Confession: despite being an Amazon user since the Y2K books-and-CDs era, I had yet to go “Prime.” The convenient if not cultish membership that gives customers perks like super-speedy free shipping and access to countless hours of streaming entertainment for a mere (but not nothing) $12.99-per-month was appealing but I just never pulled the trigger. However, with the fifth annual Prime Day fast approaching, I thought it’d be prudent as R29’s fashion market editor here on the Shopping team, to get as familiar as possible with the ins and outs of Amazon — and not just by way of press release or browsing for hidden gems — as a real life, bonafide, virtual card-holding Prime member.
And, while this two-day event might be the most-hyped shopping event of the year after Black Friday, the year-round Prime membership is equally lauded for its speed and convenience. Bearing this in mind, I signed up for Prime’s 30-day free trial to do an honest deep dive on what one may stand to gain on the 363 days of the year that are not Prime Day Days. I focused, selfishly, on the perks that interested me the most, but if you want to read an exhaustive list of every single Prime benefit, you can head to their Insider homepage to study up and reap some lesser-known deals. Read on to see what I liked, and what I didn’t, and what might keep me paying for the membership after the 30-day freebie is over.
Regarding entertainment, there is a lot of fun stuff on Prime: I’ve already added RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Hills, and The Carol Burnett Show to my watch list. (Amazon’s original series are gaining traction, too — you can also read our round-up of award-winners like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Homecoming.) In terms of content, I definitely see some overlaps with other entertainment services that I already pay for, like HBO and Hulu, but it’s nice to see that if I ever decided to make Prime Video my main streaming service, I’d be able to watch The Sopranos and Frasier at no extra cost — but tragically, I would have to pay extra for Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Practical Magic.
On paper — er, on the screen? — Prime Wardrobe is definitely enticing, offering free shipping and free returns, and a try-before-you-buy formula offering a seven-day grace period in which you can try on your purchases at home before getting charged for any of it. Considering that most of us already conduct our online shopping this way — how much of that Zara haul do you actually intend to keep once it arrives at your door? — you might as well let Amazon make it easy for you. While the site is building their “directional” inventory through influencer collaborations and a Shopbop-curated pop-in, most of the assortment in Prime wardrobe consists of casual duds for work and weekend, …read more