Sunday, May 6, 2018

Shopping Amazon & Amazon Prime

I won a $20 Amazon gift card last Wednesday. I immediately decided I would buy something I needed and knew right away that my purchase would be Southern Bloomer Shotgun cleaning patches. Yesterday, I went to Amazon an they had them in stock and ready to ship by Amazon instead of a third party vendor. I thought great. Then I saw the price and I thought EXCELLENT since they were only $12.06 per bag of 500 patches. They usually sell for around $23 to $27 per bag. The thing was, there was no icon to add them to my cart. Then I saw it said they were an exclusive offer for Amazon Prime members; nice way to sucker someone into joining Prime. What the heck, I got suckered and I joined under a "free" 30 day trial. I was so happy with the price that I ordered two bags; I go through them quickly and use them to clean all of my guns (I cut them to size as needed). They came with free shipping and are supposed to arrive tomorrow. Wow, thought I, ordered them on a Saturday and should receive them on Monday. I have an Amazon rewards credit card. Amazon gave me the option of using points along with the gift card for my purchase. I had on a handful of points since I used most of them recently but figured what the heck. I think I paid .57 cents out of pocket for the patches.

Today, I decided to look for some items I have been needing and or wanting. Along the way, while searching firearms related items, I virtually stumbled across The Gun Digest Book of Rimfire Rifles Assembly/Disassembly: Step-by-Step Photos for 74 Models & 228 Variables by Kevin Muramat. I was thinking of ordering it but it sure looked familiar an sure enough I have one on my bookshelf. Could not recall if I had kept that or given it to Brendan. Anyway, Amazon notified me I had already ordered one back in 2016 - nice touch. I have not done much shopping on Amazon in the past, just a bit of gun stuff now and then like the Standard Catalog of Firearms Values and some items for Brendan and I mostly used points for those purchases. Before moving on to look for other items though, I noticed one thing about that Gun Digest Rimfire Assembly/Disassembly book - the price. Man oh man, it certainly seemed expensive, they were asking $35.99. So I checked my order from back in 2016 (another nice touch that prior order info apparently goes back at least a few years). On my order, the total with shipping was $20.28, it came from an outside vendor who advertised on Amazon. The thing I noticed about Amazon's current offering of this book was that they clearly sated on their site that it had recently gone up in price. They said it this way:

"We updated this item to the best offer currently available at Amazon. The price increased by $19.70."

Then they included this under cover of a link:

"We found a new seller for this item because it’s no longer available from the selected seller. Price increased by $19.70 (from $16.29 to $35.99)."

That is a stupendous price increase in a mere two years from the price at which I bought it, which was the same price as their most recent previous price. By the way, that is for the 3rd edition, the latest edition is the 4th edition. You can get the 4th edition from the Gun Digest Store here for $22.99 with $9.46 added for 2nd day shipping @ total of $32.45 as compared to the Amazon price of $35.99 for the same. Hmm, Amazon may not be the greatest thing since the first profession as most folks seem to think. As usual, you have to shop around to get the best price. While a $3.54 cents savings may not seem like much, such savings add up over several purchases. For example, if I saved that much each time on 10 orders, I would have saved $35.40 or enough for a bottle of Kirshwasser - damned fine spirits.

Now something like that is not going to deter me from using Amazon when they have the best price or very close to it with free 2 day shipping, for instance like the purchase I made of the cleaning patches under my free 30 day Amazon prime membership. The thing about that is, I will have to try to figure out if continuing that membership will be worth the $99 Amazon charges for it annually. I tend to think it would be worth it just for the free shipping but would definitely have to order more often from them than I have since 2014 when I placed my first order with them. In the time since then, I've only placed a total of  11 orders for a total of 18 items. Right now though, if they have what I need and want, I am going to use Amazon Prime to my advantage over the next 29 days and only then decide to either cancel or keep it, I have a few things in my cart right now. I may even watch a movie or three and listen to some tunes since they include all that in the membership.

All the best,
Glenn B


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