When I logged into my Amazon Prime account a few days ago, a notification popped up saying something like, “In the past 12 months, you’ve saved $250 and 40 trips to the store using Prime.”
I laughed. There was no way I had ordered enough for that to be true! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it probably wasn’t an exaggeration. I spent an exorbitant amount on Amazon over the past year — and I don't regret a single penny.
While the ease of online shopping makes it easy to order items I don’t need, it has also created a simple way to restock the household goods I do need regularly, such as dish soap, sunscreen and vitamins. A Prime membership, which now costs $119 per year (previously $99), or $12.99 per month, provides access to streaming video and music services, a selection of free Kindle books and free two-day shipping on over 100 million items, among other perks.
I mostly use the free shipping, so I decided to take a look at my order history from the past 12 months to see if I had truly saved the $250 Amazon claimed. Since last June, I placed 54 orders using Prime. If shipping costs around $4 per order, that means I dodged about $216. After subtracting the $99 annual fee it cost me to be a Prime member, that comes down to roughly $117. In other words, just by ordering from Amazon rather than from other sites, I saved over a hundred bucks.
While I could have avoided shipping fees altogether by buying from brick and mortar stores, the ease of shopping online saves me something even more valuable: my time. According to Amazon, I bypassed a shocking 40 trips to various stores.