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business

Amazon Japan raises Prime membership fee for first time in 11 years

18 Comments

Amazon.com Inc's Japanese unit raised the membership fee for its Prime service by 26 percent on Friday, the first such hike since it was launched in the country 11 years ago.

The new annual Prime membership fee is 4,900 yen versus 3,900 yen previously, Amazon said in a statement. The e-commerce giant did not provide a reason, but pointed to the growing number of services available to members.

Prime membership fees in Japan are far below the $119 annual fee in the United States, helping attract Japan's thrifty consumers. The e-commerce giant has grown rapidly in Japan, exerting pressure on home-grown players like Rakuten.

While some companies are moving to hike prices in low inflation Japan due to rising labor and shipping costs, they risk being shunned by frugal consumers.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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Content might be a little lacking on the video side but for the overall service it's still not a bad deal even with the price increase.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I only wish Amazon Prime fees were that low in the US. You're getting two years worth of Prime in Japan for one year's worth in America.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But why no subtitles? I'm not even talking about English subtitles.... most things I want to watch on Amazon don't even have Japanese subtitles!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I hope this doesn't become a trend. It's only one of the best deals around if the price stays low.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Prime video is useless, but the regular free shipping is quite good.

rising labor and shipping costs,

It looks like Japanese companies are going to stick to this one as the perfect excuse for rising the prices, but I cannot see where the "labor costs" rise. At least the salaries are not rising anywhere.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The video is very very limited compared to the UK but the free shipping is good.

For people like us in inaka, I suspect it is more eco for delivery companies to bring stuff to us than for us to drive to the shops to buy it. For communities and the local economy, the latter is better of course.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While some companies are moving to hike prices in low inflation Japan due to rising labor and shipping costs, they risk being shunned by frugal consumers.

I wish the MSM could be more honest. This should read....

While some companies are moving to hike prices while most companies are covertly reducing content and/or quality in low inflation Japan due to rising labor and shipping costs, they risk being shunned by frugal consumers.

Just curious, do people still find the reviews reliable anymore? Also, some items you can find cheaper at your local DIY shop. Amazon Japan is convenient, but not always cheaper

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Long time prime user.. but yeah I use amazon for the convenience knowing full well the price is not always competitive. You’ll be surprised if you price compare with other e-commerce sites how you may be paying more to get that free prime shipping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just curious, do people still find the reviews reliable anymore? Also, some items you can find cheaper at your local DIY shop. Amazon Japan is convenient, but not always cheaper

I find it reliable but I read first the unfavorable comments. A few times I had the same bad experience as those users.

And yes, sometimes it's not cheaper (even without Prime and with free shipping)

I usually pick up at the nearest Kuroneko office to spare them the cost of comming in vain (since I usually I'm out for work). What I don't understand is why there's a limit in size and weight for that option. Supposedly, the heavier and bulkier, the better for them if I go to pick my items up personally.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Prime is a rip-off.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Heard it's better than Netflix for more Asian stuff

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ive made out very well with Prime, especially the free delivery.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Prime is a rip-off.

Compared with?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

¥500 per month is still worth it. I buy a lot of things on amazon and probably save ¥2,000 a month on shipping.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think Prime is still worth it, but like some have mentioned, not having hard-coded subs for their video would make it a good bit better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Amazon’s price in Japan is so shockingly low (love it!!) that U-Next, Hulu, and other streaming companies are really pushing for “anti-competition” and trying hard to make Amazon more in line with their ¥1000/month fees. Instead of trying to create a platform that competes with Amazon, they want to force Amazon to bill higher prices.

I love everything available in Prime. I use the videos, music, free shipping, free image storing and more way beyond the ridiculously low new fee of ¥4900/year. That’s just under ¥410 per month which is unthinkable as a global price. When I talk with my NA friends, many say they don’t have Prime because for them it is too expensive. In Japanese prices, that simply does not compute.

However, once Disney and HBO go live with their streaming platforms I fear a huge amount of awesome content will disappear from Amazon (and Netflix for that matter) and we will end up paying for several providers, ultimately pushing monthly fees up to the satellite broadcaster fees of yore

Why would I want to pay ¥1000/mo to several providers only for streaming bits and pieces when Amazon provides so much more! Go Amazon!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just want the quick delivery. No point to pay additional 1000 for useless prime music and video (better to spend the 1000 elsewhere for full service)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don’t order enough to make the free delivery worth it. But apparently the Amazon review system has been corrupted, even the “verified purchase” should never be trusted.

Dont trust it

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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