Amazon Prime Canada Review – Is It Worth it?

Man, was I excited when Amazon Prime Canada popped a few weeks ago when I was surfing through my favorite internet stomping grounds.  You see, I’m a confessed Amazon addict.  Growing up I always thought I hated shopping.  It turns out I just hate stores, malls, bad service, terrible comparison capability, and other people, NOT shopping itself.  I love scanning through the deals on Amazon, seeing what “it” recommends to me, and the ease with which the whole process is facilitated.  The only downside is waiting a week or two for my products to arrive since I always opt for the “Free Super-Saver Shipping” because I am way too cheap to pay a bunch of money extra for the quicker shipping speeds.  Consequently I have been jealous of my American friends who for $79 a year got access to free two-day shipping from Amazon, in addition to a library of free eBooks AND free streaming of a wide selection of TV and movies.

Two-Day Shipping… Sort Of

Because I am so jealous of this feature, I almost signed up for the new Amazon Prime Canada without even thinking about it.  I order between 10-20 packages a year from the company, so the two-day shipping was a sweet deal, not to mention everything else.  Then I realized… oh wait, there is no “everything else” and the two-day shipping isn’t really two-day shipping for me…  See, it turns out that Amazon can’t guarantee that ultra-fast shipping time to many of Canada’s rural post codes.  I understand why that it is – Canada’s low-density rural areas just don’t have the infrastructure that virtually all of the USA enjoys – it still just takes some of the shine off of the apple for me.  To Amazon’s credit, instead of the two-day shipping guarantee, they state they will give free standard shipping instead to those rural areas.  However, for most items the difference between standard shipping and the free “Super-Saver” shipping is only a few days, and being that pretty much all of my purchases already qualify for that free shipping, it’s not a huge advantage.

Amazon Prime CanadaThe online conglomerate also mentions that extremely discounted 1-day shipping for “as low as $3.99” is also available through the new offer.  It should also be noted that when I clicked through to the one month trial offer and tried to order a video game, it responded by saying that the item was not eligible for Amazon Prime.  I have no idea which items qualify and which don’t, but it’s obviously something to take into consideration.

Live Streaming and eBooks?

On the subject of content in addition to the shipping benefits, Amazon Prime.ca trails its American brethren miserably.  Nowhere that I could find is it mentioned that free eBooks or live streaming of anything is in the works.  This was a huge let down.  The free books and access to the Amazon library alone made the $79 worth it to many Americans that I know.  Since we’re paying the same price here in Canada, I think it is logical to assume we should get access to the same online resources.  Oh well, little brother just isn’t as big and stronger as older brother is!

***Note from Justin*** – While we don’t promote this, there is a way to get this feature in Canada by changing your IP address to make them think you’re in the US. Also works with Netflix.  I’ve tried it with Netflix and I don’t think its worth the hassle – Although, I haven’t tested it out for a good length of time.

$79 Worth of Prime?

To answer the original question of, “Is Amazon Prime Canada Worth It?” I’d have to think that for most people the answer is “no”.  If you order more than twenty packages a year and place a premium worth more than $79 on that increased speed, and you live in an urban centre. Then you are probably in the minority that Amazon Prime Canada works out well for.  For the rest of us, until the corporate giant sweetens the pot a little bit, I recommend continuing to be a cheapskate and spending the $79 on some cheap reading material.

About

12 Responses to Amazon Prime Canada Review – Is It Worth it?

  1. What a shame that they don’t provide the same services to Canadians – there really ought to be some difference in the price if the service is so much less. The problem with being a smaller market – it crops up again and again. Annoying if understandable.

    • Ya, I don’t want to trash Amazon too much since I am addicted and love the accountability they have at that place. It’s just not quite as good a deal as in the States.

  2. When I read the title I was so excited! I order from amazon sporadically But the streaming content is what I want. Disappointing that it’s not available in Canada.

  3. I love Amazon (I live in Spain so I have access to all of Amazon Europe and prices vary enough to justify the effort. But I do order from Amazon.ca once on a while and what I don’t understand why CDN products carry a 100% or more premium on the same thing ordered from the US. if you plan it carefully I would order everything to your Hotel when your in the states

    • There are actually some businesses all along the border in Canada that will allow you to ship to them and then pick up your package for a small fee per-item Rob. I myself have family close to the border, so that isn’t a big deal, but I know a lot of people that make liberal use of these businesses.

  4. I order over $5k a year on amazon.com (probably closer to $10k this year with baby on the way) and even shipping to the US, price is not worth it.
    1- do you REALLY need 2 day shipping?
    2- MANY items are not “prime” so you don’t get the fast shipping anyway… I order everything online from furniture to dog toys…
    3- Prime in the US could be worth it if you watch their movies, rent their books, etc.. but for me, as being part time US (every weekend), I can’t enjoy their streaming in Canada.. so it’s not really useful.

    So if Prime is not even that useful in the US, I don’t see it being useful in Canada for now.

    • This is pretty much what I came to as well BB. IF you want to pay for the luxury of 2-day shipping it’s fine, but just realize it’s not really a frugal decision in terms of value. Ten Thou a year on Amazon eh? Do you use their specific credit card then?

      • Yes I have a US Amazon rewards card.. 3x point son amazon purchases and a nice $3k limit. Plus it’s a true US credit card.

  5. Another disadvantage for Canadian Amazon customers is the narrow selection of merchandise offered in Canada. For instance, if I resided in the states, I’d be regularly ordering many small food items that qualify for free Prime shipping. (Think Grocery Gateway with free delivery.) But as a Canadian, I only order about once a month from Canuck Amazon. $79 a year for NO streamed movies and NO e-books is a rip-off.

Leave a reply

 Name: Email: We respect your email privacyEmail Marketing by AWeber