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There are many choices when it comes to shopping. Shopping online is a popular choice. So why choose Amazon Prime above all others? Here’s why.
Why I love Amazon
- Amazon is huge. According to Forbes in a May 2016 article, at that time Amazon was the world’s 8th-largest retailer. This is without having a single brick-and-mortar store, anywhere. Amazon continues to compete revenue-wise with other brands that have physical and online stores. This means they are not going anywhere anytime soon. So I can buy something and know that if I have a problem with the product, I can return it with their 30-day return policy. They will still be around in 30 days and not suddenly out of business. Because they are online, that also means I can receive my product in California and be in Atlanta when I return it, and I don’t have to search around for the closest store.
- They also employ RVers. Every year, Amazon Camperforce hires RVers to work in preparation for the holiday rush. They have locations across the United States. The job is considered work camping. You work for Amazon and live at a campground where they pay for your site. Amazon also pays you a wage and you can even be eligible for overtime and bonuses. I’ve read about some people doing this, and while they say it’s typically very long hours, it’s a great way to save up some money. Some people do it and then don’t have to work for several months while they travel. I understand some people choose to do this every year.
- Amazon’s business is multifaceted. They don’t just sell physical products. They also have digital products and services. I’ll talk more about the types of products in a little bit.
- They encourage entrepreneurship as well. You may not know this, but Amazon is not just a single company where everyone is an employee. They allow people to sell products through Amazon. You can either sell someone else’s products, or you can sell your own. Some business owners sell manufactured items, but they are also handmade products on Amazon. Because products are sourced from multiple places by many different people, the variety of options is incredible.
- You don’t need to be a paid member to shop there. You can buy a Prime membership. But if you’re not sure you’ll like it, you can do a free trial. You can also sign up for a free account and shop on Amazon. There are ways to get free shipping with a free account, as detailed on their help page. You may also find that some products include free shipping.
Amazon Prime for students
If you are a student, Sprint is currently sponsoring a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime. Benefits include:
- Free 2-day shipping on eligible items
- Access to Prime Video
- Unlimited access to certain e-books
- Unlimited listening to certain Audible products
- Free unlimited photo storage
- 30-minute advance access to Lightning Deals
After the 6-month trial is over, you can sign up for a regular Prime membership for 50% off. Visit this page or click on the picture below to sign up or for more details about the student membership.
Amazon Prime regular membership
The standard membership fee is $99 per year or $10.99 per month. Benefits include most of the student membership values above, plus the following:
- Certain cities can get free same-day shipping
- Prime Now: 2-hour delivery to certain cities
- One-hour delivery from eligible restaurants in certain cities
- Pre-order items may be shipped to you on their release date. No waiting in line to pick up that item you pre-ordered!
- Unlimited access to Prime Music
- Access to Prime Pantry
- Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
- Prime Reading: borrow e-books for free!
- Kindle First: choose a free or discounted e-book, available on the first of every month
- With No-Rush shipping you can sometimes downgrade from free 2-day shipping to longer shipping, (3-5 business days) and get credits toward future purchases
Those are just the highlights! For all the current Amazon Prime benefits click on the picture below visit their “about” page.
As you can see, it can be a great deal and it more than pays for itself with just the free shipping. I order heavy boxes of dry goods and boxes of personal care items. I even ordered large pieces of furniture (a 4 foot long metal desk) and it they were delivered for free.
Other Amazon & Amazon Prime benefits
With Amazon Prime I also find items I simply can’t find locally. I love supporting local business, but if they don’t have what I need then I can’t buy from them. It also saves me time and money not having to drive around searching for something when I can find it on Amazon and have it delivered to my door. I have such a busy schedule that Amazon allows me to spend more time relaxing, working, or exploring the latest destination.
Here are some of the things I bought from Amazon that I couldn’t find in local stores (even when we lived by San Francisco):
- A limited-edition popcorn flavor that I found at a store. I got addicted to it but they didn’t sell it locally anymore. They had it on Amazon (sadly, I can’t get it anywhere anymore).
- Organic, cruelty-free, non-toxic, shampoo, conditioner and body wash for my sensitive skin
- A specific type of zinc-based sunscreen (so I can go out in the sun without breaking out into a rash)
- Economy-sized non-toxic detergents and soaps at better prices than local stores
- Swimsuits with built-in sunblock (UPF 50)
- A Go-Pro style camera for 1/10th of the cost
- RV parts and accessories
- Of course, now you may be able to find one locally, but my favorite appliance ever, the InstantPot, was available first through Amazon for a long time.
My favorite Amazon Prime feature
I also frequently make use of all the free e-books I can read through Amazon Prime. I have the free Kindle app on my phone. That alone gives you access to thousands of books you can download and read for free, so I used just that for years and never had to buy books. Then they came out with Prime Reading, which gives access to even more books you can borrow for free. Because I am an avid reader, I was super-excited by all the additional free e-books that Prime Reading gives me access to! I download and read at least a couple books per week these days–for free!
As an RVer I also love that I can quickly and easily change my delivery address. Changing your shipping address is as easy as re-confirming your credit card number. You can save multiple addresses in your account, so if you move a lot between the same locations you can leave those addresses in for future use. We also send gifts to family sometimes through Amazon, and they will also gift-wrap certain items for an additional fee.
One last benefit I can think of is the Amazon Locker option. Say you’re staying somewhere you can’t receive packages, like a state park or a boondocking spot. If there’s an Amazon Locker nearby, you can ship your purchase to this drop box. The locations are secure and many are available 24 hours. There is no additional cost for shipping to an Amazon Locker. You can also even drop off returns at a locker!
So have I convinced you yet how much I love being a Prime member? Do you think it’s something you would benefit from? Why or why not?
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