Amazon shoppers don’t seem to mind paying an upfront, annual fee if they’ll get free shipping on their orders.
In fact, Amazon reports today that it now sends out more items with its Prime program—which has a subscription fee of $79 a year—than with its Free Super Saver Shipping option. It adds that Amazon Prime has grown tremendously since its launch in 2005. Back then, Prime allowed shoppers to get free two-day shipping on 1 million products. In 2012, shoppers can get the same shipping deal on more than 15 million items, including books and videos—and for the same annual price as when Amazon Prime launched.
Amazon did not say how many orders are shipped through Amazon Prime or its Super Saver Shipping program, which provides free shipping on orders of more than $25 worth of qualified items.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, says officials are “incredibly proud” of Prime’s growth.
“We’ve also grown the Prime Instant Video library to more than 22,000 movies and TV episodes, all with unlimited streaming, and Prime members can borrow more than 180,00 books for free, with no due dates, using the Kindle Owners’ Library—that’s up from roughly 5,000 when the program launched less than a year ago,” he continues.
John Kelch, an Amazon Prime member since 2005, says the program pays for itself, especially during the holidays. Another member, Mollie Mondoux, says she likes Prime because its fee hasn’t increased since the program’s debut.