Would you be willing to pay more than $100 for an Amazon Prime membership?
You may have to ask yourself that question pretty soon, as the online retail giant has just hinted that they are at least considering raising the price of the popular service. Citing a rise in transportation costs and increased usage, Amazon said that they might raise the price 20 to 40 dollars for a year's subscription.
From Amazon's earnings call:
We launched Prime in the U.S. nine years ago with free, unlimited two-day shipping on one main items in an annual membership priced at $79. Today, Prime Selection is growing to over 90 million items.
Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the $79 price has remained the same. We know the customers love Prime as the usage of the shipping benefit has increased dramatically since launch. On a per customer basis, Prime members are ordering more items across more categories with free two-day shipping than ever before.
With the increased cost of fuel, transportation, as well as the increased usage among Prime members, we're considering increasing the price of Prime between $20 to $40 in the U.S.
Since a current Amazon Prime membership sits at $79, this means that we're talking about a possible range of $99 to $119 per year if Amazon decides to go that route.
This announcement comes 3 months after Amazon upped the free shipping threshold (for non-Prime members) to $35. Free shipping used to kick in at a $25 order.
I don't know, guys - what do you think? For people that constantly make use of the fast shipping (multiple items ordered per month), the price hike will probably be justifiable. For the casual Amazon Prime subscriber? The decision to stay on or hop off the boat will be a bit trickier.
Image via Stephen Woods, Flickr Creative Commons