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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Amazon Prime: A great deal that keeps getting better



prime_landing_logo.gifI buy a lot of gadgets and a lot of those gadgets come from Why? Amazon is like an online shopping mall with so many stores you can practically find anything. The prices are excellent, you don't pay sales tax on most items, shipping is fast and returns are hassle free. What could be better?

Well, their Amazon Prime membership service makes it a lot better, and at $79 a year ($40 for students) it was a great value when all it offered was cheap shipping. A Prime membership gives you free, 2-day shipping on eligible items (there are tons) and $4 overnight shipping per item. So if you order more than 10-12 products online each year, Amazon Prime can save you money. At holiday time the Gadget Guy household does about 90% of our shopping on Amazon and that saves us a ton. No standing in line, no hunting for the most popular gadgets all over town. Just order and wait for the man in the brown truck to drop it on your doorstep.


As if that wasn't enough, Amazon sweetened the deal before and now they're doing it again. Amazon Prime memberships already include free streaming videos from a library of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows. Today they announced the addition of a new perk; The Kindle Owner's Lending Library. This new feature, exclusive to Prime Kindle owners, provides thousands of books to borrow for free, 100 of which are current and former New York Times Bestsellers. Users can check out one book a month with no due dates.

Sure, the Prime streaming video library is mostly loaded with older movies (same as Netflix, really) but it does have a nice selection of TV shows. And since the new book lending service is exclusive to Kindle owners, you can't use it with the Kindle app on an iPad, iPhone or Android device. Amazon is obviously trying to encourage people to buy the Kindle, and that's a smart move on their part.

Even without the videos and books, Amazon Prime is a steal at $79 (if you use it) and a membership would be great for any Gadgeteer who buys a lot of stuff online. Amazon offers a one-month free trial if you want to check it out. The full announcement from Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is below.

Today we're announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership: the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or ebook store offers such a service.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library features a wide array of popular titles, including Water for Elephants, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and Fast Food Nation – plus award-winning novels such as The Finkler Question, motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, biographies and memoirs including Kitchen Confidential, and Pulitzer Prize-winning books like Guns, Germs, and Steel.

We’re adding the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to Prime membership at no extra cost — Amazon Prime remains just $79 a year, which gives you free two-day shipping on millions of products, plus unlimited instant streaming of almost 13,000 movies and TV shows.

If you’re a Kindle owner with Prime, you can start borrowing books today. If you don’t yet have a Kindle, our all-new Kindle family is available from just $79.

We're working hard to continuously drive even more value for Kindle owners. We hope you enjoy the new library — happy borrowing.

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO
PS — If you have not tried Amazon Prime, you can start a one-month free trial here.

[Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:53pm]


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