Remember when Amazon only sold books? Now they sell everything from condoms to tires. Amazon Prime shipping is one of the main reasons more than 100 million US subscribers. Originally just $79 per year, it has grown to $119 per year, and it offers a lot more. In addition to shipping expediency, users get Amazon Prime Video, Music, Prime Photos and Kindle Lending library. Under pressure from retailers like Target and Wal-Mart, Prime users will now get 1-day shipping. Is that really good for us in the long run?
In some cities people receive 2-hour shipping to their homes, cars and garages. Just because we can do something does not mean we should. I can buy an X-Box and a 75-inch TV, but that’s not a good move for my retirement or my daughters’ college fund. 1-day shipping seems good on the surface, but it is going to cause problems for my business and home. Here are 5 reasons why:
- Expectations – My girls don’t expect to wait for anything. They have grown up believing everything is on demand. My wife and I try to show them there is value in waiting. Some things just take time. Farmers can’t rush crops to grow. Human children take 40-weeks from conception to delivery. Patience is a virtue that build wisdom and discipline. 1-day shipping adds to the expectation that everything should be immediate.
- Planning – Thanks in part to Amazon Prime, I plan less. I order gadgets and gizmos from Amazon knowing if I don’t like it I can throw it back in the box and return it. I don’t plan for birthdays or holidays. My laziness reached an all time low when I ordered gift cards for my family on Christmas Eve, so they were delivered on their iPhone Christmas morning! There is value in planning for purchases and putting thought into the gift.
- Addiction – Amazon Prime keeps going up. How much could they charge before consumers said no more? I freely admit I am addicted to Amazon Prime Shipping. Seeing that box at the front door when I get home makes me feel good (there’s even the Amazon Smile logo on the outside). If Amazon didn’t give me 2 day shipping, I’d shop at Target or (ugh!) Wal-Mart.
- Trash – My recycle bins are stuffed with boxes. Every week I get 2-3 boxes and bubble wrap from Amazon. In March Amazon started offering Prime users the option of having multiple orders arrive on the same day. That feature is meant to reduce the amount of waste, but I never use it. The time offered is always longer than normal Amazon Prime Shipping.
- Spending – I spend a lot of money purchasing from Amazon, and they don’t even offer any loyalty rewards. Amazon Prime Shipping makes it easy to purchase anything, anywhere at any time. Spending on Amazon makes it harder to budget because you can’t write a check and you can’t use cash. Even the Amazon Stores only take credit cards. 1-day shipping will make the process go even faster.
Amazon Prime Shipping is not bad. I love using it, and it has created thousands of logistics and transportation jobs. However, my wife and I have to work to train our children (and me) to be patient and wait for some things. As a business owner I can’t let rapid shipping cause me to spend in excess of my budgeted. Like a lot of technologies, we have to find the right place for Amazon Prime in our professional and person lives.