amazon prime

Why I Love Amazon Prime (And You Will Too!)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links. All opinions are my own.

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:

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:

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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5 thoughts on “Why I Love Amazon Prime (And You Will Too!)

  1. I have mixed feelings about Amazon. To me it’s like doing business with the devil. It’s a necessary evil in this modern economy, same as shopping at WalMart. Here’s why I refer to them as The Great Satan. This is my Rantazon.

    As a small business owner with my own storefront, it’s VERY difficult to compete with Amazon’s prices and free shipping. The company has changed people’s expectations about shopping on-line in a big way and it’s not always a good thing. Between their rock-bottom prices and Prime;s 2-day shipping, Amazon has impacted small businesses and large alike and we’re all fighting to keep our customers happy and compete. Sure, that’s the basis for capitalism and I can accept that. But we’re not on a level playing field with Amazon, which is the equivalent of WalMart.

    Here’s why Amazon hurts small business: manufacturers of all sizes will unknowingly sell their products to unethical distributors, who then turn around and resell those products on Amazon for less than MSRP. Sure, the consumer may win by saving a few pennies and getting it shipped via Prime, but this cycle ends up hurting the manufacturer and all other distributors who play by the rules and sell in their own storefront. Recently one of the companies we sell for, a small manufacturer in Oregon, made all resellers sign an agreement that says if we sell on Amazon, we cannot sell below MSRP OR offer it with Prime Shipping. This manufacturer has made the playing field more equal for all of it’s resellers, which is awesome. I wish that we could find a way to feel that equal with the Great Satan in all other aspects of selling online.

    I worked for Amazon one holiday season and learned how they really operate and treat workers at the warehouse level. I was not impressed and quit.

    Do I shop with Amazon? Of course. We have Prime and also utilize Affiliate links. I even have a Handmade store on Amazon. Has it done anything for my sales? Not. One. Bit. It’s a ridiculous place to sell for small makers like me. Handmade items in general are about craftsmanship and quality, which = time & money. Amazon shoppers are not there for those things. They want it cheap and they want it fast. Handmade is NOT about cheap and fast. My Etsy sales garner far more income for me. I’m betting that “Amazon Handmade” will fold in the near future.

    OK there’s my rant! Thanks for listening.

    • Hey, Rene! Thanks so much for your input. It’s great to get insider information from someone who does both Handmade and has participated in Camperforce.

      I agree with you about a few things: places like Walmart and Amazon do make it hard for many small businesses. And I know that many people are resentful of that. But just to play devil’s advocate, as you said if this is a free marketplace then companies that are operating within the current laws and able to make a huge profit are taking advantage of the capitalist nature of our country. I recognize that there are also ethical issues and that the matter as a whole is far more complex than I’m stating it. But just a thought.
      And I’m sure that the workers are not treated well. I’ve worked as an employee in a service-related industry for most of my adult life, particularly in healthcare. You would think that places like doctor’s offices and hospitals, where respect for the sanctity of life and health, and compassion should be top priority. They should treat their employees well. But that is continually not the case. And as for small business, unfortunately I will never work for one again (as an employee). That is because I have consistently been treated worse as an employee of a small business owner than I have each time I worked for a larger company or corporation. If the owner of the small company treats you like dirt, what is your recourse? In the large company, there are checks and balances to the power and (sometimes) you will have better protection from improper treatment. I have had horrible, stress-related health problems and repetitive stress injuries, and at the small business I was told “I need you to come in, I don’t care if you have a fever of 102” while at the large company I was told to take time off, I was sent to the doctor, and offered counseling. Big difference there.

      That being said, despite your reservations you still have a Prime account and are an affiliate because you recognize that it’s difficult as an RVer to find a better place to purchase things you can’t find elsewhere, and have them delivered in a timely manner. If you’re staying only for a week somewhere, you know that waiting 5-10 business days or paying an arm and a leg for overnight shipping are not good options. You need that free Prime shipping.

      Regardless, I appreciate your thoughts as you have a perspective I’m not privy to. Any information can help the readers make a more informed decision.

  2. I really appreciate the comments from Rene and Jim. They are based upon their experiences with Amazon. I’ve always been reluctant to do business with Amazon but know people in my small town of Roxbury, NY, who depend upon it for their needs. That hasn’t happened to me yet, but it could happen and I guess that I someday, I will have to rely on e-shopping. Thanks for the input.

  3. Hey Maya! I totally forgot to read your reply until now. I was thinking about it because I’ve arrived back in Humboldt, a community that successfully fought off WalMart until about 5 years ago. Despite the small store they built here, the local biz scene is still thriving, thank goodness.

    I totally respect your views about this, and you’re right it’s not an easy subject to wrap up in one comment or post. However some day over happy hour we’ll debate the topic of whether or not large mega companies really do operate within the law just like their small biz counterparts do, in order to take advantage of the capitalist system…

    It’s funny, because I had the opposite experience that you did as far as working in large versus small companies. Things went completely the other way for me. I’ve always been happier in small biz and miserable in large ones. Ah well. I’m just glad to not have anything to do with either at this point! And yeah, I’ll keep giving my my money to The Great Satan because well, that’s the price we pay for this lifestyle.

    • Totally understand and agree, Rene. Like I said, I’d rather give my money to a small business, but it isn’t always possible. And the best employer is NO employer as far as I’m concerned!
      Humboldt is beautiful. The east coast is pretty but I can’t help comparing it to the west!

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