In case you want Prime for real

By Mir
December 11, 2008

If you’re a regular reader here, you’re probably in a free trial of Amazon Prime right now, because you’re pretty that way. And also we’ve talked about it before. But my Prime trial is coming to an end, soon, so I was looking around, trying to decide if I would want to pay for Prime, in the future.

I probably won’t. When it comes right down to it, I’m too cheap.

But if you have gotten so hooked on Prime that you’re thinking of springing for it for real, let me help you out—save $20 courtesy of the Ellen Show. You’ll get a free month’s trial of Prime, plus if you decide to keep it, you’ll pay just $59 for the year instead of $79.

Keep in mind, too, that you can share a Prime membership amongst up to four family members. Family members do not have to have the same address. Just sayin’. (Looks like family members do need to have the same billing address. Shipping address, though….)


  1. I have so loved the free Mir Amazon Prime membership. I’ve purchased SO MUCH. Really. I may let go of it, though. Maybe it’s better to have that shipping charge hanging over my head.

  2. I agree with Sarah. It’s really cool having things show up 2 days after I buy them…but I really need to stop. My gift closet is bulging already.

    If I do get the real Prime, do you want to be my (very pretty) sister who lives dreadfully far away?

  3. Are you sure? When I had my trial membership it said that they had to be in the same household.

  4. Oh my. My father in law has Prime. I’m emailing him now! It’s been great not having to worry about the $25 minimum, but I too am way too cheap to pay for prime.

  5. My sister uses mine and she lives 2 hours away…Amazon either hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care.

    But I can’t get the $59 deal to come up – when I log in it tells me I can upgrade to a full membership since I already have a trial… 🙁

  6. Hmmmm, it’s possible the rules have changed about households. I need to figure out how to check on that, I think.

  7. I meant to say it told me I can upgrade ** for $79 **

  8. Dawn and anyone else already in a trial: If you call Amazon and tell them you’d like to change your trial to be the Ellen promotion (so that you would only pay $59 when it comes due), I think they will let you do that. Just tell them you saw the promo and wanted to know if you could get the reduced rate even though you’re already in a free trial.

  9. Oooh, Christina’s right. The terms do say “If you purchase a Prime membership, you may also invite up to four eligible family members living in your household (at the same address) to register for Prime membership at no extra cost.”

    Whoops. Hope the Amazon police don’t catch me.

  10. this is only slightly related: i have already done a trial membership, so I just go for the free shipping whenever possible.

  11. Now nobody heard this from ME, and in fact I’ll go semi-undercover for this, but as long as two households are willing to share the same log-in info and use the same credit card for orders (a hassle, I admit, especially for keeping gifts secret, but one household would just keep track of what they owed the other household), you can share Prime. You can even still have things shipped to the two households, by sending one household’s things as a “gift order.” Like, everyone pretends they are Person A at Household A; Person B at Household B logs in as Household A and ships “a gift” to Person B at Household B.

    …I think I’m making this sound MORE confusing rather than less.

  12. Another “you didn’t hear it from me, but…” My sister has Prime and added me and my father as a family members. We each live an hour away from her, have our own credit cards and billing & shipping addresses on our own separate accounts. It was a few months ago now, but I think she just put in our emails and we were notified via email that we (on our existing Amazon accounts) had been invited to be on her Prime. HTH!

  13. I haven’t tried to share my Prime (though I’m going to look into it now), but we’ve used it by ordering things on my credit card, shipping them to the appropriate family member, and that person writing me a check for the amount due. By the time my credit card bill comes, I have their money in hand.

    I probably use Prime too much to order books and DVD’s, but it’s been made really worth it by easily shipping gifts to people, and by buying bulk food items when a fabulous deal comes along. Sure, that may just be me rationalizing it, but it works for me!

  14. I have a Prime account for work (I buy lots of non-book items in bulk and it’s cheaper that way for me) and I have added 3 other people who work with me to my account. No questions asked so far about billing or shipping address. They’re all listed as my unmarried partners. 🙂

  15. As a paying Prime member, I’m not so sure what I think of all the ways people are working the system (free trials, discounts, sharing Prime benefits…(maybe I’m the sucker?). I’ve been a member since the beginning and have no problem paying the fee – it saves me way more in the long run.

  16. I will say I don’t like all the ways folks are trying to circumvent the system… Kind of like trying to use coupons that don’t apply or have expired. Not fair to the rest of the people following the rules.

  17. Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say let’s try to keep this conversation within the stated Prime rules. I’ve heard tell of folks going to forums and talking about “getting around” things and then having their Prime accounts revoked, and I would hate for that to happen to anyone. My point was only that I though I knew of siblings sharing who didn’t live in the same house, but it looks to me (now) like that’s not allowed, so let’s just move on. 😉

  18. This is awesome! Thanks!

  19. That Prime trial is the best thing that’s happened to me this year. And hopefully you’re getting lots of income from me ordering the stuff you point out. Amazon has gotten 95% of my business this year thanks to that prime membership. But I’m too cheap to pay for it, and too poor to have that sort of shopping temptation when it’s not Christmas! (now, if they offered a 3-month reduced rate next year, say $25 for the three months before Christmas, I’d jump on that. Hear me, Amazon?)

  20. We’ve been Prime members since the beginning and have loved it. The way I see it, the $79 a year is totally worth it, given how much it saves me in gasoline and the time involved in shopping in stores.

  21. When I go to sign up for the Ellen deal I just get told it is 59.00 for the year….no mention of a trial period. I am afraid to click the final button for fear that I would get charged the 59. immediately…with no trial time. Is there something I’m missing?

Bargain Hunt





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