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Amazon UK Prime price rise to £79

By Dan Wilson February 23, 2014 - 11:26 pm

It’s all being billed as good news. Here in the UK, the Prime service (which offers shoppers unlimited discounted postage for the year), is being expanded so that subscribers can all get all-you-can-eat access to the Kindle library and also membership to the Lovefilm streaming service.

All good news? There’s a catch. The annual fee will be going up from £49 to £79 a year.

The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones writes about how Amazon seem to be hiding the price rise behind the service enhancements and he makes a good point. But equally, the package at that price also seems quite attractive if you have a Kindle and watch films and make regular Amazon purchases.

Prime really serves as the “entry drug” for Amazon. It ensures loyalty because subscribers come back to Amazon when they’re buying over the course of the year. And it works. Industry analysts say it clearly drives loyal buyers who buy more.

But are the extras worth it? Especially with services like Netflix enjoying huge success with their original series, I’m not sure how Lovefilm squares up. The Kindle extras will be attractive for the avid reader Kindle owner.

But overall, it’s further evidence that Amazon has many fingers in many pies and I wonder that lack of focus might be debilitating. And surely the rise in price will serve as a disincentive to many.

  • JD
    3 years ago

    So why the price rise?

    Was it launched as a loss leader with the plan to increase so much and now?
    Was/is it so successful that the £49 was simply underestimated?
    Have carriers upped their prices?

    What do you think?

    Whatever the true reason, it is very likely that carrier prices will rise faster than product prices. To include carrier prices as a part of any deal will in the longer run lead to a more obvious convergence of headline prices between B&M and on-line.

  • Robert C
    3 years ago

    I’ve used Amazon Prime for years, but it’s only been in the last year that every order was taking at least 2 days to be delivered. The service is getting worse and now has almost doubled in price… so I’ve cancelled my membership.

    • Dom
      3 years ago

      If it is sent using Royal Mail or UPS it seems to take at least two working days. Books and DVDs are often sent using First Class rather than courier. It is not the guaranteed next day service that is advertised.

  • Sam
    3 years ago

    Just cancelled my membership too, thanks for the heads up.

  • 3 years ago

    Amazon Prime is Excellent Product which has changed the way on-line sellers price their delivery charges. Its “ADD ON” items eligible for FREE Super Saver Delivery as long as the minimum order threshold of £10 of qualifying items is met is another interesting product.

    Consumers basically wants no delivery charges and this is being tapped with Amazon Prime and Free delivery with certain spend value.

  • Alan
    3 years ago

    Coming soon after disappointing financial figures there is a whiff of desperation about this. Amazon has made very little profit in all its years of operation, perhaps the shareholders are losing pateince at last?

    I must admit to being puzzled by Amazon’s relentless drive to increase their footprint (rather than maximise profit), even moving into areas that surely will never make a profit.

    I suspect it is all about getting hold of data on customers. But if I am wrong and that is not “the game” then I foresee, at some point, either a cranking up of prices to take advantage of their near monopoly position in some areas OR the bursting of a bubble.

  • elvis
    3 years ago

    All you have to do is visit the amazon forums to see how many people have cancelled their auto renewal for prime. I’m one of them. I don’t need or want lovefilm so I don’t see why I should be forced to pay £30 for it. They should have 2 options. “Prime at £79 which includes free delivery, kindle library and lovefilm. And then a second option which is purely “Prime Delivery” for £49

  • Ian
    3 years ago

    Amazon Prime was good till recently when Royal Mail deliveries slowed down on a Thursday/Friday. Next Day has become a wish rather the expected. So after being a member for several years I cancelled last week. This decision has now been vindicated by the price hike. I don’t use “on demand”/film services and this would be wasted on me. With prices still going up I am still looking at ways to cut back my outgoings – at least I am sure now!

  • Mary
    3 years ago

    Where did Tamebay get the idea that the new subscription price gives “all-you-can-eat access to the Kindle library”? Currently I am limited to one book per month.

    I am an Amazon Prime user and my email from them only says: “Your Amazon Prime membership will include Amazon’s new Prime Instant Video streaming service beginning February 26, 2014”. Sadly nothing about extending my somewhat slim access to the Kindle library.

  • stuart
    3 years ago

    I cancelled my Prime membership a few years ago after several important orders didn’t arrive next day, or even within three days of ordering.

    I asked customer service about this and they told me that prime is not a guaranteed service!

    We have also just pulled all our fulfilment stock from FBA after receiving several negative feedbacks from customers paying huge delivery charges on items under £10, which most of our stock is priced.

    I know that you can have the negatives removed but they are not really removed and I feel it reflects badly on us as a company and also must be putting customers off buying low value items.

  • Peter King
    3 years ago

    It might not be the service it was a few years ago but its still a great deal.

    Most items still arrive next day and even if the price doubled I’d be happy to pay.

  • 3 years ago

    I’ve also been using PRIME for a couple of years and have loved it .. however one feature that would have been nice was to have access to the Kindle Lending Library .. I can’t get that since I don’t have any Kindle devices. I use the Kindle app on my other Android devices, no lending library for me. It’s ok, I can live with that.

    This new price increase will mean I will cancel my subscription come Dec when I have to renew. I DO NOT want Lovefilm. None of my entertainment systems have LoveFilm support but rather they ALL have Netflix, needless to say that’s who I use for my streaming. So, now I’ll be forced to pay for a service I can’t use readily if at all other than on my PC, on top of that the lack of access to the lending library.

    Amazon will lose a PRIME member in me unless they provide an opt out of the streaming services I don’t need/want.

    It’s a failure in their thinking and I suspect there are going to be a ton of people that drop the service because of this. NO ONE is likely to be enticed into moving from whatever LoveFilm subscription they have currently to the new PRIME+LoveFilm so again they’re not going to gain much there.

  • Brian
    3 years ago

    I’ve cancelled my auto-renewal. I don’t want or need the Amazon brand of streaming video and the Kindle Lending Library isn’t particularly generous. What I really want is what I originally signed-up to: free next-day delivery and not a bundle of stuff that I don’t want or need.

  • 3 years ago

    Such a cynical ploy to gain market share on Netflix.

    Amazon know inertia / auto-re-enrollment will mean they get an extra 30 quid a year for content most people will never use.

    Count me in for a cancel, there’s no way my shipping charges will equal 79 pounds over a year.

    Maybe when they start paying their fare share of UK tax I’ll re-consider.

  • Bibliofilia
    3 years ago

    I don’t watch tv.

    I don’t go to the cinema.

    I know, I’m boring. :-)

    But ever since Prime was introduced to UK, I have been a member, and as I dislike “going shopping”, I like to browse on line and buy from Amazon, with free fast delivery. Masses of stuff. Everything from household linens, kitchen equipment, Computer stuff, books of course, sports equipment – anything, I look first on Amazon. I am an Amazon Shopoholic.

    :-)

    At least I was until yesterday.

    Because now, I have been told that the Prime price is to be increased by 60% but will include free streaming of tv shows and films.

    Which I don’t want.

    :-((

    I have complained to Amazon by e-mail, they rang and offered to extend my current Prime membership by 3 months, for free, but the new Prime is all that there is now.

    I have to pay the extra, or leave. I have to subsidise (60% extra!) all you out there who want to stream tv and video.

    :-(((

    I used to be – until yesterday – Amazon’s biggest fan. I constantly praised their products and their customer service. I now feel really bad about them.

    Really, really bad.

    It’s almost like a bereavement – how could Amazon do this to me?

    I have e-mailed Jeff Bezos – he may have to take on extra e-mail readers for his account. jeff@amazon.com

    Amazon, I do not love you any more.

    • 3 years ago

      I can’t help you with much of your purchases but could I recommend that you have a look at buying your Books on ebay in future. In fact I would be very happy to assist you in this regard.

  • Glenn
    3 years ago

    Over the last 12 months I have purchased dozens of items from Amazon, both personal and business, which included about 10 books. However this Christmas I received a Kindle which means that all future book purchases will be electronic so less postal products.

    I have Netflicks and really don’t want Lovefilms.

    I am starting to seriously consider if Prime is worth the cost and perhaps I should pay postage as and when I make an amazon purchase.
    I think Amazon have shot themselves in the foot with this move and as a FBA seller I am doubly concerned because Prime customers are loyal amazon customers. If they start to leave in droves they are taking their business with them.

    If anything I would have thought that amazon would have kept the price the same and then added Lovefilms to encourage new subscribers. I think that’s number of amazon prime members will decrease following this price increase.
    Amazon LOOK again – You have got it wrong.

    • 3 years ago

      When VHS Video first came out all those years ago I was selling Books and I was told by many ‘experts’ that Books printed on paper were now obsolete. Yet today I am still selling Books printed on paper and VHS is only really to be found at a Car Boot Sale.

      Since then we have had all sorts of formats up to and including electronic books including Kindle. I am still being told that Books printed on paper are obsolete and I am still selling them.

      I can confidently state that as technology progresses there will be new developments that make such as Kindle obsolete so that in a few years time you will only find it alongside VHS at the Car Boot Sale. Yet Publishers will still be publishing New Books on Paper and I will(subject to me still being alive) still be selling them. Paper Books are the quality end of the market. The rest well it isn’t the quality end of the market.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      3 years ago

      You are clearly deluded.
      The printed book market here in the UK is in long term decline and this will continue as electronic delivery of material takes a greater and greater share of the market.
      Indeed the decline in the UK was only held back in part by the success of soft porn material (e.g. 50 shades of train shed lover).
      The quality of any book is not simply defined by whether it is printed or not.
      God Bless ‘E L James’.
      pip pip

    • 3 years ago

      I will certainly agree with you that numbers overall are in decline. After all the market place is very crowded. However I would certainly disagree with the idea that Books Printed on Paper will disappear. They will decline but find their own level. Then they will continue at about that level.

      I believe that Printed Books will take the quality end of the market and various specialist markets. Certainly there will be quite enough for me for years to come.

      I would suggest that even such as the electronic book market will have a long term problem. That is that so many in the population either cannot read or have only a basic level of reading. The percentage of the population appears to be increasing because of the poor standard of education in the UK.

      However until the Government puts some real resources in to improving Literacy Rates this percentage will continue to rise.

  • Glenn
    3 years ago

    As previously stated I buy a lot off Amazon, both personal and business and because I do buy a lot of stationary and packing products the subscription for Prime is paid for by the business.

    So whilst I can legitimately pay for Prime as a business expense I shall keep it. However if I was using prime solely for personal purchases I would cancel it.

    • Tim
      3 years ago

      Glenn, same here.

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