I received an email this morning to notify me of some changes coming to the Amazon Mom program.  Messages with the subject line, “Changes to Your […]” never seem to contain anything positive, and this is no different.  Amazon Mom will be cutting back on some of the core discounts that made this program great.

Update, November 17, 2014:  My $30 credit arrived in my inbox.  Check your email!

For those unfamiliar with Amazon Mom, it is an opt-in program for Amazon Prime subscribers with small children – the core benefits include discounted diapers and wipes, plus some other periodic discounts to help out with those things that we need a lot of over the first couple of years.  Despite the name, dads or anyone else buying the supplies are welcome to join.  It is certainly part of my manufacturing leisure time strategy, as the baby supplies that we need show up at the front door, rather than having to burn valuable non-working hours going to the store.

In the past, Amazon Mom has included the following core benefits:

  • 20% discount on eligible diapers and wipes purchased through Subscribe and Save
  • 15% discount on baby registry items
  • A total of 20% discount to all Subscribe and Save items in any month where you ship 5 or more items

The bolding above may seem incomplete, but I’ve highlighted the benefits set to devalue.  As of November 11, the following changes will occur:

  • Wipes will be discounted by only 5% when purchased through Subscribe and Save (and no discount otherwise).  This essentially means that wipes are no longer discounted as part of Amazon Mom as 5% is the standard S&S discount
  • The cumulative 20% discount on Subscribe and Save shipments of 5 or more items will reduce to 15% total

Overall, this is a moderate devaluation of what has been a solid discount program.  Amazon Mom made diapers and wipes cheap enough that it wasn’t worth going to the store to buy them, and the 20% S&S discount encouraged us to add other necessities to the monthly shipment.  Diapers will continue to be cheaper than I can get them at Walmart, before even factoring in gas or time.  Wipes will now go for about what they do in the store, meaning Babies R Us’s frequent promotions can make it cheaper to go to the store.

From the start, Amazon Mom struck me as an affinity program meant to capture your other shopping by offering steep discounts on two items you would absolutely be buying for at least two years.  The cutbacks aren’t significant enough on their own to change my shopping patterns, so maybe from a marketing perspective, Amazon realized they were putting themselves in too competitive a position – although the prices did not look like loss leaders or anything like that.

On the bright side, Amazon has offered up a $30 credit to those of us with devaluing benefits.  Plus, I’ve been ordering wipes a little too frequently and am currently sitting on 3 cases of them (about 3 months’ worth).  I’ll give Amazon credit on their marketing of Amazon Mom – they have found a sweet spot where I will pay more after November 11, but not enough to drive to Walmart instead.

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