4 Ways to Be a More Efficient Woodturner through Amazon Prime
Sometimes in life you can’t see the forest for the trees, especially if you are looking for burls. We can focus on the detail and end up missing the big picture. I see this happening to me all the time. Sometimes it’s those big picture moments that help us find small efficiencies that increase our productivity.
I had one of those big picture moments this week when I was considering the benefits that using Amazon Prime has given to my business. We’ve been Amazon Prime Members for the last 5 years, even though we live in Canada and our account is with Amazon.com in the USA. Amazon Prime gives us access to many products like quality pencils, exotic woodturning blanks, wood glue for segmented turning, and shop equipment, (like a turner’s press for joining pens or a grinder to sharpen your tools) that I just don’t have easy access to in my rural area.
We have our Amazon orders delivered to a local UPS store that is just across the border, on the American side. The convenience of being able to easily purchase these products has made the investment in Amazon Prime well worth it. Keep in mind if you are bringing things across an international border for business use there is special paperwork that needs to be filled out to make your customs declaration.
There are four ways that utilizing Amazon Prime with help you become a better woodturner.
Lower your expenses
- It will lower your business expenses. This will lower your stress from having to make product just to cover delivery charges. When you lower expenses you will have higher profits, which leads to less stress for you. That is a good thing.
As a woodturner you have to include your expenses for doing your business. Shipping or delivery costs are an expense of your business. How often do you have woodturning supplies or equipment shipped to you in a year? What was your delivery cost for last year?
You can’t always leave your shop and travel to the nearest woodturning store. Even if the store is close to you there is also the time spent in the store to consider as well. How long does it take you to produce $ 99.00 of product? (that is the cost of Amazon Prime) How much time would you spend travelling to and from the store? (Include any browsing and gossiping time as well!) What is the cost to you for making that trip? For me the closest woodworking store is a 4 hour, 320 km (200 mile) round trip. That gets expensive.
The other thing that the annual fee would do is fix the delivery cost of your supplies. You don’t have to worry about rate hikes or making too many purchases. You pay one fee and it covers you for the entire year. It also helps you out when you forget to add an item to your list. I know I’ve made trips to the hardware store and bought a bunch of supplies and didn’t remember the one thing I really needed to buy until I was halfway home. With free shipping you just make another order.
Increase your efficiency and speed of delivery
- It will increase your efficiency. The fast delivery service will reduce the bottlenecks that can happen when you run out of production supplies. Knowing that you can order and receive the product quickly is also a great stress reliever.
Two days for delivery is really quite quick. I can say that even in rural NE Washington our Amazon Prime deliveries are super quick. This can reduce your down time when you have a broken piece of equipment or you need a specific part to complete a project. Getting your work done faster makes your entire production more efficient.
More time in the shop
- It will increase your shop time. Using Amazon Prime will reduce your travel time and your in-store shopping time. Shopping on-line also allows you to hold items in a shopping cart until you are ready to make that purchase. More time in the shop with less stress is the way to be able to become a better turner. Definitely more time in the shop is a super benefit.
Access to quality products and bigger selection
- If you live rural, as I do, it will give you access to a wider range of products that you might have to travel to a large city to find, without Amazon Prime. This also gathers the information in one place rather than searching to compare options from different suppliers. So the range of selection, in one place, is a good benefit as well.
Available in the USA
While I live in Canada, my Amazon Prime membership is with Amazon.com. Amazon .ca also has their own Amazon Prime membership. Check out your local Amazon online, and research whether Prime is right for you.
We have sayings like “Penny wise – pound foolish”. Well that dates me a bit as penny and pound are units of English currency. Here in Canada we don’t even have the penny anymore, which is another story.
How does this apply to Amazon Prime? Well, Amazon Prime is an investment of $99.00 per year and promises you two day delivery within the contiguous United States and more.
Does the investment in Amazon Prime seem high? Not when you look at the benefit. Shipping costs in Canada average $12 to $15 per parcel. So if I make only 8 orders a year for shop supplies or equipment through my Prime account, I’ve covered my investment in Prime, just based on shipping costs alone. Those same parcels take an average of 14 business days to reach me from Ontario. That’s two weeks of lost productivity. My time is irreplaceable. I can always make more money. Worldview!
There is a long list of extra benefits that come with the Prime service. Some depend on your zip code and your access to Amazon related stores. However, if you like listening to music in your shop then this benefit is for you. Prime Music is a feature that gives you ad-free access to over a million songs. A few minutes at night and you could have a new sound experience every day while you turn.
Are there other personal products you are shopping for that could be delivered to your door? Shopping on the internet and utilizing Amazon Prime saves you time and money as well. Less time shopping and more time turning sounds pretty good to me.
Amazon Prime Discounts
Amazon often offers special discounts to Amazon Prime members. So if you know what you need you might be able to get it at a special price. This requires patience on your part but it is another way to save some money. This is especially true of big ticket items like a lathe. They do go on sale throughout the year so you just have to keep your eyes open.
Twice a year there are promotion times for Amazon Prime. Obviously Black Friday in November is well known but Amazon also has an “Amazon Prime day early in July”. This is when to look for the really special deals. Amazon also has a trial period for Amazon Prime. This is a good way to try out the membership and see if it suits you. The only caution is to make sure you cancel before the 30 days are up otherwise you’ll be charged for the annual fee. They do have a money back guarantee so that if you cancel after 4 months you’ll get a refund for 8 months that you didn’t use.
When you invest in Amazon Prime there is one additional benefit that you will have. Since we have used Amazon Prime for a few years we have never run out of cardboard to start our wood stove with! Something else for you to consider!
Sign up for your Amazon Prime Trial Membership here.