Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Web Secret #133: Amazon Prime

If you use technology, you need gear. And gear - which in its broadest sense includes power strips, printer ink cartridges, cordless phones, track balls, and much, much more - tends to break, run out and/or mysteriously disappear with impressive regularity. When that happens, nine times out of ten, I access Amazon Prime to rectify/solve/replace the problem.

Most online shoppers know about, the giant retailer which was founded in 1994 as a bookstore and has now diversified into selling - well just about everything you can think of.

But while everyone knows about Amazon, fewer know about Amazon Prime, a membership program that gives you unlimited FREE Two-Day shipping on all eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of $79. (Prime subscribers also get one-day shipping for only $3.99 per item - if you want it even faster.)

Most online stores charge anywhere from $3.99 to $8.00 or more to ship an ordered item - and that usually means you will get that item in 5-10 business days. If you want it faster than that, get ready to pay a premium for that luxury - sometimes as much as $25 or more per order. If you shop more than ten times per year online, Amazon Prime's annual $79 fee is a bargain - plus you get your stuff in two days!

I have discovered a couple of important facts about Amazon Prime during the past year:

1. Amazon carries just about everything you would even think of shopping for - and they have it cheaper and you will get it faster and shipped free.
2. They really mean it - your membership fee means no shipping fees - so you can order one ridiculously small and inexpensive item - and you get it two days later. I needed a printer cartridge and had no desire to fight the holiday crowds at Staples. I ordered it online and saved myself time and money.
3. They have a terrific online tracking system that is easy to use and allows you to change and cancel orders in seconds.
4. They are reliable.

Recently I have ordered:Not sure if Prime is for you? Eligible customers can try out a membership by starting a free trial.

If you are reading this on the morning I first posted and you have or sign up for Amazon Prime - you can still get your goodies before Christmas!

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