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In a move that should make Amazon think twice about its rumored Prime price hike, Newegg announced it will begin testing a Prime-like delivery service. In addition to expedited shipping, the $49.99 annual cost of Newegg Premier will also offer perks like exclusive deals, free returns, and waived restocking fees. But is Newegg's cheaper service an instant win for the DIY tech crowd or are you better off keeping that 50 bucks in your pocket?
Like Amazon Prime, Newegg Premier comes with a few extra perks. So in addition to guaranteed delivery in three days or less (Amazon Prime offers 2-day delivery), membership also brings discounts on 2-day and 1-day shipping, early bird notifications of upcoming sales, free returns, waived restocking fees, member-only deals, 100 Egg Point rewards (equivalent to $1), and a private customer service line for those times you need extra help.
Unfortunately, when compared to Amazon's Prime service, Newegg Premier fall short: it lacks a number of perks many customers care about, like select access to Amazon Instant Video and dozens of eBook freebies. And while Newegg might be a must-shop site for the PC crowd, the extent of merchandise it offers pales in comparison to Amazon's catalog, which includes everything from hard drives to groceries. So despite the added bonuses, Newegg's Premier service really boils down to shipping discounts and waived restocking fees.
Scoring a deal with free shipping at Newegg isn't difficult. In fact, since the start of the month, 86% of the Newegg deals we've posted have included free shipping via Super Eggsaver service, which takes 4 to 7 days for delivery. While that timeframe isn't the same as Newegg Premier's guaranteed 3 days or less promise, for the average consumer it might be good enough to forgo purchasing a $50 subscription.
At the time of this writing, it was still relatively easy to find Newegg products with free shipping, from $100 dollar motherboards to cheap $8 flash drives. The few times we did encounter shipping charges, it was usually a mere 99 cents. However, we wonder if the testing of this new subscription means that the Newegg store will eventually scale back on its generous free shipping policy. In that case, heavy Newegg customers may benefit from the new delivery service, assuming they spend at least $4 or more per month on shipping fees.
Readers, what do you think about the Newegg Premier service? Is a $50 annual payment for free shipping and restocking a reasonable price to pay? Or do you think Newegg will have to throw in a few more extras to get you to sign up? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.