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What have we done…?


After years and years of talking about it, we finally signed up to Amazon Prime while the cheap promotion is on this weekend.

We’ve come close before, but too much of the stuff we order isn’t actually offered by Amazon (and therefore no free overnight shipping), the Amazon TV isn’t all that compelling, and you still pay through the nose for movies. And the other stuff…well, it remains to be seen how useful it will be.

It was the unlimited photo storage what got us in the end. Uncle B is the kind of guy who backs up his photos, and then does a portable hard drive backup of his backups, then backs up the drive to another drive. Like that. The cloud will never replace any of that, of course, it is merely another layer of neurosis.

So — to those who have gone before us — what have we done? Do you find it useful? Any tips? Tell us all about it, now it’s too late…


Comment from AliceH
Time: June 30, 2017, 9:52 pm

I love it. Part of that is because I live in a backwater where mail order is the only alternative to driving 100 – 150 miles round trip to buy most anything beyond basic goods – or farm equipment. Another part is the stellar customer service for the rare occasions where there is a problem. Not sure how Amazon deals with lost deliveries or receipt of wrong or broken items for non-prime custs, but the 4 occasions I’ve experienced out of 100s of orders go like this: click the refund button, select reason, add comment if desired, wait 15 minutes and read notice that a credit is being processed.

Last year, I applied for their amazon credit card, so now I get 5% off (in the form of points to apply for future use) everything I buy there.

I don’t use the free music much. I’m still futzing with how to best use the cloud – photos and docs. I do watch a fair amount of Amazon Prime videos – great selection of (free) documentaries.

I’m a big fan. (-:

Comment from gromulin
Time: June 30, 2017, 10:03 pm

Where we live, near Half Moonbat Bay CA, it pays for itself very quickly. We have one Safeway, no malls, no Walmart, or Target, so everything is a 30-40 minute drag in traffic over the hill if it’s not at Safeway or ACE hardware.

Almost to the point I feel bad sometimes. Like ordering shoelaces. Only shoelaces. FREE SHIPPING. Do you get the same Prime TV we do? If so, it’s actually pretty good. We stream it in on a Roku and has a lot of overlap with Netflix, but a lot of interesting UK documentaries and so forth. Good original stuff too, although The Grand Tour is disappointing.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: June 30, 2017, 10:52 pm

Essentially, you’re dooooooooomed. And so is Uncle Badger, no matter how strong willed he is. It’s just too easy. Couple of personal examples here: Looked at my garden-work watch. Battery is dead. Should I get in the car and spend two hours tryimg four places to find the right one, or click once? Amazon wins. Remodeling the house and wanted two of those fancy Japanese toilets. Local store not only wanted a higher price (and we’re in a major city) but wanted $50 each for delivery. Amazon wins. Delivered in a big truck, for free. My wife has even ordered garden mulch from them. She fell after local grocery was out of stock on her favorite breakfast coffee, and Amazon delivered that afternoon. We have had to do a refund now and again over the years. Amazon never blinks. We don’t watch their tv much, and they changed the music program so we’ve faded on using that but we’re addicted.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: June 30, 2017, 10:56 pm

I signed up a while back when they offered a free year of Prime–and terminated at the end of the year. The free shipping was nice, on the occasions when I ordered something, but I don’t do a lot of online shopping (unlike AliceH and Gromulin, I’m in an area with generally excellent local shopping options). I don’t watch TV, or all that many movies, and the books and magazines they kept trying to give me free/cheap weren’t in my fach; free shipping was seriously about all Prime offered me, but I could see how that might work out to be well worth the investment for some people. I have noted, on a couple of recent orders, that if you are canny and lucky, you’ll be able to net free shipping anyway as long as you are OK with waiting a couple of weeks for your purchase to arrive–which I am. So. I don’t think you necessarily made a mistake, and I don’t think you can take me as any kind of absolute indicator. See how it works, and terminate if it ain’t workin’ well.
And, to be honest, I also recently signed up for an Amazon credit card, which has led me to wonder if it would be net worth it to sign up for Prime (wonder if I can charge the Prime membership to the card, thus netting points? Or would that cause heat death of the universe?) I think, for me, bottom line, the important thing is to be sure you weigh the costs and benefits, instead of going “SHINY!” and signing up. And, since everyone’s definition of cost, or benefit, is different, whether it is worth it will … vary.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 30, 2017, 11:00 pm

We’ve been Prime customers for years plus we use their Visa card. The cash back, free shipping, and Prime-only specials easily pay for the annual fee. We watch their streaming stuff but not as frequently as Netflix which has a bigger library. One caveat: for big ticket items, do at least a little comparison shopping. Although Amazon prices tend to be very competitive you’ll find some exceptions. For example, we’re also Costco members and if Costco offers the same or very similar item that Amazon offers, Costco is always significantly less expensive.

And Some Veg has it right: you’re doooooooooomed! It is so dang easy.

Edit: @Can’t Hark – Our Amazon Prime membership fee is automatically charged to our Amazon Prime Visa card and adds to the point total.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 30, 2017, 11:17 pm

We already order shit tons of stuff from Amazon (me in particular). I couldn’t get by without it, though I order stupid big stuff (like hay) from eBay, usually. Better price as a rule.

We shall see. We’ll either love this or…not love it.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 1, 2017, 12:00 am

So far so (not so) good with the picture storage. I’ve had three goes at uploading one of my smaller picture folders and on each occasion I’ve had individual images fail – and not for any of the technical or nomenclature reasons that Amazon suggests could be the problem. Failure isn’t acceptable to me with backing up, so I’m going to need to investigate further.

As Her Stoatliness says, we’re old hands at Amazon in terms of costs and so on and what made us hold back was that it was a toss-up whether we would get our money’s worth our of Prime. As Can’t Hark says, quite often you can get free delivery anyway and as The Weasel says, equally often the strange things we buy are not coming from Amazon themselves so don’t qualify (don’t ask!).

Confession: I wanted to see The Man In The High Castle. Liked the book a lot. Probably doomed to hate the TV version.

More than anything I hate giving support to a pathetic class warrior bazillionaire like Bezos, not to mention help put small stores out of business but what do you do…?

Comment from Armybrat
Time: July 1, 2017, 12:27 am

I have a box from Amazon delivered almost every day…and I’m not a prime member. Oh, and I don’t pay for shipping. I keep a running list of things I want. When I actually need something, I go to my list of wants and add enough stuff to get free shipping. I live in a big city, so I mange to get my stuff in 1-3 days. Can’t find a reason to pay for Prime.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: July 1, 2017, 2:59 am

Another benefit of Prime is that you get a FREE 6 month subscription to the Washington Post. Not kidding either. So while you enjoy the savings over those Mom and Pop stores, you get to read the opinions of Jeff Bezos on politics. Hard to beat that.

Perhaps Jeff can funnel some of his profits to the WaPo in return for more “fair and balanced” articles on Trump. Or maybe buy a cable TV station to spread the word.

Sorry, but Amazon has plenty of competition. RockAuto for car parts, eg. I say starve Amazon until Bezos is forced to sell the Post.

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 1, 2017, 3:03 am

I watch a lot of Amazon Prime movies and TV shows, I don’t order a lot of things except around Christmas time. Ditto what Badger said about Bezos, but it is hard to avoid putting money in your enemies pockets these days.

Comment from mark
Time: July 1, 2017, 6:14 am

Amazon is ISIS

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 1, 2017, 9:14 am

That’s the problem isn’t it, Pupster? If I drew-up a list of companies I despise I’d… run out if toilet roll.

I mean, how could I boycott Bezos and not Google?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 1, 2017, 2:14 pm

Yeah, so far, we’re finding it damned hard to navigate. Uncle B with the picture storage software. Me — I’m a Kindle addict — absolutely nothing on my wishlist seems to be in the Kindle lending library.

I think. I’m finding that the software acknowledges I’m a Prime subscriber sometimes, and sometimes asks me if I want to join when I click the Prime button.

I put in an order for miscellaneous stuff this morning. Of the six things I ordered, only two were eligible for Prime. On the other hand, I discovered if you tell it it’s okay not to give you overnight shipping, you get £1 put in your account toward Kindle and Music. That could add up quickly for me.

Torn. Man in the High Castle better be fucking amazing 🙂

Comment from dustoffmom
Time: July 1, 2017, 4:59 pm

I’ve been a Prime member since the very beginning. Like others have said, very small town here, WalMart the sole shopping option within 40-50 miles. So there ya go. I have one click enabled and boy is that ever dangerous, especially when I am looking at books! 🙂 A huge fail of Amazon is the so called lending library! Nothing I want is ever to be found there so get used to that. First time authors or self publications….those you will find in abudance! My daughter gifted me with Kindle Unlimited last Christmas. I find it to be not a heck of a lot better than the lending library. I told her not to renew this year. I read a lot of non-fiction and the selection there is very spare indeed!

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 1, 2017, 5:04 pm

I mean, how could I boycott Bezos and not Google?

Yup. Disney, ESPN, Fox too. You start adding in idiot liberal celebrities and your entertainment options pretty much go away completely besides playing checkers and listening to bluegrass.

Justified was a show on FX, is now available on Amazon Prime, that would be a good one to binge on if you haven’t seen it. They kind of shoehorned in a lot of action into Backwater Kentucky, and toward the end of the series they almost ran out of people who needed shooting (because they all got shot) but it was well acted and written mindless weekly enjoyment, pretty much nailed the Kentucky part.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 1, 2017, 5:18 pm

I read all non-fiction and there’s nothing here for me.

If you haven’t signed up for BookBub, dustoffmom, I recommend it. You tell them the sort of books you like and get a daily mailing with book bargains. I find something I like every week or two, but at average 99p, it’s worth it. If you see something you like, buy it — it WILL go back up to the regular stupid price after a couple of days.

We haven’t seen Parks and Recreation yet. That’s the only TV I’ve spotted on the list I think we’d like.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: July 1, 2017, 6:45 pm

I’m rewatching I, Claudius. I even have it on dvd but I am watching it online, if anyone wd like the link…

What a cast! So many fine actors. Looked up George Baker, aka, Tiberius. Died in 2011. Didnt know that. 🙁

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: July 1, 2017, 7:02 pm

Ric Fan, I just finished I, Claudius (for the… whateverth time) a couple weeks ago.

Patrick Stewart with hair!

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: July 2, 2017, 8:14 am

“I, Claudius”? Please put up the link. (It was 40 years ago, but I still remember many great lines from it.)

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: July 2, 2017, 1:23 pm


I prefer server F4. You can also download from that server and watch later. The extras they have up are pretty interesting, too.

You get a lot of page redirects and you must close them quickly. I’ve been using this site for a couple of years and havent got an infection.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: July 2, 2017, 4:20 pm

Another good show to binge watch is The Romeo Section. Filmed in Vancouver, it was never picked up in the states & canceled after 2 seasons. It’s mostly about Chinese espionage in Canada. It was well written, different, and the actors are great:


Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: July 2, 2017, 9:58 pm

Bringing back Clarkson, May, and Hammond on Prime TV is almost enough to make up for any of Bezos’ other sins.

If you are into jazz and blues, Prime Music has lots of stuff hard to find elsewhere.

Comment from scr_north
Time: July 3, 2017, 5:26 am

Everytime I’m tempted to buy anything from Amazon I read the latest Washington Post headline and go out into the sunshine to buy instead. After Bezos bought the WP he took it even more left as if that was possible and as a result he won’t get any of my money (as long as I’m aware of it anyway).

Comment from Niña
Time: July 3, 2017, 7:53 am

Between my two daughters, son (for a lot of things it’s cheaper to Prime it to me and then have me send it on to Norway than to buy in Norway), and sister, we get our money’s worth from Prime, just from shipping alone. I don’t do music, photos, and seldom do videos, but I’m happy with being able to get things delivered within a couple of days at the drop of a hat. Most things I want are Prime here in the US.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 3, 2017, 2:23 pm

I Clavdivs – awesome series (the book was good, but the show was way more fun…Claw Claw Claudius).
Helped me firmly fix the list of Roman Emperors up to Nero in my mind.

For humor check out “A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum”

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: July 3, 2017, 3:22 pm

For the American Weasel Who Lives in Darkest England—on the 4th of July: Best Wishes and Happy Independence Day. I hope you grill up some hot dogs with lotsa chili and cheese. Also Cold Beer. If nothing else: Ice Cream.

P.S. If you can’t find a can of Wolf Brand chili to go with the hot dogs, here is a link to Lady Bird Johnson’s chili recipe, the President’s favorite.

The story goes that the White House had a microwave oven long before the rest of America knew about them. President Johnson would frequently get up in the middle of the night, go down to the WH kitchen and nuke a carton of Lady Bird’s (frozen) chili.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 3, 2017, 7:52 pm

In keeping with the theme (for once….) you can order Wolf Brand Chili from Amazon.

With or without beans.

Comment from Bob B
Time: July 4, 2017, 5:52 am

Although I am a Prime member, I have avoided signing up for Kindle Unlimited. I want to own my content. And yes, I save my Kindle library on a backup disk. Since I am an avid reader, I was looking for bargains.
I discovered a couple of services that have let me stuff my KIndle with decent, free or low cost content. You do have to pick through the offerings, though. You sign up with one of your email addresses and they email you links, lists, etc. for Kindle versions :

Free and Clear ,Timely Publishing

Buck Books, $0.99 and free books.

Instafreebie You can filter your genres. Instafreebie also has a free book you can download that lists sights that have free ebooks.

Here’s the link that gets you that ebook

Hope that helps.

Comment from Bob B
Time: July 4, 2017, 5:56 am

I tried to edit my comment and add another link. the edit got marked for moderation. whatever that means.

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