Why I Won’t Be Renewing My Amazon Prime Membership

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Why I Won't Be Renewing My Amazon Prime Membership

After our very active discussion on Facebook about Amazon Prime, I was really excited to start the 30-day free trial and experience it for myself. I was mainly interested in seeing if it was worth paying $79/year.

But by the end of the trial period, I decided I wasn’t completely sold on Amazon Prime, and did not renew my membership.

If you’d like to know why, keep reading! Psst….you’ll have a chance to agree/disagree with me in the comments.

FREE 2-day shipping

Even though this is truly a great perk, I actually only placed one order during my monthly trial, and as much as I love Amazon, it’s not uncommon for me to go a couple months without purchasing anything. I try to be really good!

When I do order from Amazon, I like to plan my shopping in advance. So although 2-day shipping may be really convenient, it’s not a “have-to”, and I don’t have a problem waiting for my order to arrive.

Amazon Shipping

Now, FREE shipping, is awesome. But I already get it with any order $25 and over on eligible Amazon items. They have a pretty big selection too.

Again, because I plan my purchases in advance, we don’t have a problem reaching this threshold. And if we do, I have an ongoing book wish list that can fill up that space if need be. It’s quite the sacrifice…..OK, maybe not!

When would this be a good deal?

If you prefer online shopping over a store, and need quick access to multiple items.

TV and movie streaming

Joseph and I are Redbox junkies, and we have our favorite TV shows that must be watched at all costs…no missing episodes!

Since we currently don’t have cable, I was really excited to instantly access Amazon’s videos and perhaps save some money without splurging for a Netflix membership.

I was really disappointed at the selections though! I watched a total of 4 movies during my 30-days, and all of them were just terrible. The number would have been 5, but I stopped one movie after the first 7 minutes. Yes, I was literally counting.

And when there was a movie I actually wanted to watch, it would have cost between $1.99-$4.99 to rent. I can see a movie for $1.20 at Redbox, and I usually have a $.50 off – FREE coupon code to boot.

As for the TV shows, they didn’t thrill me either. I already use a site that may or may not be legal….shhhh!…and I can watch shows the day after they air.

When would this be a good deal?

If your kids don’t mind watching cartoon reruns, or you’re into old shows and movies.

Kindle lending library

I’m addicted to reading on my Kindle. I never thought I would be, but it’s such a fabulous piece of technology, and I love having my whole library wherever I go!

Kindle

But I also have way more books than I can ever read in the next 5-10 years of my life. I’m constantly given free books for review purposes, and I’m always finding free titles on Amazon to try.

Because of that, I honestly don’t see myself using the Kindle lending library. And if I did need to borrow a book, there are so many titles that can be loaned from one device to another, not to mention available titles at the local library.

When would this be a good deal?

If you didn’t have enough Kindle books to read, or you had a specific title to borrow.

There you have it….all the reasons for not renewing my Amazon Prime membership. I really wanted to make it work, but I simply can’t justify $79 allocated from our budget to pay for it…at least for right now.

However, if you’re currently using Amazon Prime, and it’s worth the money to you, wonderful! Please chime in the comment section and share why you love it.

Likewise, if you’re on the fence about joining, give the FREE 30-day trial a go, and keep track of how you use each benefit. You can’t know unless you try it, and you may end up loving the perks!

Now I’m off to play with all the other Amazon options – Subscribe and Save is next!

What has been your experience with Amazon Prime?

 

FYI – Amazon Student looks like a less expensive version of Amazon Prime, but geared toward high school/collage age. Might be something to check out, and it’s free for 6 months!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m with you. :) I had Amazon Prime for a few months after I had my daughter. There is a program called Amazon Mom that allows moms to try Amazon Prime free. (I forget the exact details, but I think that’s how it works.) It was hugely helpful during the early weeks to be able to order something I needed online and have it show up only two days later without paying any shipping. It saved me many shopping trips with a newborn. So I think there’s a time and a place for it, but it definitely isn’t worth it for us all the time.

  2. Joe says

    I, like you, was hugely dissapointed in the choices of movies available on prime. It seemed like there was going to be so much available but the selection was very limited.

  3. Becki says

    We love amazon prime. We don’t have cable or netflix. I don’t watch much on amazon prime but my husband hasn’t run out of shows in 8 or 9 months (since we got rid of cable). When I have had sick kids or a busy life (often during the school year as a homeschool mom), I have been able to order something and have it arrive before I would have even had a chance to think about getting in the car – goodnights, printer ink, birthday gifts for my kids or for parties they attend, gluten free oats that the best place to drive to is 30 minutes away, organizational products like a shoe orgaziner for the school room – so many of those things took me 5 or 10 minutes opposed to a minimum hour trip to shop with 4 children where I inevitably would have bought more or found that the store was out. Can you tell we love it and that is truly is a lifesaver for our family?

      • Becki says

        I wanted to comment on your blog in case there was someone in my situation contemplating prime so that they could see both sides of it. :) For people, who live far from stores in particular, I can see it being great. I have often ordered something and had it at my front door 18 or 20 hours later.

  4. Pam says

    I like Amazon Prime because of the free shipping. I order fairly often, so that makes it worth it.

    But my favorite reason for liking it is the Mom Subscribe and Save. You can get 5% off if you order through Subscribe and Save feature, and get an additional 15% off if you order 5 or more items in a month, for a total of 20% discount.

    If there are things you know you need on a regular basis, you can subscribe to them. I’m always mixing up my list. I defer the shipping of one item and pick another because you aren’t locked in at all. There are thousands of items to pick from. If you have this, Amazon Prime is part of the package. You still pay the $75 per year, but you get the extra discounts which definitely add up!

    http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=rcxsubs_cont_top?ie=UTF8&node=5856181011

    • says

      I am with you on the Subscribe and Save! I like how you can still order without Prime, although you’re right, Prime does give you an extra discount, which is nice. :)

    • says

      Glad this post helped! It really is a decision that you have to make on a case-by-case basis, and if you don’t see any immediate benefits for your family right now, I think you are smart to save the $$.

  5. says

    I seriously feel the exact same way! Tried it and wasn’t impressed. Was really disappointed in their movie selections. Like really. I can’t believe they even try to “sell” those.

  6. says

    I’ve actually seriously been considering trying Amazon Student–just for the next year, till I finish college. We do have Netflix and it’s only $10 for the streaming (not getting the DVDs in the mail), and since we have a PS3 we use it pretty much daily–for favorite TV shows (they have a lot of good BBC stuff) and movies. The selection is pretty wide, although every now and then I find they don’t have something I want (no Downton Abbey, for example… sigh).

    I’m like you–I rarely order stuff online, and I’m always fine with the regular shipping. This is definitely not something I need or would use.

  7. says

    I think I would agree with you completely if I weren’t a mama with our baby in diapers, and another one on the way. It is SO convenient to get our diapers/wipes/toilet paper/paper towels shipped to us quickly & for free. It saves me the time and effort of carrying those big packages out of the store and home with me while towing our baby around! So it saved that hassle and the gas money to go back and forth. :) It’s also been so helpful to get things for my husband’s work that he needs, and for gifts too. The prices are great {especially with Subscribe & Save}, and I’ve found a lot of ways to earn Amazon gift cards every month to make inexpensive items even less expensive!

    I’ve used the prime videos maybe twice ever and I haven’t been impressed with that either!

  8. says

    I love Prime. For us it has been great…when we were desperate for some baby related item {ie. formula, that we can’t buy anywhere local}. It was great to know that if I was running low I didn’t have to make a trip an hour away. Streaming is great for us too, since Netflix recently lost their contract with nickelodeon, which were the primary shows the kids watched.

    I love subscribe and save too. We’ve debated on and off cancelling it each year, but ended up keeping it.

    • says

      I think if I lived as far away from a “city” as you do, I’d invest in Prime. The convenience would be so wonderful! Thanks for sharing how it works for you!

  9. Sally says

    I agree if you don’t order a lot of online items and already have an extensive library of books it wouldn’t be worth it. For my husband and me, it’s already paid for itself. With a brand new baby, it’s been extremely convenient for us since don’t leave for the store quite as easily as we used to. It’s a matter of what works for you and everyone has different lifestyles and priorities.

  10. Kelli says

    The movie selection seems to improve…
    When i went to buy a new phone, i was super close to buying another smartphone from the Verizon store for about a hundred dollars. I decided to check Amazon. The same phone was a PENNY! so my membership paid for itself. :D
    We also find that Amazon has a lot of movies (for rent) that red box doesn’t. Red box is great for new releases, but not as great for movies that are a little older.

  11. says

    I totally agree with you it rellay depends on your needs/circumstances wither Prime membership is worthwhile. I’m with all of the other parents who love Prime. I had an entire year free (I don’t think they do that anymore) with the Amazon Mom program, and have just renewed my paid membership for a second time since then. I love it. It’s all about saving time for me, in a variety of ways… 1) going to the store. We do live in an suburban area close to a lot of things, but time is so much more limited with a baby/toddler. It used to be easy to hop in the car and go to the store, but now I can only go during certain times of the day (when my daughter is awake, not hungry and not tired), not to mention the extra coordination of getting her ready to go and out of the house, and for each store I have to take her in and out of the car seat (really a PITA in wintertime when she can’t wear her coat in the car seat, so the coat has to go on and off too), so I’m always loathed to go more than one or two places at a time with her. Plus I can’t really browse or weigh options when she’s with me… Point is that unless I know exactly what I need and where I’m going to buy it, it is so much easier to shop online. Gone are the days of browsing at several different stores for a birthday gift. Now I shop online after she goes to bed. I have done almost all of my Christmas shopping online since she was born. There have been so many times when something has shown up at my doorstep (because of the 2 days hipping) before I would have ever made it to the store in the first place. 2) I hate paying for shipping, and like you I used to always wait to place an order until I had a $25 order to get the free shipping that way. Often it meant I would wait weeks, sometimes months, to order something, then wait a week or however long to get it with their regular shipping. Now if I need something, I usually need it soon (because of mom brain I forget I need something until I NEED it, or that things are generally just more urgent with a kid). I also like the predictability of 2-day shipping so I can place an order based on when I want to receive it. Also, I have wondered if I’ve saved at least some money by not ordering extra stuff that I wanted at the time but didn’t really need just to make the $25 minimum… I ordered SO many books that way over the years that I still haven’t read. There is a certain freedom to placing a $15 order and knowing it’s going to show up in two days and that I’m not going to pay for shipping, rather than agonizing over what I should buy for $10 so I can place an order so I can have it in a week. 3) I’ve ordered a few things for work on short notice with their $3.99 next-day shipping that were way, way cheaper than at office supply stores or that I simply couldn’t find in a store (like a fitted card tablecloth for an expo), all in the time it would have taken me to get dressed (I work from home) and drive to the store. Since my daughter was born, my work hours when she’s at daycare a few days a week are really valuable to me.

    That all being said, I think $79 is a lot and I’m not sure if that it’s totally worth it purely from a cost perspective unless you do a lot of subscribe & save orders or are saving a lot of gas money because you live far away from stores. I do think that I’m paying mostly for convenience, but at this point in my life that convenience is really important to me, and it has truly saved my sanity on a number of occasions.

  12. Paige says

    I’m completely debating as I type if I wasted my time and money. The free trial came in handy when i was in a car accident that has left me in a wheelchair for the next 6 months. Now that I’m home and more accessible to get out and go to the store I haven’t even used the site enough to have saved any money. I’m going to cancel my membership. Not to mention I haven’t watched the first tv show of borrowed the first book. Just one lesson learned.

    • says

      Don’t be too hard on yourself! I think the key to whether or not Amazon Prime is worth it, is really the timing. It sounds like you really were able to benefit for quite a long time…and I”m glad to hear that you are doing better!

  13. Paige says

    Thank you! I actually ended up stopping my service and I’m getting a full refund since I just joined in August and haven’t used the service yet. So that’s a positive outcome in this situation! Always have to look for something positive in a negative situatio

  14. Tara says

    We love Prime! We didn’t think it would be worth the money for us, either, and then we got a free year of Amazon Student. Even without the streaming, we saved a ton of money. We buy almost everything on Amazon; if we’re out shopping and see something we like, we use my iPhone Amazon Price app to scan and find the best price – almost always significantly less expensive through them. We’re also able to check reviews that way and really get the best product for the money.

    The free shipping with Prime also means we order smaller stuff through Amazon that we would have gotten locally to avoid shipping, and we usually still save a bit on these items as well.

    We both detest crowds, so it’s great at Christmas; shop around ahead of time to get an idea of what we want, then avoid the masses and still get great deals.

    I have only borrowed a couple of books from the Kindle library. The selection is still so limited that I don’t consider it to be a selling point. (On that point, I’d like to say: I have yet to find a sharable Kindle title that I want to share. They never are, it seems!). The movie and show selection grows every day. It’s not as slick or as vast as Netflix yet, but getting there. We love it.

  15. Ellen says

    We love amazon prime, and the way to make it affordable is the fact that you can have up to five people in your family (including extended members not living at the same address) on that one prime membership. So myself, my mom, mother-in-law, sister and sister-in-law all pay 1/5 of the $79 fee every year and it makes it worth the money. I tried it for a few months and was going to cancel until I found this out. Amazon doesn’t publicize this very well unfortunately, so I just like to let people know!

    I don’t love the video selections either, but the kindle lending library is nice if you are looking for a specific book in a series.

    Oh and the other thing is when I had my first baby, I joined amazon mom and earned four free months of amazon prime (which all my family got to use as well since I already had a prime account). They just waited four months to change me my $79 fee.

    Anyways, that’s a few things I’ve learned in the last few years of having amazon prime!

    • Jennifer says

      My boyfriend and I do this as well! We split the cost between us and two others, meaning we pay $20 a year each! It’s definitely worth it at that price. I would NEVER pay the full $79 myself.

    • Jamie says

      I found out you could add others to your prime account just last year and it’s been awesome…. What is great is that I can order a gift for my husband and he never sees the bill or what it is because it comes to my email. It’s almost like having your own account, I would never know it was linked to his….great investment for those who want to split the cost.

  16. aprila says

    I absolutely love Amazon Prime. I get toilet paper, paper towels, diaper genie and so much more using subscribe & save. Plus we pre-order movies and they have a low price guarantee and will refund the difference. Holiday season they have great lightning deals and purchase a lot then also

  17. says

    I have many, many friends who have Amazon Prime but I can’t justify the $79/year membership either. I get the free trial every November for my Christmas shopping and then cancel when the trial is up for all the reasons you give above. Amazon offers free 2 -day shipping anyway when you spend $25 and it’s fulfilled by Amazon, so I keep a list of things I may want and buy them all together when I really need to.

  18. Aps says

    I LOVE Amazon Prime. It’s totally worth it for me because I order a ton of things online and always at the last minute.

  19. Lisa alane says

    I love my Amazon prime. My choices where I live are a small Shopko Hometown (very limited amounts and selection) and a K Mart that most people avoid due to often having 1 checkout open with long lines and frquent price checks and commonly not having in stock sale items (so wasted time and gas on that trip) It is a 30-45 minute drive depending which direction I go, or about 4 gallons of gas and a lot of time to our closest towns with actual good shopping choices. Did almost all my Christmas shopping with it and probably came close to the membership price in gas savings right there.

    • says

      You are totally correct with those gas prices, especially when they keep climbing! Location definitely has a factor, and I think if we lived outside the city, I would seriously considering trying Prime again.

      On a totally different note, it surprises me that Kmart still exists. I never find myself shopping there, and when I do, it is very similar to your experience!

  20. Lois says

    For those TV shows that you just can’t bear to miss you can always watch them on Hulu for free week late or watch them on the TV channels website. ;) I am all about saving money. You can check out my blog for some ideas @ cabinofbows.blogspot.com

    • says

      We do use TV channel apps to watch our shows, and save them for Saturday or Sunday nights. It stinks that they only have the last few episodes available, but at least it’s better than nothing!

  21. Melanie says

    I’m with the previous poster about splitting the membership. It’s DEFINITELY worth it! We split five ways and the cost is so ridiculously low, I can’t pass it up. I order quite a few S&S items as long as they’re cheaper than Costco, etc. Plus, it’s great for random items that can’t be found in big box stores. I love that I can order and get free shipping on a $5 item that I would have gone to 5 different places to find. The shows and books are basically a bonus to me, and it’s nice that they have choices that Netflix doesn’t carry. I’ve also noticed that they’re selection has improved. I don’t know that I would justify $79/year, but splitting the membership makes it an awesome deal. I hope they keep that policy going. :)

    • says

      I’m going to have to look into splitting a membership! I have a few friends who might be interested, and that would make definitely worth the price. :)

  22. says

    I love Prime. I watch movies and shows a few times a week, and they are always just there. We also have Netflix and rarely use Red Box. They aren’t convenient to me. We have 5 boxes at 3 different stores at one intersection and no others any where nearby.

    I love that I can order stuff when I think of it. I don’t have to save up. I love that I can find about anything there without wasting all day driving around and looking for it. I also think that Amazon has completely spoiled me for shipping expectations. I ordered from Kohl’s in early December and it showed up the 24th. I ordered stuff the 21st and it showed up late on the 24th from Amazon.

    Depends on your needs and your lifestyle. I live in a city, but I hate going out. I love ordering toilet paper when I use the last 4-pack. I enjoy reading reviews and deciding if this is the best product for us. I also like that since my husband is added, he isn’t ordering stuff without free shipping. ;)

  23. Megan Getter says

    I started with Amazon Prime as a student, and I’ve paid for it for three years now. I moved to Indiana a year ago, and it’s wonderful to have free shipping on items for family in Florida. It’s not always a saving even as a student to have free shipping because many used books don’t have the prime option. My fiance also has Amazon Prime, but we’re planning on sharing our membership. It’s definitely a savings when most of your family is out of state. Thanks for the well rounded post!

  24. Janna says

    Living in a small town it’s an absolute MUST!! We only have a walmart and grocery store with limited selection. I use my amazon prime all the time for food items (things I want quickly). One time my dad was doing some repairs for us. We looked all over town for something to fix up our range hood…found it on Amazon. Used the one day shipping and we were able to complete the project quickly and SAVED enough to cover the cost of the Amazon Prime membership. I do use the streaming. We do borrow books. It’s just a win-win for us. It saves me so much time not having to go out and look for specialty items. Time is money. It’s been a time saver and a money saver for us!

    • says

      It’s crazy what you can buy on Amazon these days! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. They really help other readers decide whether or not to take the plunge, and I love that we have both sides here!

  25. Bethany Thompson says

    I retired as an elementary school librarian last August and and because of this we had been planning on cutting back on everything. I have Amazon Prime, but plan to give it up. We discovered Roku, get the internet through the local cable company and once I realized that if we get a converter box to pick up HD, we won’t need even basic cable. So, what we will wind up with is internet access and Netflix. We also have Hulu Plus, but I’m seriously considering dropping it as soon as we get the converter box and will watch network shows we like as they come out. It isn’t as easy to manage as Netflix, we love watching the BBC shows, and don’t watch much in the way of current television anyway.

    Oh, one point–we had a credit card that we used for online purchases, and in turn they donated money to my college. I decided to get an Amazon credit card for online use and I’ve had enough points to really take care of a lot of little extras we wanted at Christmas. Just a thought! Great discussion. I’m glad I ran across your blog.

  26. Christina says

    My husband has a gluten intolerance and we buy many food products that would cost sometimes
    50% to 75% more at health food stores. I often forget to order the first time he tells me since he often tells me when I’m in the middle of doing something else, so I like the fast delivery feature. I also like how supportive Amazon is with purchases from outside sellers when it’s a prime purchase. However, I’ve noticed that they often increase the cost of the product if it is a prime purchase, which I have found irritating since I’m paying quite a bit of money already. So i’m kind of middle of the road about this — not sure what I will do when it’s time to re-up. I’ve been thinking a lot about being able to get the delivery free with an over $25 purchase. the only time of year I might order under 25 is during the holidays for last minute gifts, but I’m wondering if I would spend $79 a year on impromptu shipping…

  27. Jim says

    I stuck my toe in the amazon pond slowly initially but over time discovered that if I changed my shopping habits and bought some items in bulk there was a whole host of household items, clothing, shoes, tools, some grocery items, vitamins, health food in addition to savings I could garner on big ticket items and various media that Prime for these alone made sense and I’ve been a dedicated member for 4 years as a result. The free books and videos were simply gravy. I figure I gain 2 hours a week on average at least not battling traffic zipping to various brick and mortars and pocket the 40 gallons of fuel I’d buy to do so which alone pays for the Prime and then some with the added benefit of reducing the wear and tear on my vehicle.

    It’s not for everyone obviously but around here it not only saves an appreciable sum of money and makes shopping for alot of things I need far more convenient but it returns to me close to a week every year that I can do something else with, like play with my kids

  28. reluctantexan says

    Now that they’ve raised the price, the cancel automatic renewal (link) just leads to a page where you can’t do anything. Amazon has gotten lots and lots of money from me over the years, buying items using Prime. They’ve now lost a long-time customer. I’ll spend my money somewhere else. I urge you to join me in abandoning amazon.com.

  29. Autumn says

    I agree with a lot of what you say. Although my Kindle is loaded with too many books, I find that when I am reading a series (of which the first book I often got for free) the others books are available through prime. I think as of right now I consider my Prime account as having broken even. I just have to read 1 book a month and it works for me. i consider the rest a bonus.

  30. JM says

    Does anyone know if you can ship gifts to other addresses out of your state with your Amazon Prime membership if you are buying them?

    • Kalyn Brooke says

      You should be able to. I have sent giveaway products to other addresses, you just have to add them to your address book when you checkout.

  31. Sarah says

    We love Amazon Prime. We do a lot of buying on Amazon and I do a lot of binge TV show watching so it’s nice to be able to catch up on TV shows. I’m not sure if you’re TV show watching site is legal or not, but with a combination of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and my cable’s On Demand, I can typically catch up on most TV shows.

    Unfortunately Amazon Prime is now $99/year. :( They did add on a free music feature though. I haven’t dug into it too deeply into it, but it looks pretty cool so far. I still think it’s worth it, at $99/year it’s only $8.25 per month, cheaper than Netflix and with loads more features.

  32. curlypetite says

    We use Amazon Prime for one main reason: my sister in law has 4 kids. That means that we have a HUGE set of Christmas presents and various birthday presents. These kids’ birthdays seem to pop out of nowhere and my husband who is a huge procrastinator likes to oversee the gift selection. Almost every year we’d spend a ton on shipping charges. Even if I planned, I’d have to spend at least $25 on each birthday gift to get free shipping which may take 3-5 days.

    Now, we can send what we like immediately and it’s less pricey. The movie feature is good but not as good as Netflix.

    We are cancelling Netflix and Hulu for now, so AP will be our only streaming. I wish it were cheaper. $100 is a lot.

    • Kalyn Brooke says

      We have a lot of nieces and nephews to buy for as well, and you’re right, Amazon Prime is great for last minute purchases. We are personally thinking about getting Netflix or a Roku, but I still need to do some more research to see if it will be worth it long-term. I think consistently evaluating monthly/yearly subscriptions is key to make sure you’re always getting your money’s worth, no matter what you use!

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