Dumping Amazon Prime

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Jul 11, 2008
8,944
Northern NH
While reviewing post retirement expenses, Amazon Prime is coming up for scrutiny. $139 a year and I expect its a waste of money at this point for my use. When I was working it was convenient to buy office supplies without worrying about a minimum and getting the supplies quickly, that reason is gone post retirement. I never really used the music or book downloads and being in a rural area, two day shipping is becoming rarer now that they use the post office for the "last mile" of many small deliveries, orders seemed to stall frequently by a day or so if the USPS is involved and with the shortage of carriers, its obvious that the carriers have figured out that they can blow off delivery by day or so by marking off a delivery attempt to something out of their control and it buys them a day. If it snowed overnight, even though I have my driveway cleared down to pavement before the carrier drives by, if its bigger than my rural mailbox at the end of the driveway its 50/50 that I will get a delivery failure notice.

If I wait until I have $25 worth of orders on Amazon, its free shipping anyhow and I still get cash back for using the Amazon branded credit card. I also have found that Walmart.com tends to have better pricing for a lot of odd items and free shipping plus if I need to do a return, I can do it at the store rather than hassling with rewrapping it and paying to have it picked up as UPS has no authorized shipping centers close by. I have to wonder how Walmart processes returns at stores like that, my guess is it probably goes in the dumpster for something not sold in the store. It is not like I am taking business away from local businesses for a thing like office supplies, its a 40 mile one way drive and sadly Walmart nuked most of the local options. long ago.

I did watch a few Amazon created TV shows, like the Expanse, but since then their offerings are more time wasters, than "must watches", their own content is highly variable, a lot of "sounds good in the ad"but when watched, nothing special. Commercial movies and TV series tend to be second tier, the ones that slosh around to or from free streaming services. Their Prime interface for streaming is more and more based on getting folks to pay for content on other sites or get people to sign up for other steaming services through Amazon. They used to have a "free to me" option on the interface to get rid of the paid offerings but that appears to have gone away or made more difficult to find.

When I look over my orders of late, they tend to be impulse purchases that probably are best if they sit a few days in a checkout cart so I can reconsider them in a few days. If I let them build up for a few days in the cart until the total is over $25 my guess is not all of them will get ordered.

In general, the big goal of business is to get that reoccurring automatic fee as for most folks those are easy to ignore until it is too late. I have a suspicion that my SXM radio for the car is on the chopping block next when it is up for renewal, it was great when I was traveling a lot of 300 to 400 mile days for work but my trips now are shorter.

Maybe it is different for someone closer to civilization with Whole Foods stores, Amazon drivers and one day food delivery, but my current plan is not to renew the membership out in the sticks. I have been warned and seen that they have set up the sales process to default to renewing or adding membership but I guess its shame on me if I am not paying enough attention, to avoid that trap. I think by adding a couple of day delay for small purchases, it more likely I will pay more attention to the cart.

So anyone else "cut the cord" or am I missing some great feature that would convince me to stay?
 
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I cut the cord with them late last year. They are charging a lot for little value. We don't use their music services and rarely watch things on Amazon prime. We live only 25 miles from Amazon HQ, but they refuse to use their vehicles here for delivery. This means our local post office gets saddled with the burden of delivering their packages. Our rural post office is small and overwhelmed with Amazon packages yet they do nothing to relieve the burden. Last Christmas there were up to a thousand Az packages arriving per day. By the week before Christmas the PO stopped delivering them so that they could keep up with regular mail. Some of that backlog didn't get delivered until early January. Screw them, we can order elsewhere that ships via UPS.
 
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You got me rethinking prime. The cost has creeped up over the years. My driving is mostly local but but we really enjoy SXM’s variety compared to local broadcast. Still for two years I called to cancel but was offered a better price to pay for one year in advance. I think it figured out to 5 or 6 bucks a month.
 
For now our subscription will remain, we seem to keep loosing stores and the the ones that remain are often lacking in selection. Amazon unfortunately fills that gap.

Besides, I'm also that looser that likes watching Top Gear, The Grand Tour, and Clarkson's Farm.
 
I went the other way, just added another Prime account. We now have three, between me and my wife (technically a family account) and my home business. There's a truck in my driveway dropping off Amazon packages at least 3x per day, and often 5x - 7x per day. Although their prices are rarely the best, when combined with speed and shipping costs, they become the obvious choice for most things.

Yesterday, they dropped off:

Ratcheting screwdriver handle
ESD soldering mat
1/4" hex drive bit tray
Pliers and cutters kit
Flush cut pliers
Under-cabinet work light
ESD tweezers
Toothbrush heads (Oral-B)
NuuN Sport pack
Gold Bond hand lotion
Zatador eye drops
1/2" NPT x SAE-6 brass elbow

Took about five different trucks, even though all of that was on just two orders from me. I'm not sure why they can't just put it all on one truck, but at the same time, I can't wait to see what they drop off today!

If I need a roll of paper towels or a light bulb, it's much quicker and easier to swipe on Amazon, than to make a mid-week trip half-hour outing grocery store to retrieve them. Time is money.
 
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I do not plan to dump buying things from Amazon, I just plan to dump Prime. With respect to buying stuff the prices are the same Prime or no prime the only different is Prime folks do not have to pay for shipping under $25.

My backups are on portable hard drives, I do not trust the cloud, too many cases where some company decides they do not want to do some sort of business anymore and close down the service with little or no notice.
 
I do not plan to dump buying things from Amazon, I just plan to dump Prime. With respect to buying stuff the prices are the same Prime or no prime the only different is Prime folks do not have to pay for shipping under $25.

My backups are on portable hard drives, I do not trust the cloud, too many cases where some company decides they do not want to do some sort of business anymore and close down the service with little or no notice.
Got it. Yeah, if you don't midn aggregating things in your cart and waiting on shipping, that's a good solution. Different phases of life bring differing priorities.

But I don't think Amazon backup is going anywhere, anytime soon, they're one of the more popular business solutions out there. I don't personally use them for that, I have a combination of local and cloud backup systems that cover both business and personal, but I did look at them as one potential option, prior to going with one of their competitors as my off-site solution. If you have files you really care about, you should have some off-site backup, redundant to your on-site storage and backups. Follow the 3-2-1 system, and it's hard to go wrong.
 
Prime is Cheap Backup for my Pictures. Well worth it.
My backups are on portable hard drives, I do not trust the cloud, too many cases where some company decides they do not want to do some sort of business anymore and close down the service with little or no notice.
This ^ ^ ^
 
When I am roaming the web looking at old threads you would be surprised how many dead photo links I find to services that used to be huge and now do not exist or are no longer directly accessible. I think most websites now host the photos internally so the pictures tend to stay with the posts. I remember for a few years they could host them in limited resolution so I was always having to resize my photos and what was posted was pretty grainy. Previously pre cloud many just linked to other sites and the links broke. https://productmint.com/what-happen...o hosting platform that has,(or $65 per year).

I do agree for many Prime makes sense, if there truly was one day delivery locally and I needed fast delivery using the "deal with it once" approach, it might be worth it and was when I was working. I got off the fast lane a few years back and coasted part time to early retirement so I have the time, others may not.

Since I now have the time waiting for winter to decide when it will become spring, I am reviewing all my reoccurring bills, it is not that I have to in order to afford my next meal, its just that its easy to let those "vampire charges" just keep appearing on the credit card. To date by asking questions and swapping providers I am well over $500 a month in savings (a big chunk was health care) with no change in service. As I have mentioned before, I handed off my investment management to Vanguard as I know they have saved me money mostly due to tax and capital gains management so its worth the fee and I pay it.
 
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Prime related, kinda, sorta, not really...Amazon, Walmart, Kohl's, all of them, could surely save a ton of money if they ship more than one thing in a box...often a way oversized box! Why can't you find a box that even halfway matches the item?! I have received items the size of a loaf of bread in a box that a small wood stove would have fit in! Ridiculous!
Some places have it figured out though, they ask if you can wait for your whole order to be sent all at once (can't recall where it was now) and while I'm at it, what's up with everybody shipping on Sunday now? I'd rather have a cheaper product or shipping price than receive it on the weekend, unless I've asked/paid extra for it.
Nobody wants to work weekends, why force it on someone to deliver a product that I really don't need ASAP?!
 
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Prime does encourage shipping multiple products on chosen day of the week. I think mine is Thursday and sometimes I get a small credit for renting things like videos if I chose Prime day instead of as fast as possible.

I ordered some 4 tires for my Bronco once. The individual boxes they sent them in were enormous. The post office carrier did not appreciate them. Usually, they leave a notice in the box that they could not deliver them. I also bought a big Honda Track drive from Amazon a few years ago, it came in a really nice crate and delivered to my garage for considerably less than the local Honda dealer who really doesnt care about outdoor power equipment but needs to sell it to sell ATVs.
 
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When I am roaming the web looking at old threads you would be surprised how many dead photo links I find to services that used to be huge and now do not exist or are no longer directly accessible.
Point taken, but at the same time, "huge" is a relative term. I suspect most of those you recall as being "huge" had revenue way below 1% of Amazon, or more likely below 0.01%, in comparison. Amazon has become a leader in the backup business for enterprise solutions... they're not going anywhere. It's likely it could be spun off, terms changed, etc. But they will not vaporize, if only due to their corporate backup business.

On-site backup for first tier is best, as it offers most speedy and reliable recovery. But when a house fire, burglary, or natural disaster wipes that out, you want to have an off-site solution, of one sort or another. Use local encryption, if you have security concerns, just make sure there are multiple copies of the encryption key stored both on and off-site. If you lose a local encryption key, not even your cloud provider can retrieve the data.
 
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The thing about prime for me is free shipping to Alaska. I buy what I can local. I have a shopping list. Once a week on a day off (today was one of them) I go al the way across town and stop at all the stores that might have the things I need. The stuff that doesn't come with me gets ordered from Amazon and I don't have to pay shipping.

I am organized enough that I can afford to be time flexible on stuff that I probably can't find in town, like any fitting with left handed threads or metric things.
 
Wouldnt you get free shipping to Alaska from Prime if you buy $25 worth at a time?
 
I went the other way, just added another Prime account. We now have three, between me and my wife (technically a family account) and my home business. There's a truck in my driveway dropping off Amazon packages at least 3x per day, and often 5x - 7x per day. Although their prices are rarely the best, when combined with speed and shipping costs, they become the obvious choice for most things.

Yesterday, they dropped off:

Ratcheting screwdriver handle
ESD soldering mat
1/4" hex drive bit tray
Pliers and cutters kit
Flush cut pliers
Under-cabinet work light
ESD tweezers
Toothbrush heads (Oral-B)
NuuN Sport pack
Gold Bond hand lotion
Zatador eye drops
1/2" NPT x SAE-6 brass elbow

Took about five different trucks, even though all of that was on just two orders from me. I'm not sure why they can't just put it all on one truck, but at the same time, I can't wait to see what they drop off today!

If I need a roll of paper towels or a light bulb, it's much quicker and easier to swipe on Amazon, than to make a mid-week trip half-hour outing grocery store to retrieve them. Time is money.
Im there with you. Trucks stop here daily. I joke that our foyer area is the shipping and receiving dept. In my office next to the front door I have a unused desk that boxes go to be processed, and that includes a returns area. Packing tape, sharpee, scissors, packing materials. My shopping list looks quite familiar to yours honestly. Just random 'stuff' you get throughout the week that you need. I honestly dont know how I survived before Amazon prime. Im taking a bunch of stuff I got this week up to the cabin that I need for job completion, and I still need to stop at lowes for a 5lb box of screws, and a can of spray paint.
I dread when I see my package is coming via USPS. UGH. They are the absolute worst. I dont know the reason but, I do know there is intentional cause involved there at least in our case. Several times Ive had to chase down the mail person and say "HEY, this says my package is out for delivery yesterday where is it." and then they hand me the box that they didnt want to walk up to my porch and is too big to fit in the mailbox. Getting a monster sized mailbox has curbed some of that.
 
So if you are buying and shipping that much stuff per week, would you be ordering way more the $25 dollars worth so you would be getting free shipping anyhow?
 
I honestly dont know how I survived before Amazon prime.

That makes me think about my elderly neighbor back in East TN. Upon hearing we are from Europe, he asked whether there are walmart's there.

Nope.

He then proceeded to be completely stumped: "but how do you get your things and food there?"

In my personal opinion, having a truck drive by several times a day is poor stewardship of the great outdoors. I get that's life these days, tho.

I don't have prime, and I wait until I reach the $25 threshold. And I have things delivered on one day. I rarely need something that urgently as I am able to plan for what I need. Situations differ in that, tho.
 
On-site backup for first tier is best, as it offers most speedy and reliable recovery. But when a house fire, burglary, or natural disaster wipes that out, you want to have an off-site solution, of one sort or another.
When it comes to backups, two=one, one=none.

By that logic, local copy is for convenience only, not considered a backup. I don't use external HDD for my own use. I consider them for moving files, not storing.

I use a secondary SSD as a storage drive, continually backed up to Backblaze. If they plan to go out of business, they will alert their customers and I'll upload my local copy somewhere else, as well as download the copy from Backblaze for archiving.

I also have cold storage in other offsite locations that gets added to as files are archived.
 
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I think it really depends on how much you buy and convenience. If you buy enough the free shipping will pay for the me membership. Also, if you have someone that needs the same thing every month, the subscription service is useful.
 
I agree with subscriptions.

However, the prime cost won't ever pay itself for me as I don't pay for shipping now either....
 
Canceling mine as well. Reasons stated, price increase and ability to easily bundle $35 for free shipping.
The biggest reason is Amazon music will no longer allow you to download music and play it when offline. No longer can play specific songs, just some playlists. Done with them.
 
That makes me think about my elderly neighbor back in East TN. Upon hearing we are from Europe, he asked whether there are walmart's there.

Nope.

He then proceeded to be completely stumped: "but how do you get your things and food there?"

In my personal opinion, having a truck drive by several times a day is poor stewardship of the great outdoors. I get that's life these days, tho.

I don't have prime, and I wait until I reach the $25 threshold. And I have things delivered on one day. I rarely need something that urgently as I am able to plan for what I need. Situations differ in that, tho.
So the delivery trucks make their rounds either way. SOMEONE in my street will be getting a package, it's literally just another stop for them for about 30 second for them to pull over, walk the package up, pull away. The savings of me driving to/from in time, gas, wear and tear on a vehicle is immense. Not to mention, brick/mortar stores are a HUGE pain in the arse to navigate, find the area where your product is only to find they only have the more expensive, cheaper, or dont have it in stock at all.
No thanks...I'll keep my deliveries. It gives me a real human to interact with from 8-4 daily :)
 
I concur with the pain. And you may be right w.r.t. the environment too because of the resources used in the stores themselves.
Don't know how reliable this is but they citr some studies:
 
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