January 31st, 2014, 18:41 PM
Amazon Prime Could Get $20-$40 Price Hike
Free two-day shipping and access to streaming video from Amazon might cost you a bit more in the future.
The online retailer this week revealed that it is considering an Amazon Prime price hike in the range of $20 to $40 in the U.S. The service currently costs $79 per year, but "the increased cost of fuel, transportation, as well as the increased usage among Prime members" has prompted Amazon to consider a price bump, Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak said during a Thursday earnings call.
"We know the customers love Prime as the usage of the shipping benefit has increased dramatically since launch," he said. "On a per customer basis, Prime members are ordering more items across more categories with free two-day shipping than ever before."
The price of Prime has remained at $79 since its launch nine years ago; the program now extends to more than 90 million items, Szkutak said.
An analyst later asked if Amazon would consider allowing users to pay for Prime in installments if a price hike were to go into effect, but Szkutak said details are still being ironed out, so "you have to wait on that."
He was also non-committal when asked about the possibility of Amazon Prime tiers - buying in to free two-day shipping but not Amazon Instant Video, for example. "In terms of tiers on Prime, I wouldn't speculate. We might or might not do in the future," Szkutak said.