After I lost my Amazon prime student, I missed it the most when I asked Alexa to play music. It played one song that I had downloaded long time ago (I don’t even like it anymore) instead of usual ones from prime music collection. That was a sad day! Reluctant to pay $99 for the renewal, I started looking for other ways to replace the prime features I use (Amazon has a long list of what comes with the prime membership, but I primarily used only three)
- Free 2 day shipping: I haven’t bought anything from Amazon after my prime membership ended because I got so used to Two-Day Shipping that regular delivery times seem too loonnngggg. As economists would say, free shipping is not really free – the cost is embedded in the product. It may not be as evident on Amazon.com as it is on Jet.com (which was bought by Walmart) where you can get discount by opting out of free returns; the discount is essentially how much the “free return” is valued at.
My wife suggested to look at our purchase history to determine whether it would be worth renewing – I did and the statistic was biased because we bought a lot of stuff since we moved to a new city and also bought a house.
Alternatives to 2 day shipping: I look at things online and check prices at other websites such as Walmart, Target, or even jet.com; I have heard about Shoprunner, which offers free 2 day shipping and free returns, and even got a complimentary membership through American Express but haven’t used it much.
- Prime Music: It doesn’t have the best collection, but it’s not bad. We mostly played music through Echo (Alexa) and it was good enough to keep you entertained while doing house stuff, cooking, or even when we had guests over.
Alternatives to music: I tried Pandora and iHeartRadio as alternatives but it wasn’t quite the same. Currently I am subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited trial through Alexa deals and not sure whether I am going to renew. Also looking at other services such as Spotify. I am open to recommendations here.
- Prime video: I liked House of Lies and few other shows (none of included movies that I liked were exclusive to amazon video) but not something I couldn’t survive without, specially since I am subscribed to other streaming services. Few shows that I liked such as: Suits and The Big Bang Theory are not included, forcing you to pay $2.99 per episode – talk about Bait-and-switch. This was the easiest for me to let go of.
Alternatives to prime video: Any other streaming service would do; I currently have Hulu and couple of free ones such as Roku channel, NBC app, CW app etc. For regular TV, I have a digital antenna which works great. Roku live TV pause is awesome if your favorite show is on and you still haven’t finished dinner yet!
Prime video, if bought separately, currently costs $8.99/month which is way overpriced, in my opinion, for what it has to offer. Also I recently got MoviePass and now I don’t have to worry about checking promos and ratings before I choose a movie; I figured if I don’t like a movie, I can just sleep and not feel guilty of spending money on it. For a flat price of $9.95, moviepass let you watch one movie each day in most of the theaters. I was excited to see Alamo Drafthouse in the list.
I am probably going to miss amazon prime a little bit, but not enough to shell out $99.