Amazon: Prime vs. Basic Account

Is Amazon Prime worth the $85 / year premium? Some of the pros include free 2-day shipping, access to their version of Netflix, and even the ability to “borrow” a book from their Kindle library. Some nice perks.

My wife and I decided to try it this year¬†and have it on her amazon account as it has her kindle associated to it whereas I just buy stuff every so often. And in the last few months I’ve noticed something. Sometimes things cost more on her Prime account vs. my non-Prime account – even when shipping (digital downloads or free anyway or super-saver shipping) and taxes (we live at the same address) are not factors.

You did not read that wrong, sometimes things cost more on her Prime account than my basic account. My most recent discovery is for MS Office 2010. No image editing was done. I found the product, CTRL+clicked it (new tab), logged in to each each account and refreshed the page. You will see a different number of tabs, but that’s because I originally was going to do a side-by-side¬†screenshot. However, I decided a full screen image was better so you can see the URLs are identical, only the accounts (and resulting cart) were different. All of this was done in the same browser (yes, there is browser-based pricing out there) and first I hit my account, then hers, then mine all within 1 minutes so it wasn’t a timing issue either.

If you’re curious, the price shown when you aren’t even logged in is the cheaper price. Sure, it’s just $4.53 for this product and it’s not necessarily every product they have different prices for, but with the number of products they have and the number of Prime users they have (10,000,000 as of 3/11/2013) it adds up for them and you.

Amazon non-Prime Account

Amazon non-Prime Account Pricing

Amazon Prime Account

Amazon Prime Account Pricing

Take away: if you plan to have an Amazon Prime account, make a second basic Amazon account for when shipping doesn’t matter.

Comments are closed.