It’s no secret that Amazon wants you to sign up for their Prime membership. But a seemingly new feature is leaving some customers upset at the behemoth online retailer.
A new ploy to get more Prime members?
Amazon is actually preventing you from making certain purchases on their website. That’s right. If you aren’t a Prime member, Amazon doesn’t want you purchasing select video games and DVDs via their website…unless you ante up for a $99 yearly subscription — or at least their $10.99 monthly Prime service.
Videogamer.com made the discovery a couple of days ago and Amazon has responded:
‘One of the many benefits of Amazon Prime is access to exclusive selection on a number of great products. Customers who are not Prime members can sign-up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, or they can purchase those items from a Marketplace seller.’
It appears that Amazon is not content with asking their non-Prime customers to pay for shipping for their desired purchase. They are trying to force the issue and add to their Prime membership rolls. As an ordinary human that doesn’t pay for Prime, you’ll see a box with a blue border indicating certain items as “Prime-exclusive.” On top of this unkind policy it seems as though Amazon is slowing shipments for non-Prime shoppers too!
It appears from certain Reddit threads that this has been happening sparingly since 2014. It also seems as though Amazon has recently expanded their selection of Prime-only offerings as an attempt at increasing their Prime user base.
A few products that we’ve seen identified as Prime-only recently are the Oscar winning Birdman DVD as well as popular video games Grand Theft Auto V, Fifa 16 and Minecraft. These are subject to change at a moment’s notice though and some items previously listed as Prime-only eligible have already been changed. But that doesn’t mean that Amazon has stopped the practice by any means.
Amazon’s motives are abundantly clear with this move. They want you to pay for Prime. And they would prefer you sign up right now.
But coercing customers into purchasing Prime doesn’t seem like a friendly way of doing business. Amazon suggests purchasing from one of their Marketplace sellers if they bar you from purchasing directly through them. But with retail competition being intensely fierce these days, how about checking out other websites altogether?
Read more: 5 ways to maximize your savings on Amazon