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How to Score an Extra Free Month of Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime LogoHowdy,

Already a Amazon Prime member and fancy a free month of Amazon Prime?

Yep it’s possible, but with one small “gotcha”.

Amazon need to make a screw up.

And yes unbelievably despite Amazon’s best efforts to ensure a seamless delivery to us with next day delivery or even same day delivery here in the UK (such as using multiple couriers, even creating their own delivery network in the UK & other countries for that matter), from time to time orders marked as “Guaranteed next day” don’t arrive on time.

And it’s exactly this hiccup on Amazon’s part that you can use to your advantage to score an extra 30 days of Amazon Prime.

Firstly…

We need to get past the utter annoyance of the order not actually arriving on time.

I’ve had this a collection of times when the order I’ve made, I’ve really, really needed it the next day (one of the major buying choices when compared to alternatives such as eBay, Aliexpress, Bangood or other websites) and the time Amazon puts a minor “chink in it’s armour”, has to be the time when I need the order items fast. Grrrrrr (and probably why 30 days extra Prime is fitting!)

My point here, is that you need an order that was not attempted on the delivery day and the order has to be from Amazon or be delivered via FBA.

You know it’s not been attempted because the order status bar on the “Track Package” page on Amazon goes black instead of green and a yellow warning triangle appears next to the order.

As soon as this happens, ideally the same evening and remember that in the UK, Amazon drivers will deliver up to 10pm at night! Shoot a message to Amazon customer services.

Contacting Amazon Support

And half the battle is finding the right place to contact Amazon directly.

This is the direct link for the Amazon.co.uk site:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/contactus

In section #1 “What can we help you with?” select the order that hasn’t arrived, if it’s not showing, press the “Choose a Different Order” button

In section #2 “Tell us more about your issue”, select “Where’s my stuff?.

Skip the video and scroll right to the bottom where you have 3 options, “Email”, “Phone” & “Chat”.

Select the “Email Option”.

In the message box, “lay it on thick” that you’re disappointed that the order hasn’t arrived and you needed the items because of x-y-or-z  and that the missed delivery has inconvenienced you.

Note: No need to lie here at all. After all you chose Amazon for a bloody good reason, 99.9% of the time they’re brilliant, so good in fact it’s ultra frustrating when they don’t live up to their ultra high expectations!

To give you an example of what recently worked for me is a direct copy of the message I recently sent for an order that wasn’t delivered on time.

You’ll notice that at no point did I mention a prime extension, just my frustration that I was without the products I had ordered and a reminder that I was expecting next day delivery.

Howdy,

I ordered these items and made my mother-in-law stay in all evening to make sure someone was home to collect them.

However it’s 10:30PM and they still haven’t arrived and now it’s saying there is a delay. I thought as a Prime member I received next day delivery on orders?

I need the charger for the car as the old one has broken, drill bits are desperately needed as I don’t have any that small, hence why I ordered them for “Next day delivery”.

Kind regards,

Matt

See polite, factual and a gentle reminder about Prime and next day delivery :)

Your Amazon Prime MembershipA couple of hours later you’ll hopefully receive a message like this, I’ll highlight the 30 days extra prime :)

Hello,

Thank you for contacting us.

I’m sorry to learn about the delay with your Order No: 203-3197442-NNNNNNN.

I can completely understand your frustration as you had placed the order with Prime membership under an impression that it will be delivered to you next day. Please allow me to explain.

Actually, orders placed with One-Day Delivery are delivered one business day after they’re dispatched from our Fulfillment Center. We do our best to make sure that all orders leave our Fulfillment Center as close as possible to the availability and delivery estimates that we give. On rare occasions, we may receive multiple orders for the same item in a short period. This can add time to the original availability estimate. This seems to be what happened in your case.

I’d like to apologize for this and to help make up for the inconvenience, I’ve extended your Amazon Prime membership by 30 days. You can review your renewal details in the Manage Prime Membership section of your Amazon.co.uk account.

Further, I have personally contacted carrier and advice them to deliver your parcel as soon as possible.

I would request you to wait for 24 to 48 hours and if it is not a convenient option, you may contact us again and we will replace or refund as per your choice.

The satisfaction of our customers is very important to us, I believe you deserve to have a hassle free shopping experience with Amazon.co.uk. One of our aims at Amazon.com is to provide a convenient and efficient service; In this case, we haven’t met that standard.

We appreciate that this incident reflects badly on Amazon.co.uk and the feedback you’ve provided will be used in reviewing the service provided by Amazon Logistics.

I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Did I solve your problem?

Amazon customer support, polite & detailed as always.

And 30 days extra Prime, thank you!

You may be wondering if this works again & again?

Of course it does.

I’m on my 4th or 5th extension now I believe (I order a lot! from Amazon).

But you have to wait for Amazon to make a delivery screw up & they’re very rare in doing that.

Another Rare Gotcha with Amazon Prime Delivery

I ran into this one by accident and it doesn’t appear that Amazon will offer a Prime extension for this scenario.

Let’s say you’re looking at a product page and it says that you can order with in N hrs NN minutes for next day delivery. You make the order, but then Amazon change the delivery ETA before the order has been despatched to a later date.

Although rare, it’s really annoying when this happens.

On a recent occurrence of this scenario I know what the product pages said when I made the order (it was an order of several different products, they all said next day) and was expecting next day delivery.

Amazon changed the delivery day and I was left waiting for the delivery that never arrived.

I chased this up through Amazon customer service, I know the product pages said next day delivery, it was the major factor in me choosing Amazon for those items in the first place. And when I was getting no-where I decided to cancel the order instead, just to make the point. No free Prime extension was forth-coming & I bought else where.

Oh and on this order just to add insult to injury, I had to chase up a refund on that order as well, Amazon didn’t automatically process a refund for the cancelled order. Thankfully thats the first time I’ve ever had that happen.

PS. Never Abuse Your Delivery Drivers

The thing to remember throughout this process your delivery driver is always a 3rd party in this. And most likely not the same driver that didn’t deliver the item the day before (so not their fault!).

Delivery drivers are your “best mates”, after all they are the people responsible of actually delivering the order to your door and you always want them on your side.

If you take a few moments to have a chat with them, they all appear to be self employed owner/drivers in Bristol where I live, probably the same for you too.

Never give them an earful, there is absolutely nothing they can do to feed information back, that is what Amazon customer support is for after all :)

I personally always take the time to have a quick chat with them. Yea sometimes they’ve had a bad day and a “nice customer” (AKA you!) can cheer their day up.

Oh and you also easily find out that they earn around £100 per day, van hire is around £200 a week, they get a pitiful fuel allowance and the average daily drop count depending on the time of year is around 112 per day.

My point being, delivery drivers are the last leg in all of this, they can’t feedback any info back to Amazon, so be nice to them and you never know they might just be more accommodating for you on the next delivery :)

In Summary

If you get failed delivery from Amazon and they don’t even attempt to deliver on the day they said they would. Shoot them an email!

You never know you may just end up with an extra 30 days Prime membership too.

Let me know if it works for you too in the comments box below!

Matt

Q&A Free Delivery Versus Reasonable Delivery Costs On Amazon

This is the third of a series of articles where I’m answering several questions that have come in via email in the past few days, that I feel that you’d gain value from hearing the answer too.

Free Delivery Versus Reasonable Delivery Costs

Today’s question is from Christine and is in relation to the having free shipping v’s reasonable shipping costs on Amazon.

The reason why it’s curious is because Amazon is quite different to eBay in the way it organises listing & prices and I’d like to delve into the Amazon Buy Box a little deeper and their prime subscriptions too.

Here’s the question:

Hi There Matthew,

I was just wondering what your thoughts were on Free Delivery versus reasonable delivery costs.

I started selling on Amazon about 1 year ago and have always gone for the reasonable delivery costs option so the actual product price appears a little lower than those who offer Free Delivery.

Even though Amazon calculates the cheapest offer based on a total of product and delivery charges my thoughts are that if a buyer sees a cheaper product cost plus reasonable delivery cost then the perception is that the product is more reasonably priced overall.

However I am considering changing to Free UK delivery for ease of calculating delivery costs etc

Kind Regards
Christine

Price Perception

I feel Christine is right, the perception that a customer would have that the price is good and the shipping is sensible then it would appear as a better proposition overall.

However, we must account for that we would assume this to be logical, but as buyers we’re not logical at all, we’re emotional, plus we are considering the Amazon marketplace here and while this may be true for other marketplaces or on our own websites, for Amazon I don’t think this is true and I’ll explain why.

By the way, if you think I’m wrong, you can let me know in the comments box at the bottom.

The Amazon Buy Boxes

To see where I’m going with this reply, we need to take a look at the buy boxes on Amazon and how the change.

Amazon Only / Amazon Prime

Amazon buy Box No SellersIf we take a look at the normal Amazon buy box on for an item that is being sold by Amazon directly, then we can see it’s very clean.

As a buyer we’re presented with just the quantity option, add to basket as the primary action, the option to login or the secondary action of adding it to a wishlist.

All pretty clean.

3rd Party Seller + Free Delivery

Amazon Buy Box One Marketplace Seller

However if we now look at Amazon buy box where there isn’t Amazon and just a 3rd party seller like us, then we can see that the buy box has the extra details at the top about the seller.

We can also see the item price and the shipping amount and the sellers name, noting that the delivery amount is emphasised as “FREE UK delivery”.

3rd Party Seller + Paid Delivery

Amazon Buy Box With ShippingIn the buy box to the right, we have a product where the seller has a delivery price entered.

In comparison, the “FREE UK delivery” stands out more, but Amazon are not promoting the total price, just that there is extra postage to be paid.

And When We have Multiple Sellers

Amazon Buy Box Multiple SellersThere can only be one winner and if you’re up against an Amazon stocked item or an FBA seller then the chances of you obtaining the buy box on equal total pricing, is remote.

If there are multiple sellers that are eligible for the buy box, will rotate at differing speeds through the buy box and any sellers that are not in the main buy box are shown below.

If we look at the example to the right, then we have a winner that is at £2.65 + free delivery and three others with the same product at various prices, however the last one from TLSS is the one I’d like to point out in more detail next.

Note: If you’d like to know a formula that will get you access to the Amazon Buy box for longer, then see this article which gives you this and it’s proven to work and if you’d like to know more about Amazon’s “Seller Ratings”, the new scoring system for Amazon Sellers you can here.

I’m just a mere customer, not a mathematician.

In the buy box example above we’re given numerous options, but as a buyer I only really care about the total price and also I’m just a mere customer, not a mathematician.

Making a buyer think is a bad thing

If I’m presented with prices that all have free options, then I see the prices as the total price. However if you ask me to compare four prices on one set of terms, they’re all total prices with free shipping and you lob me a price that I need to calculate in my head, then you are making me think.

Trying sum up the prices so that I can either rule in the £1.50 plus £1.99 option when all the others are just prices with free shipping makes me think and making a buyer think is a bad thing.

We need to make it as easy as possible for them to work out if the proposition is a good one or not and if the playing field are using free shipping, then that is what you should follow, free shipping, otherwise we’re making the buyers think.

Considering Amazon Prime Users

Amazon Prime Get Your Stuff FastIf we also account for Amazon Prime accounts, this is where an Amazon customer has paid £49 a year (or $79 in the USA) these are the power buyers on Amazon.

According to ChannelAdvisor’s Scot Wingo last year, there are approximately 10-12 million Amazon Prime users whom he also believes that these buyers account for a 3 to 4 times increase in buying volumes. As such they should not be ignored.

If we consider that it was you that paid £50 to have free next day delivery on items, then you’re not going to be that excited about paying extra for shipping when you’ve already stumped up £50 for an item on the Amazon marketplace where you’ve already made a decent outlay to get free shipping. In short as an Amazon Prime buyer you expect free shipping.

Note: You can gain access to these buyers by using FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon), this isn’t for everyone and doesn’t suit all products. 

In Summary

Me me me me me me me me me me, that’s all the customer cares about. Using a quote from Seth Godin:

Customers want ME-MAIL not Email

So with me in mind (as a potential customer) I have a Amazon Prime subscription and trust me I hate paying postage on Amazon after paying £50 for free delivery and I know what the difference is between marketplace, FBA and Amazon stocked products are!!!!

I bet the vast majority of Amazon customers don’t and they just want simple pricing and the simplest it can be is price + free delivery.

While me and you may know that your postage prices are excellent, 99.9% of customers probably don’t know the latest price of a first class stamp (what is that now anyway?), let alone the different pricing bands from Royal Mail and whether your postage price is good value or not. They just want a total price.

If we consider the case for Christine, then if your competition are offering free delivery, then don’t make your buyers try and do maths, regardless of how simple it is. Customers are like babies, you need to keep it as simple as possible and spoon feed them just enough information so they get what they need to know at that moment in time.

Make it really easy for them and let them see that your total price is excellent.

Make it really easy for them and let them see that your total price is excellent. And if in doing so means you need to combine the shipping prices into the sell price and offer free shipping, then so be it.

In the original question from Christine, Christine was considering moving to a free shipping model on Amazon, the answer now with the explanation why, is yes you should move to a free shipping model on Amazon and I’ve hoped I’ve explained why.

Do You use Free Shipping on Amazon or Another Marketplace?

If you do and have seen a positive or a negative impact to doing so, let Christine know by leaving her a comment in the comments box at the bottom.

I Dared Amazon to Deliver And They Did!

I’m going to share with you a short story with you about my Christmas shopping experience with Amazon and the thing is, only Amazon would have delivered that special Christmas day experience and only in Amazon I would have put my faith in to do so.

Setting the Scene

Christmas eve fell on a Saturday this year. Judging by the amount of people getting drunk & updating  Facebook, it was an all round good thing for many. But not if you’re a Dad and hadn’t bought that token present yet for the girls.

Don’t get me wrong my oldest isn’t even four yet, so the whole Christmas experience was going to be amazing whatever happened but fulfilling my appointed duties as a father, I felt it required that I deliver the token Christmas present.

The thing is, it was Friday, Christmas eve was tomorrow! I had already been around the shops the day before and managed to scrape a win with some glasses & a stunning photo frame for the far-better-half. But the girls, they had plenty of toys but were missing that one present that I know that they’d use all year. As a rather late decision, I had set myself on getting the girls a Nintendo Wii. The problem was, checking the stock pretty much everywhere in Bristol there were none and it was Friday!!!

Amazon was still offering next day delivery on the bundle if I ordered before 11 am and I believed that the Mario Kart version would be a great choice and had already arranged for the Resort disk to be borrowed from a friend for a few days (which reminds me we need to give that back).

Lost Orders

I have been an Amazon Prime subscriber for the past year or so. I’ve enjoyed next day delivery on almost all items (after all, I like almost every other Prime subscriber go for the Prime items first), however one book I was really looking forward to reading called “Nice Girls Do Get the Sale” (aff link) had got lost/stuck in the Bristol hub of HDNL (Home Delivery Network Ltd) and had to order again.

It took a couple of emails to Amazon to get it refunded and thinking aloud, it must be pretty obvious which customers are taking the piss with fake lost items, as I had already ordered a duplicate from Amazon, as I had heard the book was really good and wanted to read it (it was and is now out on loan).

My estimation of HDNL was also pretty low anyway, personally I had not been that impressed with deliveries coming out the boot of someone’s car, although the one delivery person I did speak to around this time last year was really nice and we chatted about couriers and it turned out that she had worked at Parcel Force around the time I had a few years back.

That Sinking Feeling

So after hitting the buy now button you can imagine my heart sinking when I saw this in my Amazon account:

Amazon-Order-Wii

Yea, I wasn’t that impressed. I knew most of Bristol was out of the Wii & Mario Kart combo’s and I certainly was not going to flit around Bristol trying to get one (plus I had a meeting that morning), so deciding not to cancel the order and to see what happened next (can you imagine the article here that Amazon didn’t deliver?).

Delivery of Orders IS Part of the Order

The delivery of the order is part of the service from Amazon, as it is with any on-line retailer. They’re an extension of the business and a damn vital part of it too.

You don’t see an Amazon representative delivering your orders, you only ever see a 3rd party delivery driver.

This is one consideration that some businesses overlook, it doesn’t matter if you get every order out in super quick time, if your courier company then takes 2 weeks to deliver it, has no local collection points and their staff are rude (just making a point here, only ever met one “spanner” delivery driver and that was years ago).

WoooHooo!

My partner was on strict instructions to not leave the house until the package had arrived, also as I live up a couple of steps, we left the fairy lights on during the day just to give the delivery person some incentive to make the trip up them as there was a good indicator that we were in (yea I know the risk/reward calculation when faced with steps as a delivery driver, I used to be one).

I had just got to my 3rd place and was waiting for a colleague to arrive. I got the call, two boxes had arrived and not a scratch on them, WooooHoooo! Christmas was fab and the girls loved the Wii (so did Daddy, after all we did get the Mario Kart version ;) )

Are Amazon Nuts?

There is no way I would have ordered such an important gift from another well known Marketplace or any other site for that matter at such short notice and I placed full faith in Amazon to deliver what they had promised.

Thankfully Amazon (and HDNL) delivered, on a Saturday, which was also a Christmas eve. It would have been a completely different article if it hadn’t and also a dull’er Christmas for the girls too.

Every other business that I knew of, had already planned to add notices to their on-line operations way before Friday that week for last their last shipping & cut off times, where as Amazon, they took it to the line, (well 11am that Friday).

This raises an important question, if even I was not prepared to put faith in a 3rd party other than Amazon at a critical time, why should your customers do the same or at any other time of the year?

So my question is…

Would you have dared to make an Internet order, on a Friday before Christmas eve?

Comment in the comments box below.