Opinion: it is time to drop your Amazon Prime subscription
Amazon just announced that it is going to increase the price of Amazon Prime in several European countries in September 2022. The price for an Amazon Prime membership in Europe's five biggest markets increases by up to 43% as a consequence.
Amazon informed its customers about the upcoming price increase in an email. The annual price for Prime increases by £16 in the UK to £95 per year, which is a 20% increase. In Germany, the price goes up €20.90 to €89.90, which equates a 30% increase.
Italian and Spanish Amazon Prime customers paid about half the price of German and British Amazon Prime customers up until now. Prime in Italy and Spain increases from €36 per year to €49.90, an increase of 39%. In France, the cost of a Prime subscription goes up from €49 to €69.90, an increase of 43%. The cost is still comparatively low when compared to the UK, German and US price.
Monthly Amazon Prime subscriptions go up as well in the countries, so that a yearly Prime membership is still cheaper than a monthly one. The pricing is still lower than that of Prime in the United States, where customers pay $139 per year or $14.99 per month. The change takes effect on September 15, 2022.
Amazon is citing "increased inflation and operating costs" according to Reuters.
What you may do about it
With costs of living exploding in many regions of the world, many may want to cut expenses. Some Amazon Prime customers may extend the membership by another year for the current price, but this depends on a number of factors:
- New customers or customers not subscribed to Prime may sign-up on September 14, 2022 to get the old price for an entire year.
- Existing customers who pay monthly may switch to a yearly plan in September to benefit from this as well.
- Existing customers whose subscription expires before September 2022 may also renew for the lower price.
Others may ask themselves whether Amazon Prime is worth it after September 2022. The answer depends on usage but also on whether you are prepared to make some changes.
One example: Amazon Prime customers get free shipping for most of the goods sold by Amazon. While that is excellent, especially if you make small purchases, non-Amazon Prime customers may get free shipping as well. Here in Germany, orders of €29 or more do get free shipping usually. You could combine orders to reach that amount, unless something is time critical. There may also be options to make purchases elsewhere, including buying local whenever possible.
Amazon Prime Video is another major part of a subscription. You get access to TV shows and movies that you may stream for free. The question that you may ask yourself is, whether it is really necessary to be subscribed to Amazon Prime for the entire year.
Content on streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or Netflix is limited. The offered catalog of shows and movies is finite, and most subscribers will eventually reach a point of saturation.
One of the better options to deal with these streaming services is to subscribe to any of these services for a month or two each year. In the case of Amazon, that would also give you the opportunity to be a Prime member during Amazon Prime Day or during the Holiday season, provided that this is something that you are interested in.
A single month Amazon Prime subscription has a price of £8.99 in the UK after the price increase in September. A two-month subscription would be £19 roughly, which leaves a lot of cash for other streaming services or even paying shipping and handling on some items.
Now You: are you an Amazon Prime customer? What is your take on the price increase?
Here in the Netherlands, the costs are still €2.99 per month and Amazon confirmed today that it won’t increase that price, so I won’t drop my subscription yet. :-)
> it is time to drop your Amazon Prime subscription
No, it isn’t. Whether or not one drops it depends on how often one orders stuff from Amazon, shipping costs being at 0 is the best thing about Amazon Prime. The streaming is just a bonus.
In the 21 months since dropping Prime I have spent a total under $20 for shipping. (A pittance compared to what I have saved in membership ($119) annual fees). I typically wait until my purchase(s) hit the $25 amount allowing me free shipping. The shipping time is a couple of days longer, however, there have been ‘many’ times when I receive my order in two days. My most frequent purchase two weeks ago was next day delivery. I assume USPS or UPS just want to expedite and scratch one more item off their delivery list early???
For Prime movies I have seen most of them. For others I have a VPN [wink wink]
You must be a very loyal sheep. Well it is true if a person shops fewer it doesn’t matter but for those who have been shopping from Amazon for years then having poor customer service presented to them. They yes, it’s a good time to look for other solutions to a growing problem of people around the world getting overcharged for minimal rewards back
> Opinion: it is time to drop your Amazon Prime subscription
I couldn’t disagree more. It still offers much more value than all other streaming services to me and shipping costs alone already justify the costs for me.
In the Netherlands at least free shipping applies if the order exceeds €20 so I haven’t bothered with Prime.
I buy a lot of DVDs from Amazon UK, but free shipping to NL doesn’t apply unfortunately although during a support chat an Associate (that’s what they’re referred to as) told me that as long as the order amounts to £20 shipping would be free. I tried to confirm that with customer services, but never received a reply and a shipping charge of £2,90 per order is always added to the cost.
After Brexit I was a bit worried about incurring Customs & Excise charges when ordering from Amazon UK, but it states on their site that when ordering from Amazon EU s.a.r.l. all goods are sourced from the EU even though they’re priced in Sterling and have shipping charges to NL added. They do arrive from all over the EU I’ve noticed and I’ve had discs arrive from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic so far.
Streaming doesn’t really interest me since I like to watch movies on a big screen, but I don’t have a digital TV. So the DVD route solves that problem.
My wife is an artist and has to order all sorts of esoteric equipment, papers, inks, etc. — sometimes on a very tight deadline — so Amazon Prime has been worth it to her. I, on the other hand, would prefer not to give Jeff Bezos a cent.
> it is time to drop your Amazon Prime subscription
You would have been better phrasing it as the question “is it time?”,
No, because anytime a news article’s headline has a question, the answer is NO.
Usually because the article’s author considers only themselves and infers that upon everyone else.
Prime offers exclusive access to some sports and events. Where is this in the article?
We dumped ours when the price went up in the US earlier this year. We rarely used their streaming except for Bosch, which is now over. Just need to combine purchases to make sure you hit $35
Are you an Amazon Prime customer?
Yes, and where we live, in the Heartland of zero shopping options, Amazon provides an invaluable service. For streaming, We reached the “saturation” point years ago, and Prime Video provides little new content. “Terminus,” although new and highly rated, was a pointless Navy Seal Mission gone wrong show with the silly “kill list” plot; “Chloe,” a Brit series–decent.
It’s the shopping and return policy that beats any other online service: clothes, small tech items–say a patch cable–food stuffs, etc. And a great return policy. UPS delivers; if the item is not as expected, UPS picks up the next day. No printing or running to a UPS center. The two-day shipping, however, has taken a back seat to some new, one week type system. A let down.
Amazon Prime offers some great options for music and novels as well. It’s a bargain for us.
Not a Prime subscriber. I always save my orders until I reach the threshold for free shipping – but these days I’ve been ordering a lot more from eBay anyway.
The video service is completely a luxury, and easy to do without. There’s more content on free streaming services than I could ever hope to watch anyway.
“Amazon is citing ‘increased inflation and operating costs’ according to Reuters”
I’ve noticed everything I buy now has gone up, some of it by quite a lot. I don’t expect it’s any different for Amazon. (You can cite me if you like.)
I note you don’t mention that the cost has not changed since 2014 (in the UK where it’s going up by £1 a month). please tell us what service has not had a price increase in 8 years….?
the fact it’s taken that long is frankly amazing….
In the US, the price has gone up a few times over the last few years. Like many others, I let the Prime membership expire due to the latest price increase a few months ago. One can still get free shipping if one combines purchases. If I need something fast, I already have lower priority stuff sitting there to add to the order. It HAS slowed down impulse buys, though.
I figured I would only subscribe to Prime part of the time so that I save money in the long run. But actually it has not been that bad so far.
Mostly they provide a good service, though good luck if a major problem happens with them. They are great at solving easy problems, but I had to speak to over 15 “people” to solve a more complicated issue.
I am not against Amazon or Prime, assuming one configures privacy settings and no new big anti-user scandals come out. But Amazon’s decision to raise the price has definitely resulted in them getting MUCH less money from me. Users have to stand up for themselves so big companies see a cost to anti-user behavior. I voted with my wallet.
Imagine whining about having to pay €89 (in Germany) now for a Prime subscription when people in the US for example have been paying over $100 for like a decade already and will now have to pay $139 (equivalent to €136) soon!
No wonder everyone sees Europeans as arrogant and entitled.
You misunderstand, but if you want to go down that route; the median income in the US was $42k in 2019, the median income in Germany was $31k. Also, Prime in the US has additional services that are not available here.
Amazon Prime has value, and several commenters reveal how they benefit from Prime, even with the increased pricing. That’s great for them.
Others may come to the conclusion that Prime is not offering enough value for the price that Amazon is charging. That is fine as well and a good way of saving some money.
“No wonder everyone sees Europeans as arrogant and entitled.”
I certainly don’t see it that way: I find Europeans to be highly intellectual, sublimely well-read, considerably gifted with conversational skills, and, overall, thinkers of the highest order. America didn’t produce a Bach.
I’d match a German or Russian or French student to any American student and, already, I know the results. American students and workers are, as a whole, the lazy, spoiled, wanna-be cultured idiots who don’t have a clue about politics or economic pressures in Europe.
The Russian students I taught are superbly gifted in everything educational, sports and all. Yep! Who hasn’t read Vonnegut, except an American? Or Dostoevsky? Try conversing with a German lady. Their intellects far surpass the wimpy American who cares for nothing more than junk food movies or an airport novel. Stereotypes, perhaps.
Martin is a good example of the work ethic and intelligence that is widespread in Europe. May want to check how long gHacks has been providing useful tech info to the masses, basically for free, or read his column over at Beta News. Think about it: He’s on 500 weekly posts. That’s ten years of productivity. Find me another blog that is comparably written, produced, and edited by an American.
Health care in Europe–maybe some of the best. France, as I understand, does provide the best healthcare for everyone–high taxes which makes disposable income even less than the figures quoted.
We use the Amazon household feature. Two accounts can be added from one Prime household account. Saving $200 a year.
This sounds like a great feature. Is it US-only?
“it is time to drop your Amazon Prime subscription”
These subscription services are what drains your bank account. My rule is to pay when I need to buy something. People pile up on subscriptions and then complain they can’t finish the month.
If you need Amazon Prime to cover your shipping costs, then you buy a lot from them. Is all of that really needed ?
I don’t do impulse purchases and I don’t want to be tied to one e-merchant. I use specialized websites for some products, such as LED lamps or batteries. Sometimes, buying a book direct from the publisher will be more practical. I recently bought a toaster directly from the manufacturer, and it was cheaper (shipping included).
How is it possible to “saturate” a streaming service ? Doesn’t Amazon regularly add new titles ? If it doesn’t, it’s worthless.
Amazon is adding new titles regularly, just like Netflix, Disney and the others are. Problem is: you are probably only interested in a few titles per month. I had hopes that Amazon’s acquisition of MGM would improve the catalog, but this has not happened, at least not here.
I agree that subscriptions may lead to overpaying.
I agree Martin, totally not worthwhile.
I like the way you think. This article and your recent one on not buying a full price license for Windows from MS are really smart and show a great eye for value.
Off-topic, but about recent counterfeiting and fraud cases involving Amazon:
Cole South on Twitter: “ever wonder why the cheap junk flooding Amazon has keyboard-mashing brand names like MOFFBUZW? let’s dive into an example… the 2nd organic result for “baby moccasins” has: – 0 reviews – no Prime offer – 20 day shipping (lol) – a brand name that literally looks like Dog Shit https://t.co/CEPCc5LR07” / Twitter
South warns that these companies are extremely dangerous because they disregard the “safety” that most companies carefully check.
Amazon’s Book Piracy Problem – Matt Harrison’s Blog
Amazon sales of Deep Learning with Python are counterfeit | Hacker News
Most digusting thing I encountered on Amazon was when I bought a book about deal… | Hacker News
I have felt this for a while now. They send these cheap prints that have print b… | Hacker News
By the time I learnt about fake products issue on Amazon a few years ago and sta… | Hacker News
Many people who use Amazon say that they are OK as long as they can buy products that are cheap and arrive quickly, and they don’t care if the safety of the products is compromised, the soundness is compromised of the world is being undermined by such people, giving birth to Amazon’s market monopoly.
We cannot assume that similar counterfeiting and fraud will “not happen with food and other products”. We should not be inclined to Amazon.
Range of diverse opinions here in the comments.
I fortunately live at a place where local shops are more than capable. Plus if I need to order branded product from Amazon I can do it on local stores which most of the time have equal prices or even less. As Martin has pointed out products above certain limit are free to ship. Even then if there are some shipping costs involve, one can wait for monthly sales which makes shipping free. It depends on personal experience but I find products limited on Amazon.
Prime Video is a bad service because content becomes unavailable anytime. That reason alone is a big no.
I personally have subscribed to streaming services which shows live sports. Nothing more.
Here in the USA, the monthly charge for PRime is near $200 annually ($16.40 monthly in California w/tax).
I jumped on Prime last year to stream The Expanse episodes and was quite disappointed when Amazon bailed on the show and reduced the last season to 6 shows from the expected 10 or more.
That being said, I do buy a lot of small things on Amazon but am considering dropping it soon because I am all “bought out” and don’t use the video, music, etc. services..
Amazon should split Prime up into shipping and the other components.
I too joined Amazon Prime to view The Expanse (GREAT SHOW btw). I occasionally find a new Prime Video offering but not so often as to justify the annual expense. I terminated my Amazon Prime membership when the price increases were announced this year though my subscription will not expire until October.
I’ll do with Amazon Prime exactly what I’m doing with other streaming services: Subscribe for a month or two, watch the programs for that streaming service that are on my watch list for all the streaming services and, when completed, cancel that subscription and subscribe to a new streaming service. I think that’s what Martin was suggesting and it makes great sense. I can watch the best programming from ALL of the streaming services, for a year, for about the same price as an annual subscription to Amazon Prime.
I’ve been an Amazon customer for many, many years. I subscribe to Amazon Prime and I had a long list of Subscribe & Save items. I was starting to hate all those boxes sitting in my entryway waiting for trash day. And the quality of items I have purchased from Amazon has gone way down. EVERYTHING is made in China even when you ask upfront. I stopped buying Amazon brand products months ago because the quality is just horrible. If you’re buying anything made by Amazon that you have to ingest, I would seriously think twice before you swallow. I have reduced my Amazon orders over the past years, but then the pandemic hit. Today was Amazon doomsday for me. I was charged $69.99 for a faucet that I ordered in August. The delivery was marked “delayed” and had never been delivered according to Amazon Seller. I thought the order was canceled until I checked my statement. I spent hours trying to resolve what seems like an easy issue, but I got nowhere. I was disconnected from chat and I could NOT call Amazon Customer Service because it doesn’t exist. Give it a try and see what happens. I even called Synchrony Bank, which manages the Amazon Credit Card, and they ditched me as well. So I’m done. I know my decision won’t be easy because, if anything, Amazon is convenient, but at what cost! Let’s stop putting huge amounts of cash in Jeff Bezos pocket! Let’s stop killing all those trees. Let’s stop buying inferior products because it’s just too easy. Most importantly, I HATE being a victim!