I’ve been Primed

I recently signed up for Amazon Prime again. I joined when they first started offering it about 2 years ago, then let it lapse for a year and now I’m back. My life has gotten a lot busier with work and family and its just harder to get out to Borders or Barnes and Noble and browse books with my wife like we used to. We used to go to the “double-decker Borders” in Baileys Crossroads so often back in our DINK days (that’s Dual Income No Kids for the uninitiated) that the people knew us. But alas, last time I went to Borders (at Tysons Corner), I think the most I got done was to order, cut up, and serve a huge rice krispy treat for the kids and coffee for me while my wife browsed through some home decorating magazines.

So I think the time/hassle savings definitely outweigh the $79/yearly cost. Oh yes, did I tell you that I’m sometimes impatient? I really dreaded the “Super Saver shipping”, which sometimes would take quite a while. So a bonus is that you get 2 Day shipping for free with Prime. Overnight is $3.99 extra.

But wait, there’s more! Amazon must have been doing their research because they realize that there are really impatient guys like me. I was thinking 2 years ago that what I REALLY wanted was same-day shipping… I mean, I’m not asking for some Star Trek-like teleportation device. But you’d think that with 30-45 minute pizza and chinese food, that we could get books delivered by some kid riding a bike or a guy in a car. So voila, Amazon has just recently extended their “Local Express” shipping to the Washington DC area for $5.99. Not bad – its still cheaper than if I went to the store usually. I just placed my first order for Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich. I’ll report back when I get it. :)

Oh yea, one more thing – Amazon usually doesn’t deliver on weekends. I guess UPS and FedEx workers need some rest too. But I’ve started seeing some books (but not all books) have a Saturday Delivery option for $4.99. My reading inbox is getting full, so I’ll save that for another time.

Update: Its after 8PM and no book. :(

2nd Update: I got an email back from Amazon – they said it was delivered. So I step outside of my door in the wee hours of the night, almost 24 hours after I ordered, wondering if they left it somewhere and find the book discreetly tucked into the nook of my door. So they did deliver it after all! But wouldn’t I have tripped over it on the way? Hmm… life is pretty busy with kids. :)

Looks like they opened up a shipping center in Sterling VA, judging from the shipping label, which is not too far from me. So its not instant, 30-minute delivery, but it’s still same day! And that was a satisfying conclusion. Now for some bedtime reading…

One Reply to “I’ve been Primed”

  1. Luis, I think you’ll enjoy Zweig’s book. I’m partway through it right now.

    There’s some good neuroscience behind Amazon Prime, at least for customers who are impatient and buy fairly often. These customers want quick shipping, but selecting two-day or overnight shipping at the end of each is definitely an “ouch!” experience. (That’s not dissimilar to my Painful Sushi post – http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/sushi-pricing.htm)

    With Prime, Amazon turns the cost of expensive shipping into a good value (“This could save me a lot more than it costs!”), and eliminates the “ouch” at the end of ever order. Even the overnight option that the Prime customer can choose seems like a good value at $3.99, since the buyer will mentally compare it to the much higher normal cost of overnight shipping.

    Taking the shipping cost pain out of each order will, I’m sure, increase sales and in particular use of their one-click buying option.

    Roger

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