by Michael Alderete on 3/6/2005

I am a huge fan of, having started using it to buy books shortly after they launched, and expanding my purchases through them ever since. They’ve never failed to impress me with a very high level of customer service. So Wednesday I signed up for Amazon Prime, which provides free 2nd day delivery on all orders (no minimum order amount), and overnight delivery for $3.99, for one year.

What’s cool about this isn’t the savings on shipping; I was frequently opting for the free super-saver shipping, and waiting a week or more for stuff to show up, to save a few bucks. And it’s not the faster shipping; if I was willing to wait for free shipping, speed wasn’t an issue.

It’s really that it takes the thought out of ordering. I don’t have to batch up a couple of items to get over the minimum order for free shipping, or to optimize my shipping costs, if I want it sooner. And it’s rare that 2nd day isn’t fast enough, even for “urgent” needs. So, I can basically order whatever, whenever, from And since I’ve pre-spent on the Prime membership, I’m actually incented to stick with, to get the “best value” from the service.

Interesting note: there’s ads inserted in the box. I got inserts for PeoplePC Online, Gevalia coffee, and Citibank. I wonder if is offsetting the cost of Prime service by offering these self-selected heavy mail order customers to “selected vendors.” Don’t really care, as long as it’s that’s doing the inserting, and they’re not sharing my contact info with anyone else.

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