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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goodbye, Sam's Club. Hello, Amazon Prime!

Dear Sam's Club,

I want you to know this is not easy for me. We've been together for many years, and we've had a lot of good times. But, lately I'm not feeling much love between us.

I am leaving you.

I want you to know, it's not your fault - well, not completely your fault. It's just that things have changed. We've moved apart, and I've found someone else. While she's further away and doesn't have some of the wonderful qualities you do, she makes me happy and really seems to care about me.

Her name is Amazon Prime.

Yes, I've done it. I've left Sam's Club. I've been thinking about doing this for some time. While I've enjoyed Sam's for the most part and saved some money, it just wasn't making economic sense anymore. I used to be able to justify my membership based on annual fuel cost savings alone - but not anymore. I used to live within a mile of my Sams Club, but I bought a new home and live 6 miles from Sam's Club. Today's gas price at Sam's Club is exactly the same as the the station 3/4 of a mile down the road. So there's no way I'm driving our cars 12 miles round trip every 2 weeks to save - nothing.

Truth be told, I can buy everything I need either at grocery stores or department stores for nearly the same price, with no membership fee. And then there's Amazon. Amazon can deliver just about anything except perishable foods to my door in a matter of days. The only things that could justify a warehouse club membership now are paper and cleaning products - all of them being the Sam's Club private label products. I do like their private label products, and in fact, their private label baby formula is the best infant formula price I've found. If I had a child that used formula, I would consider it worth the membership price for the savings on formula alone!

The cost of a Sams Club basic membership is $40 a year. The price of  Amazon prime membership is about twice that at $79. You don't "need" an an Amazon Prime membership, but there are a lot of benefits that make it very worthwhile. Amazon Prime is a membership program that gives you and your family unlimited fast shipping, such as FREE Two-Day shipping to street addresses in the contiguous U.S. on all eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of $79. Amazon Prime members in the U.S. can enjoy instant videos: unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video at no additional cost. Eligible customers can try out a membership by starting a Amazon Prime Free Trial.

What Are The Benefits Of Amazon Prime ?

Maybe you want to keep your warehouse club membership AND order from Amazon. I just can no longer justify the membership cost. But if you still want a Sams membership, here's a few tricks to save money on that membership. First, get a basic business membership - only it's $35! And no, you don't really need to own a business. Just make up a business name, and they'll put it on your card. And when it's time for renewal, stock up and let it expire. When your pantry starts getting empty, sign up again. Also keep an eye out for member recruitment specials - sometimes you can get a $10 or $20 gift card with your membership.

So hey, why not give an Amazon Prime Free Trial a try?

It won't cost you a nickel...

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