Subscriptions can be tricky.
At times, they’re easy to forget because we tend to pay for them infrequently, while other times we feel compelled to “get our money’s worth.” They multiply and sometimes offer overlapping benefits. And those benefits are constantly retooled for ever-changing prices, always inviting a fresh cost-benefit analysis.
That’s why it’s important to hold no subscription sacred when it’s time to re-evaluate your budget. But one thing you maybe haven’t considered canceling is Amazon Prime. After all, Amazon is now spending about $17 billion a year to remind us how valuable the company is.
Here are several reasons to ignore the marketing and kick Jeff Bezos’ club to the curb.
1. It makes you lazy
Amazon doesn’t always have the best price on stuff. But you might not know it because the breadth of products they can put in your hands in two days — if not the same day — is unbeatable.
That’s a good and terrible excuse to not do some comparison shopping, especially if you’re the type to focus on “getting your money’s worth” out of a membership.
2. It thrives on your impulse purchases
That promise of speedy delivery also makes it all the more tempting to buy just about anything we suddenly decide to want. But for many people, instant gratification often turns into wasteful regret.
3. You don’t need it for free shipping
Amazon’s done an amazing job of making consumers feel entitled to speedy shipping at no extra cost — maybe too amazing. As a result, other retailers often offer fast, free shipping without the hefty annual fee in order to stay competitive.
Even on Amazon itself, there are multiple ways to get free shipping without Prime, as we explain in “A Hidden Way to Get Free Shipping on Amazon.”
4. The price keeps going up
It’s no surprise that companies routinely raise their prices. We’re all far too familiar with inflation at this point.
But sometimes the price hikes are audacious enough to make your eyes bug out, as Amazon’s most recent hike of almost 17% for Prime memberships no doubt did for some.
5. You genuinely care about small businesses
Once upon a time, in the early days of the internet, Amazon was a bookseller almost nobody had heard of.
Now, the monolith of internet shopping steps on a lot of potential future Amazons. If you care about local businesses, or even big ones, you have good reason to renounce the all-consuming Prime.
6. You don’t do enough shopping to justify the cost
Take a moment to glance at your Amazon order history. Are there any months when you didn’t buy much or anything? Were your purchases things you could have grabbed on an incidental errand or a quick trip to the grocery store?
If exclusive Amazon Prime Day deals are important to you, don’t forget you can get a free trial of Amazon Prime whenever you haven’t paid for it in the past 12 months. Get what you need and cancel before getting charged for membership.
7. Its streaming shows aren’t impressive
Sure, Amazon made a “Lord of the Rings” prequel. But what are you going to watch the rest of the year? If it’s another streaming service, why pay for this one?
8. You figure Jeff Bezos is rich enough
A little more than a month before Christmas, Amazon started the process of laying off about 10,000 employees. That same week, founder Jeff Bezos, who has accumulated about $124 billion in net worth, told CNN he’s “building the capacity” to give away his wealth. Is laying off workers part of “building capacity”?
Whatever it means, it is apparently very difficult to give away all that cash, so you probably shouldn’t make it any harder on him by spending your money at Amazon.