Man talking(l+r), AMazon Prime boxes(c) @thatschaalfolks/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘It starts off $9 higher’: Shopper says Amazon charges Prime customers more for items

‘And the prime shipping isn’t even consistent! Items come late all the time.’


Braden Bjella


Amazon Prime is a convenience enjoyed by millions. As of this year, it’s estimated that Amazon has over 200 million Prime subscribers, with those subscribers having access to benefits like free, faster shipping, streaming video, and more.

While these benefits may seem like enough to justify the $14.99 monthly price tag, some have questioned whether these services are really worth it, especially given the occasionally deceptive practices employed by Amazon.

Now, an internet user has sparked discussion after alleging that Amazon could be charging Prime members more than they thought.

Are Amazon items more expensive for Prime members?

In a video with over 1.2 million views, TikTok user Daniel Schaal (@thatschaalfolks), who is an Amazon Prime subscriber, explains how he occasionally orders items for his sister who does not have the service. However, during a recent order, he noticed something peculiar.

“She went to buy it and it was $90.66. Starting price was $80.15, but you had a $3 shipping fee,” he observes. “Now, hers would show up in two weeks if she bought it…So when I buy it, it’ll show up today between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., which is amazing…But is it free?”

Schaal then reveals the price he is set to pay: $89.95, plus additional fees.

“My total is 96.92. So it’s $6 more expensive to have a Prime membership,” he says. “How does that make any sense?”

The TikToker then offers his theories as to why this might be happening.

“What I think they’re doing is they’re giving you a cheaper price to not have Amazon, but you’ll get it later, right? And then once you get the subscription, they’re like, ‘Well, you’re not gonna not have it, so how would you know the difference?’” he states. “This is freaking bogus, dude…You’re a multi-billion dollar company, and you’re scrounging around for six bucks. Do you need some gas money, bro? I got you covered.”

Is the TikToker correct?

Schaal isn’t the first to note this phenomenon. Over the years, numerous Reddit posts have mentioned the same idea, with many questioning why they, as Prime members, are apparently paying more for certain items.

However, there’s an easy explanation for what is going on here.

In short, an Amazon listing features prices not only offered by Amazon, but by other sellers. Some of these sellers may offer the items at a lower price, but the order will not be fulfilled by Amazon and won’t be subject to Prime’s shipping discounts and faster delivery.

When one is not a Prime member, these lower prices may take priority in the listing; for Prime members, the first price they see will likely be the Prime price.

@thatschaalfolks #greenscreen Bezos sent me a venmo request for $6 #Amazon #shady #conspiracy #amazonprime ♬ original sound – thatschaalfolks

Commenters share their Amazon gripes

In the comments section, users offered additional complaints about using Amazon Prime.

“And the prime shipping isn’t even consistent! Items come late all the time,” wrote a user.

“***AND*** We pay to watch commercials on the videos now,” shared another, referencing Amazon’s announced implementation of ads on its streaming service earlier this year.

“You can get free delivery without prime. I canceled mine over a year ago, best decision ever,” stated a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Schaal and Amazon via email.

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