The Pandemic Put Amazon in a Prime Position

By WIRED Staff

MC: That is charmingly esoteric.

LG: These are all really small items, though. And I had them delivered because we're living in a pandemic. And should I feel weird about that?

MC: Well, we are going to talk about that very issue right now on Gadget Lab.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music]

MC: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I am Michael Calore, a senior editor at WIRED, and I am joined remotely by my cohost, WIRED senior writer Lauren Goode.

LG: Hello. I'm an orderer of esoteric things on Amazon.com.

MC: We are also joined by WIRED staff writer Louryn Strampe.

Louryn Strampe: Hi, thanks for having me.

LG: The Laurens are taking over the podcast. Very excited about this, Mike, and this is Louryn Strampe's first time on the Gadget Lab, so I'm really excited.

LS: Me too.

MC: Welcome. Well, today we are talking about Amazon. Amazon, of course, was one of the big tech companies that had to participate remotely in the big antitrust hearing at Congress this week, where some of the company's practices were questioned by members of a congressional subcommittee. But meanwhile, millions of people, including us, are still using Amazon services as a kind of glue in our lives.

Later in the show, we'll talk about how Amazon is doing in the pandemic and the ways that other retailers have been able to adapt better than Amazon has. But first, we're going to talk about the service itself, specifically Amazon Prime. If you're a Prime subscriber, you're probably familiar with a lot of what the service offers, but there are other hidden features, beyond the streaming videos and free shipping, that many people don't know about. So we are here to help.

Now, Louryn Strampe, you just wrote a story for WIRED about these hidden Prime perks. What is a good place to start?

LS: My favorite perk is called Amazon Day, and I think it's probably the least alluring perk, in terms of its description, but I find it really useful. Basically, with Amazon Day, you set one day a week, and that is when you get all of your Amazon packages delivered. So if you're like me and you order a Kindle case one day, and then the next day you realize, I don't know, you want a scented candle or something, and you place a separate order, Amazon Day just consolidates all of those packages. So you deal with less cardboard. It's a smaller carbon footprint. And I find it's a really big sanity saver.

LG: Louryn, where do you find or access Amazon Day?

LS: So on Amazon, you go to the top, and it'll have your account there. And you go down to your account and somewhere in this gigantic sea of links, you'll see Amazon Day. They don't make it easy, but it's really convenient.

MC: I think now they're also offering it as an option, when you're actually completing the purchase and you're choosing shipping, you can choose to claim an Amazon Day.

LS: Yeah. And it's nice, because if you do need something urgently, you can still select shipping speeds for individual items.

LG: This is such a great little feature. I never knew about this.

MC: Tell us about family sharing. There's something that Amazon offers called My Household. And I think for a lot of people who are, particularly now, stuck at home with somebody who has an Amazon Prime subscription, and they have an Amazon Prime subscription, they're actually throwing money away. Because if you have the same household, you can combine a lot of the benefits into one account. Is that right?