Amazon Downgrades Diaper Deals

Tuesday marked a sad day for parents everywhere who had been taking advantage of the Amazon Mom diaper program from  Amazon Mom is a free membership program targeted to parents that offered a 30% discount on diapers and other baby-related products.  An Amazon Mom membership also came with a year of free shipping as well.  Considering that an average baby goes through 2,700 diapers his first year at an average cost of $700, this 30% discount afforded quite a bit of savings for parents.  This combined with the convenience of the diapers being delivered to the front door free of charge made this a no-brainer diaper buying strategy for many savvy parents.

If this sounds too good to be true, it was.  Amazon Mom members received an e-mail last week detailing changes to the program that went into effect this past Tuesday, and the consensus among parents is that the changes stink (pun intended).  There are three major changes to the program, and to summarize:

1.  The maximum discount on diapers is now 20% instead of 30%

2.  New members receive 3 months of free shipping instead of a year

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3.  Once the free shipping period is over, and Amazon Prime membership will be necessary to continue to receive the diaper discount, at a cost of $79 annually

The $79 annual fee combined with the decreased discount will dethrone Amazon as the cheapest source for diapers.  Many dissatisfied parents are already blogging about strategies for using coupons combined with sales at retailers such as Target and Walmart to score better savings and divert business from Amazon.  Others are taking the approach that worked with Bank of America and Verizon over the past few months and channeling consumer backlash by petitioning against the changes.  It will be interesting to see over the weeks and months to come if sales are significantly affected by the changes and/or advocacy efforts… and further to see if it’s ultimately Amazon or the moms who get soaked in the end.

Recommended Reading:
See Kelly Hodges series on Financial Fundamentals, as well as her series on Financial Planning.


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