Buying and selling things on is easy and fun. But there’s so much more that you can get through (and on) Amazon if you have an Amazon Prime account! This article will introduce you to this add-on service to Amazon, and what you can get from it.

Okay, first, what is Amazon?

Amazon is a popular website for buying or selling goods. You can order items from Amazon itself, or from third-party sellers. You can also sell your own items to other users on Amazon. Amazon has other features, too, such as the ability to trade in unwanted merchandise for store credit towards future purchases.

We have a course on Amazon itself that we may occasionally refer to throughout this course, so you may want to keep that one accessible for reference’s sake.

So, then, what is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime isn’t a website or an Internet-based application per se. Instead, it is an extension of the popular e-commerce website, Amazon. Amazon Prime offers additional services from Amazon, or improves upon the ones that it already provides, such as shipping costs, exclusive discounts, and media libraries.

How does Amazon Prime work?

To get Amazon Prime, you must first have an account for Amazon. If you don’t, our How to Create an Amazon Account tutorial will show you how to make one.

When you first sign up for Amazon Prime, you will be given a 30-day free trial of the service. After that, you will be charged a subscription fee, which will last you until the same day next year. At that time, if you have not cancelled your Amazon Prime subscription, your subscription will renew, and you will be charged the subscription fee again.

As long as you are subscribed to Amazon Prime, you will be able to access the various benefits of it. As soon as you cancel your subscription, you will lose these benefits, but you will no longer have to pay the annual subscription fee.

What benefits can I get from Amazon Prime?

1. Reduced-cost priority shipping on Amazon orders

Shipping costs are one of the largest markups for Amazon orders, and it’s no fun having to wait a week or more for your stuff to arrive. With Amazon Prime, you can get free shipping more often, and have your items at your door in as little as two days!

2. Exclusive or early access to deals

Amazon has deals-of-the-day called “Lightning Deals” that are only available for a limited time. With a membership, you can get access to these deals before the general public does, so you’re more likely to be able to score a real bargain before time or supplies run out! Plus, as an Amazon Prime member, you get exclusive access to even more deals on July 15th, which is Amazon Prime Day!

3. Free or reduced-cost access to Amazon’s media libraries

With an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video for less… or sometimes, even for free! The same goes for listening to songs, playlists, and custom radio stations through Amazon Music. Finally, you also get free early access to books in Amazon’s e-book library.

4. Flat shipping fee for low-cost groceries from Amazon Elements

Skip the supermarket checkout line by buying your groceries directly from Amazon. When you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, you can use the Prime Pantry service to ship low-cost groceries right to your door — some from Amazon’s own line of products, called Amazon Elements — for a flat shipping fee of $6 per box.

5. Share your benefits with your family

Have a spouse and/or kids? Good news! You can set up Amazon Prime so that they can take advantage of many of the benefits that we’ve listed here! Let your spouse buy reduced-cost diapers and other infant accessories, or let your kids stream movies and TV shows online through Amazon Instant Video… subject to your parental controls, of course.

For more on the benefits that you can get through Amazon Prime, see our Benefits of Amazon Prime article.

That’s a little bit about Amazon Prime! Our next tutorial will review the pros and cons of the service, and the rest of our course will go over some of the specific benefits that you can get through Amazon Prime. These include watching movies and TV through Amazon Instant Video, accessing Exclusive Lightning Deals, and sharing your Amazon Prime benefits with your family. With an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon could become your one-stop shop!