookseller — for the last few years, it’s become a giant among online retailers, selling everything from air fryers to vacuums. One of the biggest reasons for their growth was no doubt their Amazon Prime Membership, an annual subscription service which offered free shipping on most items, mind-bogglingly fast delivery, and access to their streaming service, Prime Video. Many consumers used Amazon for, well, everything — but they will soon have to decide whether a membership is still worth it.
Amazon announced earlier this month that the cost of an annual Prime membership will increase from $119 to $139 for subscribers; the change kicks in on March 25, and will be reflected in consumers’ next billing cycle. Why the hike? Amazon has reported that their operating expenses (think: warehouse workers, delivery truck drivers, global supply chain shenanigans) have risen over 12 percent in the last quarter, up to $134 billion.
The retailer had a rough holiday season, with other sellers (both online and brick-and-mortar) offering digital sales and curbside pickups. And since many Amazon customers rely on the service for basic household goods (like grocery items and cleaning staples), they have funneled a huge amount of capital into their next- and same-day delivery service.
All that infrastructure and labor costs money, so Amazon is passing the costs along to its Prime members. Because the price increase is relatively small, the behemoth is betting that consumers won’t do much more than grumble. But it should be noted that subscribers who pay per month, rather than year, will see a much greater price increase. With their fees raising from $12.99 to $14.99 per month, those with monthly memberships will ultimately pay a total of $179.88 for a year’s worth of services.
Is your Amazon Prime membership worth the higher cost? It depends on how much you use it. Some consumers consider Amazon the first place they visit when looking for goods. And it is inarguably handy for discovering inexpensive hard-to-find items (especially when it comes to cookware and kitchen tools). If you’re on the fence, it will pay to crunch some numbers and take a look at your household budget before hitting that “renew membership” button.
Are you a Prime member? Will you keep your subscription?