What the Tech: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

In the early days of Amazon Prime, it was a no brainer for power Amazon shoppers. $79 a year for free 2-day-shipping and lower prices. Today? It might not be such an easy decision as retailers like Walmart are offering similar deals for free.

Amazon charges $119 a year for Amazon Prime. You still get free 2-day shipping and daily deals. But shipping and bargains may not be reason enough to pony up the extra money.

In terms of bargains, most retailers will match Amazon’s prices. WalMart, Target, Best Buy, Lowes and Home Depot will all mark down any item to match the price offered by Amazon. Just show them the price on your smartphone.There are some restrictions, but the bottom line is, unless you purchase most everything from Amazon, you won’t save enough money shopping to justify the $120 membership.

In terms of free shipping, Target offers free 2 day shipping for purchases $35 and up. So does Walmart and others.

So does Amazon for that matter, without a Prime membership.

What about items under $35, without Prime, I’d pay an extra 6 bucks for shipping this mug. You’ll have to purchase 20 items during the year just to break even on the $120 Prime membership.

But Prime memberships are worth the money if you use all the other perks such as the Netflix competing “Amazon Prime Video”. The Spotify competing “Prime Music”. You can argue those two perks more than covers the membership price. Prime reading, which allows members to read books and magazines for free. Then there’s Prime Day. Black Friday like prices only for subscribers. Those perks add up to real savings but only if you use them.

And keep this in mind. Amazon Prime members spend considerably more money at Amazon than non Prime members. Amazon said members spend $1,400 a year on the site compared to non-members who average around $600.