Newegg announces Amazon Prime-like service

Online retailer Newegg.com has announced testing of a service that offers expedited shipping and other perks. Dealnews.com's Louis Ramirez explores whether this could be a good deal for customers. 

By , Guest blogger

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    A screenshot of Newegg.com's "Premier" membership homepage. The retailer said for a $49.99 fee each year, customers can get faster shipping, free returns and other benefits when they order merchandise from the website.
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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?

Newegg Premier Has Few Perks, No Streaming Video

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.

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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.

The End of Free Shipping?

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 time frame 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.

Louis Ramirez is a senior features writer for dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.

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