Amazon is one of the world’s largest eCommerce platforms and has revolutionized the way that people buy and sell products on the internet.
On Amazon, you can buy anything from computers to costumes, find incredible deals, and get it shipped fast (usually).
In 2013, Amazon launched its Canadian division and has been offering its Prime service ever since.
If you’re looking for an honest Amazon Prime Canada review, then you’re in the right place. Below, I’ll outline some of the perks of a Prime membership, explain how much it costs, and examine whether or not the service is worth it.
Long before I learned about selling on Amazon, I was a frequent user of the eCommerce platform. As much as I try to support local retail businesses, it’s hard to beat Amazon’s overall convenience, low prices, and detailed product reviews that allow you to research an item before you buy it.
While anybody can create a free Amazon account to use the platform and shop online, Amazon offers its Prime membership to those looking for more exclusive features. Some of the key benefits of an Amazon Prime Canada membership include:
- Free two-day shipping
- Exclusive deals for Prime members
- Prime Video access
- Prime Music access
- Free Kindle eBooks
- Unlimited free photo storage (this is a BIG one)
Below, I’ll outline each of these perks and how useful they really are.
1. Free Shipping
The main reason that I signed up for Amazon Prime in the first place was to take advantage of the free two-day shipping that the platform offers to Prime members. Before Amazon Prime, I was used to waiting anywhere from five to ten days for items I purchased online to arrive on my doorstep.
Being able to receive my packages in two days was a huge plus that I took full advantage of. As a result, I started purchasing more of my everyday essentials on Amazon to avoid trips to the supermarket.
Recently, Amazon has even started offering free next-day shipping on select items.
- Note – Amazon doesn’t offer two-day shipping on all items. Shipping times can vary, depending on the product distributor.
2. Special Deals
Amazon Canada offers fairly low prices overall, even to free members. However, as a Prime member, you’ll be entitled to “Lightning deals” and special Prime members-only pricing.
This can help you save a few extra dollars on small items and can allow you to save big on electronics and other popular gift items.
Amazon’s Prime deals are always changing, so you’ll have to log into the platform to see the latest prices and products.
3. Prime Video Streaming Included
Amazon’s Prime Video is one of the top streaming platforms in the world and offers thousands of movies, TV shows, and documentaries to members. As an Amazon Prime member, you’ll have full access to Prime Video streaming for free!
Initially, Prime didn’t offer a lot of titles in Canada. However, the platform has really expanded over the past couple of years, and it’s not uncommon to find blockbuster movies and hit TV shows that you can watch with your Prime membership.
4. Free Kindle eBooks
Amazon Kindle is an eBook reading platform that allows users to download eBooks, magazines, and newspapers on their devices. The platform was initially created to work with Kindle eReader devices, but it can be used just as easily on your smartphone or tablet.
As a Prime member, you’ll have a wide selection of titles that you can read for free. You’ll also receive Prime member discounts on certain titles. I usually use my Kindle subscription to catch up on my reading while I’m on long flights.
5. Free Access To Prime Music
Over the past decade, Amazon has transformed from a simple eCommerce platform to a full-on entertainment suite. In addition to Prime Video and free Kindle eBooks, Prime members will also have full access to Amazon Prime Music, giving them access to over 2 million songs on demand.
Prime Music doesn’t offer quite as wide of a selection as Spotify or Apple Music. However, you’ll be able to find most of your favourite mainstream artists and classic songs on the app. Plus, it’s 100% free and ad-free with your Prime membership.
6. Unlimited Photo Storage On The Amazon Cloud
Free movies, TV shows, eBooks, and music are some of the main benefits of a Prime membership. However, I’d argue that one of the platform’s most underrated benefits is its free, unlimited photo storage on the Amazon cloud.
With today’s high-resolution cameras, consumers are finding it all too easy to fill up their device’s storage space. To backup their photos and videos, they’re resorting to cloud storage platforms to free up space on their device.
The only problem is that cloud storage can be expensive. Currently, I’m paying around $10 per month for Google’s 2-terabyte storage plan, and I’ve already used up half of it. Soon, I’ll have to upgrade and pay even more for storage.
To free up some of my Google cloud storage, I’ve started transferring my photos to Amazon Prime’s cloud storage platform. With unlimited storage, I could back up terabytes worth of photos for free.
The only disadvantage is that Amazon Prime doesn’t offer free cloud storage for video files, as these take up considerably more space than image files. Still, I’ve been able to clear up around 200 gigabytes worth of photos from my Google cloud storage by transferring them to Amazon.
Will Amazon charge for its cloud storage in the future? Possibly. That’s a risk I’m willing to take for now, though.
For all of the benefits that come with an Amazon Prime membership, you’d expect it to be expensive. However, an Amazon Prime subscription is actually cheaper than a Netflix subscription!
Currently, an Amazon Prime Canada membership costs $9.99 per month. You can save a bit more by paying your subscription annually for $99 (which breaks down to $8.25 per month).
If you’re not sure whether or not a Prime membership is for you, then I recommend taking advantage of Amazon’s free trial period. Like Netflix, Amazon offers a one-month free trial to most new members who’ve never had an account before.
Amazon Prime Canada is already pretty affordable, considering all the perks that Prime members can take advantage of. However, it’s even more affordable for students.
Currently, Amazon Canada offers special Prime pricing for all eligible students, at 50% off the standard subscription price. Students can pay a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 per month or purchase an annual subscription for $49 per year.
Once you’ve graduated, though, your plan will be automatically increased to reflect the standard pricing.
Amazon Prime for students is a pretty great deal.
If I had to recommend just one subscription to students, this would be it. With your Prime membership, you’ll get all of the things that a student could want, including:
- Free, fast shipping
- Free music
- Free movies and TV shows
- Free books
- Free photo storage
For just $4.99 per month, this is an incredible deal and is far less expensive than paying separately for a music streaming service, a video streaming subscription, and cloud storage.
Trying to save money (or make money) as a full-time student can already be difficult. So, why not take advantage of an all-in-one streaming and eCommerce platform and save on all the other apps?
From a practical standpoint, Amazon Canada is also a great place to stock up on school supplies and dorm necessities. You’ll be able to find great deals on books, notebooks, phone chargers, electronics, backpacks, and other everyday items that you won’t be able to find in your local college supermarkets.
If you’re a student who’s in the market for a new laptop, then a Prime membership could even help you save hundreds, compared to buying a laptop at a major retailer like Best Buy.
For the most part, I’m a fan of Amazon Prime Canada. I think the platform offers a lot of value for the relatively low cost of membership. However, there are a few cons that are worth mentioning, such as:
- Fake product reviews
- More cheap products
- Two-day shipping isn’t always available
One of the best features of Amazon is the fact that all products on the platform have a section for product reviews. This allows buyers to perform in-depth research and see what other people are saying about their experience with the product.
I’ve even used Amazon product reviews to determine whether or not I should buy items from other stores, just because the other store doesn’t offer any consumer reviews!
However, I’ve found that Amazon reviews are no longer as reliable as they used to be.
If you look at some of the top-selling or top-promoted items on Amazon, you’ll find all too many fake or paid-for reviews. Many are easy to tell apart, as they:
- Have salesy headlines
- Often contain strange grammatical errors
- Don’t have a lot of upvotes by other Prime users
However, reviewers are getting a lot more clever, and it’s sometimes hard to tell the fake reviews apart from the real reviews. This, of course, makes it harder to find legitimate products on Amazon.
Some Amazon sellers purchase reviews from social media reviewers, freelance websites, and online marketing forums.
While Amazon has tried to crack down on fake reviews, many of them still slip through the cracks.
You might buy a pair of headphones thinking that they’re incredible (based on the good reviews), only to receive some cheap, flimsy headphones that look like they came from your local discount store.
So, what’s the best way to tell fake reviews from real reviews on Amazon?
I’ve noticed a pattern that helps me identify products that contain a lot of fake reviews, so I can mark them as untrustworthy or questionable. I search for products that have both a high amount of 5-star and a high amount of 1 or 2-store reviews.
Products with more legitimate reviews will typically have more 3 and 4-star reviews, indicating that customers were somewhat or moderately satisfied with their products.
However, products with lots of fake reviews tend to be very polarized. They’ll have lots of super-good 5-star reviews (which are likely fake reviews) and lots of highly detailed 1-star reviews (written by real people). You may even see comments in the 1-star reviews mentioning “fake reviews” as well.
Some of the top global brands sell on Amazon and offer the same high-quality products that you can find in retail stores or from the manufacturer’s site. Amazon also offers a number of affordable Amazon-branded products that are usually decent quality.
However, I’ve noticed a growing saturation of cheap products on Amazon as well. As the platform has grown, a number of Amazon sellers have used the platform as an opportunity to sell cheap imported goods from China.
From XL shirts that fit like they’re a size Small to cheap trinkets that fall apart after a couple of days, low-quality products are more common than ever.
Additionally, it’s also been disturbing to hear the reports of counterfeit goods being sold on Amazon. While Amazon has done its best to crack down on obvious fakes, some of today’s fakes are too good to tell apart.
If you plan on purchasing costly electronics, I recommend buying them directly from the manufacturer’s Amazon store rather than from third-party sellers.
One of the most alluring perks of an Amazon Prime Canada membership is the promise of free two-day shipping. While this ultra-fast free delivery service is available on many products found on the platform, it doesn’t apply to every item on Amazon.
This is often the case with third-party retailers and sellers that fulfill their own orders. Amazon is able to offer fast and free shipping on most of the items that are fulfilled by Amazon (FBA).
These products are stored in massive Amazon warehouses and can be quickly distributed through Amazon’s transportation network. However, sellers that fulfill their own orders must go through standard carriers, which can be more costly and may take longer to deliver your order.
That being said, I’d say around 75% of the items I’ve purchased on Amazon have provided free two-day shipping, so it’s not the worst drawback.
Throughout the early-2000s, Amazon was primarily a US-only eCommerce platform. However, in 2013, Amazon launched operations in Canada as it began to expand globally. When certain companies expand internationally, though, their cross-border ventures don’t always provide the same level of service or quality.
This has led many Canadians to ask whether or not Amazon Prime Canada is as good as it is in the US.
For the most part, I’d say that Amazon Prime Canada is just as good in Canada as it is in the US. There are only two main drawbacks that I’ll mention about Amazon Prime Canada vs. Prime in the US, which are:
- Amazon Prime Canada doesn’t offer free two-day shipping on as many items as Prime in the US
- Amazon Prime Video doesn’t offer as wide of a selection of titles in Canada as it does in the US
Despite these two drawbacks, though, I’ve found that Amazon Prime is just as good in Canada as it is in the US.
You also have to account for the fact that Amazon Prime Canada is significantly cheaper than Prime in the US. A monthly membership to Amazon Prime Canada costs just $9.99 per month, while a monthly membership in the US costs $14.99 per month.
If you’ve decided to cancel your Amazon Prime membership, the platform makes it fairly simple to cut things off. Upon cancellation, you’ll still receive Prime account access up until the day that your subscription would otherwise renew (whether monthly or annually). You won’t receive a prorated amount back, though.
To cancel your Amazon Prime Canada account:
- Visit Amazon.ca and sign in
- Navigate to your main account tab towards the top of the main page to access the drop-down menu
- At the bottom of the list, you’ll see a “customer service” tab
- After entering the customer service page, you’ll see a link to cancel your Amazon Prime subscription
To wrap things up, here’s a quick overview of some of the most commonly asked questions about Amazon Prime Canada.
Many retailers offer special discounts and reduced rates for senior citizens over age 65. However, Amazon Canada does not. Seniors can expect to pay the same monthly or annual rates as standard members.
Yes! Amazon Prime Canada offers an incredible deal for eligible students. For $4.99 per month, students will get access to Prime shopping (and shipping), Prime Video, Prime Music, and unlimited free photo storage.
Amazon Prime Canada offers a free 30-day trial to all Canadians, except for those who live in Quebec. This is because Quebec has a law against automatic renewal contracts.
When you sign up for a free Prime trial, you’ll be required to provide your debit/credit card number and will be charged for your first month’s membership if you don’t cancel before the end of your trial period.
This, of course, violates Quebec’s Consumer Protection Law, which is why Quebec residents can’t take advantage of free trial periods offered by major brands like Amazon.
In my opinion, Amazon Prime Canada is well worth the cost. It’s 50% cheaper in Canada than in the US, and the platform offers a huge variety of products, many of which are eligible for free two-day shipping.
Plus, you’ll be able to access thousands of Prime Video titles, listen to free music, and take advantage of free photo storage.
Selling on Amazon can be a great way to earn money online. Keep on reading to see my list of the easiest online businesses to start in Canada next!