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.
The 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.