Kate Is Clueless About Amazon Prime Shipping and Prices

Today, I saw something new in Amazon-world:  the product I want is cheaper for Amazon Prime customers, and it is available faster (and not just because of the shipping.)  I’ve never seen this before, and I wonder if it is a new strategy.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Amazon Prime, it is a subscription service that provides free, second day shipping on all Amazon purchases, regardless of the size of the order, plus a host of other benefits such as the Kindle Lending Library and video streaming.    Amazon Prime is super-popular, particularly with military members living overseas who do a large amount of shopping via Amazon.

Amazon recently increased the cost of Amazon Prime to $99 per year, and is in the middle of a series of changes to the program.  It has removed the ability to add up to four people extra people to one account.  Changing soon is the two-day shipping on all items – now certain items may have longer shipping times depending on your location.

While I haven’t located any announcement, I saw something new today:  the calculator I want to buy is $88.00 for Amazon Prime customers, and it is available for immediate shipment.  The same calculator is $110.00 for customers who are not Prime members, and it won’t ship until 11 September.  It almost seems like they are reserving this popular back-to-school item for their Prime customers until after the end of the busy calculator season.

As I said, I’ve never seen this cheaper pricing for Amazon Prime members before.  In fact, Amazon has been accused of charging Prime members higher prices.  That certainly isn’t the case for me today.

I have several questions for you:  Do you pay for Amazon Prime?  Have you been affected by the changes to the program?  And have you ever seen lower or higher prices for Amazon Prime customers?

As families consider whether Amazon Prime is a good value for their situation, your experience and responses will help people make the right decision for them.  So, thanks in advance!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • 4M

    I pay for it, er I would but I’ve got a credit for a year from Amex.

    It is great for diapers, and prime movies (99/12 + antenna + a few red boxes = still way cheaper than cable).

    Never noticed price differences in Amazon, but when it comes to e-tailers I’ll pay more at Amazon than the others because of the ease of returns.

  • I’m not affected by the recent change so far. I have my first Prime subscription after buying a Fire Phone at discount, which is a very good deal for me. If Amazon launch another new device with free year of Prime membership, I may get it too.
    I got some good deals on the Prime Day (in July), those are really for Prime members only. Didn’t aware of other deals that are only for Prime so far, but thanks for sharing, I’ll pay more attention next time when I shop again.

  • sheila wolfe

    There is no difference in price for prime or non prime members when I looked yesterday. It is great and I buy lots online. Sheila

  • mhm

    Amazon has changed their shipping policies for those Prime members outside the contiguous 48 states. There is no longer any option but 3-7 business days and that is from the day Amazon decides to ship the items, which may take up to a week according to one rep. This policy was changed with no warning to the customer. Items I ordered with the 3-7 business day option (the only option) over two weeks ago, are still not here!