The Benefit To You Is It Costs You Money

Amazon has a new benefit for its Prime members: Shipping costs.

With new Prime Pantry, people who receive free shipping with their Prime membership now get the chance to pay $6 shipping on a box of household staples.

A real reporter asked Amazon about it, and the Amazon spokesperson was a bit coy:

So I asked an Amazon spokeswoman to explain the program’s benefits to shoppers. She mentioned the exclusivity of the program — it’s only available to Prime members; the fact that you’re getting some heavy items delivered to your door; and that shoppers are getting “low prices on everyday essentials in everyday sizes.”

Uh huh. I’m willing to pay $6 shipping just because I’m one of the privileged few who pay an annual fee to get free shipping and then get the privilege to pay the shipping and handling.

Here’s a bold prediction you’ll find everywhere else: Amazon Prime will evolve out of its actual benefit of offering free shipping on Amazon purchases to merely streaming content and giving its members exclusive access to a box that you can see filling up as you add items to your shopping cart. Here’s another prediction: When that happens, I’ll no longer be a Prime member and I won’t shop on Amazon by default any more.