Don’t think you’d ever quit Amazon Prime? I felt the same way until I tried out competitor Jet.com. Now, after two years of Prime membership, I’m cutting loose.
Prime membership, costing $99 yearly, gives you free, two-day shipping on countless items along with complementary access to a bunch of streaming content, cloud storage, and more. More than 63 million Americans pay $99 a year for the service, with 91% of first-year subscribers sticking around for a second year. “We want Prime to be such a good value, you’d be irresponsible not to be a member,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in his 2016 letter to shareholders.
Jet, a year-old site that was bought by Walmart for $3 billion, doesn’t have as many items as Amazon, nor any user reviews, nor any of those bonus features. It does, however, offer competitive and often cheaper pricing on a wide array of popular items, with free, two-day shipping on orders over $35, all without any annual fee. It also lets you buy groceries — something Amazon members can only with a $299 Prime Fresh membership.
How much cheaper is Jet? The upstart beat the giant on 73% of overlapping products, according to a Boomerang Commerce study last fall. Jet discounts increase if you buy related items, as the service determines what products can be shipped from the same place, and if you select options like paying by debit card and declining the right to return. Jet is typically around 5% cheaper than Amazon, founder Marc Lore told Re/Code.
I quit Prime after realising I could get most items cheaper on Jet and that I didn’t really need Prime’s other features.
Having to spend $35 to get free shipping didn’t deter me, since it’s easy to hit that limit when you can buy groceries too. The lack of reviews is annoying, but it’s easy enough to look up reviews on Amazon and then buy on Jet. The smaller selection of products isn’t the end of the world, as Jet has most things I need and I can always go over to Amazon when it doesn’t. As for the lack of streaming content, I don’t love Amazon Prime video enough to pay for it — not when I already have Netflix with my eye on HBO — and I don’t use Amazon Cloud Drive — not when I’m already paying Apple and Google for cloud storage.
Will many other Prime members realise there’s another way? Only time will tell.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.