One thing you might now know about the FAF household is that we are Amazon aficionados.
Both Mr. FAF and I think that Amazon Prime is one of the best things that have ever been invented.
Ever since we started dating, Amazon has always joined us in our pursuit of happiness.
We have bought various items from the retailer giant for everyone in our family.
We have bought diapers for Baby FAF, dresses for me, gadgets for Mr. FAF, sunglasses for my dad, and shavers for Mr. FAF’s dad from Amazon.
Almost everyone is our extended family in Asia has something that we bought from Amazon.
From 2010 to 2017, we spent a total $13,000 on Amazon orders.
The number should be higher since Mr. FAF used to have a separate account before we started Amazon Prime three years ago.
We also bought some items through our friends’ Prime accounts.
1. Two-day shipping
I know that the “free shipping” is not really free since the cost is already included in the membership fee.
However, the fact that that I can receive a rush item in two calendar days is unbeatable.
We can definitely prevent rush orders with better planning. But we can’t plan our lives 100% of the time. When Mr. FAF and I prepared for our trips to Vietnam and China in 2013, some of our family members asked us to help them buy certain products in America.
It wouldn’t be a big problem if our flight weren’t three days away. Fortunately, we placed an order through Amazon Prime and got the items just in time for our departure.
If your order doesn’t arrive after two days, you can call customer service who will then put in a rush order for you or even give you a discount for the product.
When a kettle I had ordered didn’t arrive after two days, I called Amazon to complain and received the product the next morning. Life can’t get any better than that.
2. Easy gift giving
There was one year when many of my friends had a baby. I decided to buy them gifts for Christmas. At first, I scoured the mall, Ross, and Marshal’s for hours hoping to find the right gifts.
I then thought about how I’d need to buy boxes to pack them and wait in line for at least 30 minutes at USPS to ship them. It was a daunting thought. I loved my friends, but I also wondered if there was a more efficient way to give gifts.
A light bulb went on in my head: Amazon Prime! I started picking out the gifts for my friends in the comfort of my own home, selected the gift option, and knew that within two days my friends would receive my Christmas gifts.
And they did! There was no gift wrapping and no waiting in line needed for the holiday season. All the purchases were done within 15 minutes.
Related: When Money Matters In A Relationship
3. Easy returns
Although I am perfectly happy with most of my Amazon purchases, I decided to return some items due to the wrong size, quality, or damage.
Instead of having to drive to USP or USPS to drop off the item, I can just print out the label, stick it on the package, and leave it in front of my house for a free USP pickup the next day. Within one or two days, I will get the full refund for my item. No complaint. No fuss. No hassle.
One time I bought a metal air filter that was supposed to last for a lifetime. When I opened the package, I was extremely disappointed to see a damaged product with torn packing. I printed out the shipping label, put the item in front of our house for USP pickup, and got a $49 refund the very next day.
4. Amazing customer service
You don’t need to have Amazon Prime to receive customer service. However, this is an added benefit of being an Amazon customer. Amazon has the best customer service I’ve ever known in my entire life.
Have you ever tried to reach customer service at a company to discontinue a subscription, file a complaint, or simple ask a question? If the answer is yes, then you probably know how frustrating it can get (i.e. Comcast).
One time I waited on the phone for more than 30 minutes and was transferred to four different departments to get a one-minute answer about my prepaid T-mobile phone plan. Staying on the phone for 10-15 minutes to speak to a real customer service rep at any company seems to be the norm.
However, when I call Amazon customer service, the operator picks up the phone either immediately or after one ring. I shouldn’t be, but I am still surprised at the speed at which Amazon wants to please their customers. The operators are always friendly, helpful, and respectful.
I don’t think I can get that full service package at any company I’ve dealt with in America, especially when I want to get my money back instead of giving them business.
Amazon’s customer service is what keeps me coming back for more. It assures me that even when I have to deal with a dishonest seller or receive a faulty product, Amazon will always have my best interests in mind. My satisfaction is key to their business model. My satisfaction is their success.
5. Saving time
This is by far one of the biggest benefits of shopping on Amazon. The website hosts such a wide variety of products at such reasonable prices that we almost always find what we need.
Our house is only a mile away from big stores such as Target or Walmart, but the act of getting dressed, getting in the car, driving to the place, waiting in traffic, walking through the store, and waiting in line to pay for an item can take us up to 30 minutes or longer.
We can spend that time with our family, relax at home, or doing our work instead. It can take me as little as two minutes to look up an item and place an order on Amazon.
If we can save time doing something more productive with our lives instead of dealing with all the trouble, why not choose the easier route? For us, we opt for Amazon most of the time.
Neither Mr. FAF nor I go shopping to release stress. In other words, we just buy what we need. We don’t just get bored with life and start surfing on Amazon to find interesting items to purchase and spice up our lives.
We shop with a purpose in mind. When our Amazon Prime needs to be renewed next year, we will try to find ways to lower the membership fee. But even if the fee stays the same or slightly increases, we will still stay loyal to the brand.
Amazon might not have treated many of their employees well. But there’s no doubt that it has made it easier for millions of people to buy what they need with ease and confidence.