Amazon is one the largest retailers in the world with a market value of more than $250 billion. One reason for that huge number is quite simple: People love Amazon.
Whether it’s the convenience, deals, selection, delivery time or all of the above, people keep buying and buying. That’s one reason many of us sign up for the $99-a-year Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day delivery for most items. But, free delivery isn’t Prime’s only perk, far from it. Keep reading for some of my favorite Prime perks that don’t get as much press.
Amazon Prime’s big draw is free two-day delivery, but in some cities and for some items you can get same-day delivery. It can even be free. Amazon has a map that shows which cities offer this service, and to see if it’s available in your specific area just enter your ZIP code.
Amazon Prime perks aren’t just for you. All of your Prime membership benefits can by shared by up to two adults. To edit your account sharing settings, log in to your Amazon account. Next, navigate to your Manage Your Content and Devices page. Click on the “Settings” tab and choose “Households and Family Library” and then select “Invite an Adult.”
If you watch streaming TV shows like “House Of Cards” on Netflix or Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on Crackle, you know there are great shows online that you can’t see anywhere else. Amazon has a few of those on its streaming service, Prime Video.
Prime Video isn’t a warehouse for old shows. There are a lot of top-notch shows, including Amazon originals you can’t watch anywhere else. Those include the multiple Emmy nominated “Transparent” with Jeffrey Tambor, and the new romantic comedy “Catastrophe.” Recently, Amazon snapped up the co-hosts of the BBC’s long-running, hugely popular car show “Top Gear.”
Prime Video also airs reruns of shows such as HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” PBS’s “Downton Abbey” and CBS’s “Under the Dome.” It streams older classics too, like HBO’s “The Wire.” Amazon also has deals with cable channels like Showtime and Starz, so you can watch their programs at a discount.
You can watch Prime Videos on your computer, mobile gadgets or through a streaming gadget or smart TV. In addition to instant streaming of movies and shows, if you’re going to be traveling, you can download many titles too. This way, you need to be online to watch. Nice.
Free TV and movies are nice, but so is free music. There are so many streaming music sites now, but Prime members get access to Amazon Prime Music. It has more than one million songs available for free.
Songs like Adele’s new “Hello” or entire albums like The Eagles’ classic “Hotel California” or The Beatles’ “Anthology Highlights” are free to stream, or download to play later. Plus, you can have Amazon play songs like a radio station does. With Prime Stations, music is grouped into genres like “50 Great ‘80s Rock Songs,” and it plays for hours.
If you have your own music library, you can upload it and listen to your songs anywhere you go through the Prime Music app or the Web-based player.
To use Prime Music, go to the Amazon home page and hover the mouse over the “Your Account” button. Then select “Your Prime Music.”
Amazon has a really unusual and potentially fantastic perk. It’s not totally free, but for just $5.99 per box, you can get a box with up to 45 pounds of groceries delivered to your front door.
First, go to Amazon Pantry, order and pay for groceries and household items. For now, its selection is pretty thin, and some items are prohibitively expensive. But, here’s the perk, Prime members get access to a wider array of products than nonmembers.
Amazon also has a subscription service for parents, grandparents and caregivers. For $99 a year, Amazon Family is essentially Amazon Prime, with a few extras, such as diapers. Diapers are expensive and, as you know, with a new baby you’ll need a never-ending supply of them.
Amazon Family parents get a discount up to 20 percent off regular prices for diapers, with a subscription. That subscription means diapers will just show up at your door.
Whether or not you sign up for Amazon Family, if there’s a baby on the way, you can put together a wish list of all the supplies you’ll need. Add those products to a Baby Registry to share with friends and family, and many of the items will be discounted 10 percent (15 percent for Amazon Prime members). You also get 90-day returns on most items.
It’s hard to believe, but when Amazon first started out it only sold books. Today, Prime members can get a new book each month through Kindle First.
Also, Prime Members who own a Kindle, or Fire tablet or phone with the Kindle app, can access the Kindle Lending Library and borrow an eBook once a month. It’s like a library, but with no due dates or heavy books to lug around.
Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Hear it locally at 94.3 WSC News Radio noon-3 p.m. Sundays.