5/16/13 UPDATE: Note that the 30 Day Free Prime Trial offer may no longer be in effect; it was valid as of the writing of this post, and comes back from time to time, but I can’t guarantee it’s still in effect as you read this.
I am a bargain hunter par excellence, I know a great deal when I see one. I also know that time-consuming, hassle-filled “bargains” aren’t really bargains at all, and neither are low prices on crummy products or services. Having said all that, I can tell you that taking advantage of free trial periods for premium services is one of the major tools in my bargain hunter’s utility belt.
Free Trials: These Days, It’s Easy To Cancel Before The Expiration Date
You may be leery of “free” trials, because as we all know the sellers’ goal is to hook you in and hope you forget to cancel the free trial at the end of the trial period, so they can start charging you for real. But in today’s world, where we can set all kinds of alarms and reminders on our smartphones and other gizmos, or schedule an email reminder to be sent to ourselves a day or two before the expiration date, there’s no reason why anyone should miss that cutoff.
And sometimes, you’ll find you actually WANT to keep whatever the service is and won’t mind letting it renew at the end of the trial. That was sure my experience with Amazon Prime, but I’ll leave it to you to find out for yourself by giving the free Amazon Prime 30 Day Trial a whirl.
Take that Prime trial for all it’s worth (and it’s worth A LOT, as you’re about to learn), and if you can’t or don’t want to afford it when the trial ends, cancel. No harm no foul, no real money spent.
Why This Is The Perfect Time For A Free Amazon Prime Trial
This is the time of year when we’re all about to be besieged by yet another gift-giving season. Graduations, weddings, Mothers Day and Fathers Day are all right around the corner, and here’s where that free, two-day shipping that comes as part of Amazon Prime (and the free trial!) comes in so very handy.
While you won’t get the free, two-day shipping on products “fulfilled” by outside vendors, pretty much anything you buy from Amazon that’s being shipped by Amazon will qualify. Just look for the Prime Eligible icon right beneath the product name to be sure. You can also limit your searches to Prime Eligible items by ticking the little box in the left-hand column when viewing search results on Amazon.
Free Video Streaming – Use Your Free Trial To Compare Amazon’s Prime Video Catalog To Netflix or Hulu+
I made the switch from Netflix, which was costing me $8 a month (that’s $96/year), to Amazon Prime (currently priced at $79/year), and I’ve never regretted it. Many of my friends aren’t happy with Netflix, but they’re hesitant to take the plunge with Amazon Instant Videos or any other service. With the free trial, you can take a whole month to make up your mind at no cost.
Between the free shipping and the free video streaming (from a video catalog that includes programming from the BBC, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, and all the major movie studios), I found it was a deal that was tough to beat. But again, you can always cancel the free trial at the end of the 30 days if your experience is different.
Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to stream all the video content in Amazon’s Prime Instant Video catalog for free. Using the FREE Amazon Unbox player, you can stream those videos to your computer. Using the FREE player app, you can stream them to all kinds of mobile devices, gaming consoles and home theater components, including Kindle Fires, iPads, iPod Touch, XBOX, Wii, and many more. Click here to view a full list of all the devices you can use, and to access the free app download.
The timing is ideal for the free trial right now if you’re a Bond fan, because Amazon has added a lot of James Bond films to the Prime Instant Video catalog for the month of April. This post on the Kindle Fire on Nation Daily site lists them all. You can have your own little Bond film festival, all month long!
Check Out A Book From The Prime Kindle Owners Lending Library
Yet another benefit of Amazon Prime for those who own Kindle or Kindle Fire devices is access to the Prime Kindle Owners Lending Library: a collection of thousands of recent bestsellers and critically acclaimed books from major authors and publishers, as well as a generous sprinkling of well-reviewed indie books, all of which you can “borrow” for as long as the full duration of your Prime trial.
In all honesty, this is not a feature I’ve taken much advantage of since becoming a Prime member, because my preferred format for books is audiobooks. But for avid readers, it can be a godsend. If you own a Kindle or Fire and normally spend $80 a year or more on Kindle books, this feature alone can make keeping your membership after the trial expires worthwhile. Click here to view Amazon’s page with more information about accessing and using the Prime Kindle Owners Lending Library.
Click here to grab the free Amazon Prime 30-day Trial, and don’t forget to set that smartphone reminder, write it on your calendar or whatever so you’ll be reminded to cancel before the end of the trial period. But also don’t be surprised if, at the end of the trial, you find you don’t want to cancel.