I don’t work for Amazon, but I can tell you with confidence that after your dog, the single best item you can buy is a $99 Amazon Prime Membership.
Here’s why: Amazon puts a ginormous 323,831 products at your fingertips, most eligible for free two-shipping, and many eligible for free same-day delivery in eligible zip codes. The average pet store carries 1,450 products or SKUs (stock keeping units). A big box pet store like PetSmart carries approximately 6,800 products.
Amazon has changed, and continues to change the way we buy things. Today you can have a 30 lb. bag of premium dog food delivered to your door for less than it costs to pick it up at your local pet store. Some months ago I went to my local Petco to buy a slicker brush. Petco is a large retailer but they only had three different slickers to choose from. Amazon has 1,053 slicker brushes to choose from.
Lower Prices: I have found Amazon prices consistently lower than PetSmart, Petco, Chewy’s, Drs. Foster & Smith, and my local pet stores. Coupled with free shipping it is a no-brainer.
The shipping and delivery benefits are worth the $99 annually by themselves, but Amazon has added to the program with unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, free unlimited streaming of over one million songs, and free access the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. Below is a current list of program benefits:
- FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits. For more information, go to Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits.
- FREE Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes. For more information, go to Order with Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery.
- Prime Instant Video: unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to About Prime Instant Video.
- Prime Music: unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to About Prime Music.
- Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive. For more information, go to About Prime Photos.
- Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box. Prime Pantry orders cannot be shipped to addresses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
- Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon’s own line of everyday essentials.
- Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to select Lightning Deals on Amazon.com and new events on MyHabit.com. For more information, go to About Prime Early Access.
- Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: access to members in the U.S. For more information, go to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
- Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks. For more information, go to Kindle First.
- Membership Sharing: Prime members may invite up to four eligible household members living at the same address to enjoy the shipping benefits of a free trial or paid Prime membership at no extra cost. If you purchase a Prime membership as a small business, you may invite up to four co-workers to shop with this corporate account. For more information, go to Share Your Amazon Prime Benefits. Two adults living in the same household can also create an Amazon Household to share additional Amazon Prime benefits. For more information, go to About Amazon Households
Having said this, I will say that I do strongly support my local pet shop, a store called BooBoo Barkery & Boutique in Kirkland, WA. The owner is an astute young woman named Tina and she knows better that to go head to head with Amazon, or Petco or Petsmart for that matter. Instead, she deftly merchandises her store with local licensed dog apparel like an extensive line of Seattle Seahawk, Sounders, and Mariners gear, as well as a great assortment of hip, upscale apparel, as well as cool handmade collars from local artisans. If you’ve purchased apparel for a dog you know that the ability to try it on for size is essential, so we visit Tina’s store regularly.