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Let’s be honest for moment, Amazon is a luxury we can’t afford to lose. The days when one needed to visit stores to look for products are long gone, everything is within few clicks away these days. Whether you want a Cheese Grater, a Burger Press, or even a Can Crusher, Amazon’s got you covered.
But it doesn’t stop there, as the company is offering even more features to its loyal companies through a premium subscription called Amazon Prime, which something you’ve surely heard about.
First things first, let me shed light on two crucial points. One, I’ve always liked Amazon Prime, ever since its introduction back in 2005 and I suggest it for anyone who uses Amazon on a consistent basis. Two, even though this article is dedicated to explaining Prime Pantry, I have no personal experience with the service myself, but I am aware that it can be very useful for the right user subsequently.
But the most important question is prime pantry worth it? Well, that depends. Hopefully the details discussed in this article will help you make that decision.
So, here’s everything that you need to know about this less known feature of Prime.
How Does Amazon Pantry Work?
As previously mentioned, you’ll need to have a Prime membership to use this feature, that’s $99/year. Worth your money? Definitely. The FREE fast shipping (same day delivery or just two days), the movie and TV shows streaming, Prime Music, access to flash deals, and much more easily make up for the high price point.
Amazon provides you with a virtual cart, a ‘’pantry box’’ so to speak, that you can fill up with Pantry Qualifying Items. You can confirm whether a product is available for this service or not by checking if it has a Prime Pantry label or not, which is usually located under the price label. Obviously, you can’t expect to see that label under the price of a Griddle or an Ice Bucket.
The pantry box’s weight is limited to 45 pounds. It can be filled with as many items as you want, as long as you don’t pass that limit. Just click “Add to Cart” to add the item to your cart. Another cool feature is that Amazon will inform you of how much of your pantry box an item will fill (in percentage) as seen below:
Go to your Cart to check what’s in your pantry box. First thing you’ll notice is how much room you’ve got left in your virtual cart, how many items are currently in the box, and the accumulated cost of all the items (basically, how much you’ll pay for the box). Below it, you can see each item, along with its price, and how much it fills out of your box.
What Is Prime Pantry Delivery Charge?
Note that each pantry box has a shipping fee of $5.99. A 10-pound pantry box and a 45-pound one both cost $5.99 to ship. But as normal shipping rates vary from $0.25 to $0.50 per pound, it comes out as sort of a good deal, if you manage to fill the box up to its limit of 45 lbs.
However, if you happen to ditch the free two-day option for No-Rush Shipping when placing an order with Prime, you’ll get a $5.99 Amazon Pantry credit (sometimes Amazon offers you a single dollar for a virtual purchase, an ebook or an audiobook for example, instead). This basically means that you’ll get free prime pantry delivery the next time you use this service.
Just a quick reminder before we move on to the next point, if you’re a student with an active .EDU email, you can get prime for 50% off for 4 consecutive years or until you graduate (Prime Student program), thus making Prime Pantry a very useful and beneficial service for students!
The Shipping Restrictions of Prime Pantry
Amazon have always had shipping restrictions when it comes to delivering stuff worldwide, but Prime Pantry differs in ways that may come out as being more restrictive than ever before.
Continental U.S. only
Yes, Continental U.S. only, which means that Prime Pantry isn’t available in Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico and it surely isn’t available in any other country in the world for that matter. I mean, come on Amazon, you’re willing to ship Ice Makers and Grilling Tools, but not some pantry items?
Ways to get around this do exist; however, they may violate the terms of service of Amazon Prime so try them at your own risk!
Ground shipping only
Unfortunately, Prime Pantry doesn’t make use of the ever so great two-day shipping feature that Amazon Prime offers. This is due to the fact that all pantry boxes are shipped through ground shipping, which usually takes four days on average.
In addition, if you leave non-Pantry items in your cart at the time of checkout, they’ll ship separately from the pantry box.
Residential or business addresses only
Most of the time, Prime can ship anywhere. That includes Amazon Lockers, P.O. boxes and such. However, Prime Pantry’s shipping excludes all of these ‘’exceptional address types’’: No APO, DPO, and FPO addresses, no P.O. boxes, not even Amazon’s own address type, Amazon Lockers.
Prime Pantry Qualifying Items
As you probably have already noticed, 99% of the items that are Pantry-eligible are non-perishable household goods, as in items that are not usually subject to rapid deterioration or decay. And I mean, the name of the service already speaks for itself (“things that belong in your pantry room”).
These item types include:
- Bottled and canned beverages, like soft drinks and water.
- Cleaning products, like oven cleaner.
- Laundry supplies, like bleach.
- Food storage, like plastic or glass containers.
- Hygiene products, like toothpaste or toothbrushes.
- First aid supplies, like medical tape and bandages.
- Pet care products, like shampoo for your dog/cat.
- Snacks, like potato chips and cookies.
- Cooking essentials, like honey and sugar.
- General supplies, like paper and ink.
- Healthcare products, like surgical shoes and vitamins.
As seen above, multiple categories of items are Pantry-eligible, in addition to many more that aren’t mentioned. But, fresh products or groceries aren’t part of the Pantry catalog. For that, you should use Amazon Fresh instead.
Unfortunately, these restrictions make the service somewhat meaningless outside the U.S. but like many services that were introduced before it, it’ll probably expand to Hawaii & Alaska first then maybe, to the rest of the world, too.
Lack of Luxury or Generic Brands
Although not a deal breaker for many, some people really care about brands when shopping. I personally prefer to shop based on the value of the items in comparison to their prices and not the brand that they come from. There is nothing wrong with being picky about this sort of thing, but unfortunately, I think that you should be aware that Pantry won’t really do you justice if your tastes are more on the expensive side.
And it doesn’t stop there, if you’re big on the whole bargain-hunting thing and you always opt for generic brands because of that, then Pantry won’t do you justice either. In fact, using Prime Pantry will noticeably increase your spending if you’re into generic brands shopping only.
Prime Pantry Deals and Digital Coupons
A somewhat neglected feature, Amazon does offer a Coupons program for its Prime members. And to be honest, I had no idea that coupons existed before I began researching for this article. You can basically get an instant discount on an item at checkout after you click Clip Coupon.
Fortunately for you, a lot of Pantry items are eligible for these digital coupons. These discounts may seem minimal or even worthless individually, but when you rack up to 45 pounds worth of stuff with discounts applied on each one of them, it adds up and becomes rather noticeable.
And If you’re the kind of person who has the time to regularly clip coupons, you can save enough money to negate the $5.99 shipping fee and maybe a bit more past that. But you have to keep in mind that coupons have a timer on them and are only applicable up to a particular quantity.
Prime Pantry vs Grocery Store: Who’s the Winner?
Well, after checking all of these details about the service, a couple of things can be concluded about it, some good and some bad.
For one, the service is very convenient, there is no need for you to leave your house, you can shop online, and everything gets dropped off in a box (or many) right at your doorstep. Students, who get a discounted Prime membership, can benefit the most from this service.
In addition, the service can be extremely helpful for people who don’t have cars and don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of having to walk back from the supermarket holding five bags of groceries in each hand.
But, as mentioned before, the flat-rate shipping and the lack of luxury or generic brands can be deal breakers for some people. The four-day shipping is also a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the usual two-day shipping that Prime offers.
At the end of the day, the final decision is yours and yours only.
What do you think about Prime Pantry? Are you already a user of the service? If so, what do you enjoy most about it? And which aspect of it do you think should be changed for the better? If you don’t use it, why not? Which change to the current state of the service would convince you to give it a try? Do not hesitate to share your thoughts below!