Amazon Listing Some Items for Prime Members Only
May 2, 2016 Leave a comment
If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve also purchased something from Amazon. They’re pretty much the biggest retailer in the world at this point (at least online) and they got that way by selling basically everything under the sun. There’s a smaller chance that you’re a member of Amazon Prime, the companies $99 a year incentive program that nets members free two-day shipping and access to their streaming video service, among other things.
But apparently they’re trying out a new program wherein certain movies and video games are only available from Amazon if you have a Prime membership. So, for example, if you wanted to buy Birdman on Blu-Ray, or you wanted to buy Grand Theft Auto V or Far Cry Primal, you either had to have a Prime account, or buy it somewhere else. True, you could still buy it on Amazon from another seller, but that kind of defeats the point doesn’t it? And those sellers often don’t qualify for free shipping, or ship as quickly, or have Amazon customer service.
So what are they thinking? Prime Membership is supposed to get you access to bonuses or to things that are only available from Amazon (like their streaming shows), not prevent you from buying something that you can buy somewhere else. It doesn’t make a lot of business sense. And the company’s official comment smacks of automated response, maintaining that customers can sign up for a free Prime trial or buy stuff on the marketplace. That’s not a response, that’s them holding their ground while they determine if the benefits of this program outweigh the bad press they’ll be getting.
If Amazon wants to move to a membership system, like Sam’s Club, where you have to have Prime to buy stuff, that’s their prerogative, but that seems like a great way to tank their entire business. There doesn’t seem to be many other justifications for this experiment than testing those specific waters though.