One of my goals in 2020 is to read more books (I read a large amount of blog articles and wikis every day by no means have I skipped reading after I graduated high school). I looked at Amazon's new Kindles and decided to order one. I have not used e-readers in a very long time and decided to give them another chance. I noticed at checkout that I was given the option to pay in five monthly interest free installments of $18. This was a friendly bonus as I was about to spend $100 either way and Amazon just made my night much easier. It was even better when I was not asked for my social security number to pull a credit report.
Eligibility & Requirements
I imagine that Amazon's algorithm decides who it's safe to loan money to based on several factors. And they probably won't tell us everything to stop people from gaming the system. As in their deciding factors for me personally, it probably helps that my household as a whole spends several hundred dollars a month on various Amazon purchases without really thinking about it. We procure so many various tiny things and rely on Amazon to send them on time. Reflecting on my use of Amazon as a whole, the world would really be different without such an easy online shopping platform. We were rearranging the kitchen today and we needed more surge protectors because we moved the microwave to another part of the kitchen luckily it took all of one minute to open the Amazon app click purchase and confirm the order and it'll be here tomorrow afternoon￼. Imagine having to go back to the store for the same product waiting in the checkout lines hoping that they have a surge protector available, let alone available at the same price. It would really change the way our workflows￼￼ went and slow down life. The only limiting factor in my purchase was my Wi-Fi speed.￼ Back to discussion of Amazon's special financing their offer page states:
“To be eligible for this offer, you must reside in the United States of America, your Amazon.com account must have been active for at least one year, you must have a valid credit card associated with your Amazon.com account, and you must have a good payment history on Amazon.com. This offer may not be available to every customer and may not be available to you for all qualifying products. We reserve the right to consider for each transaction factors including your transaction history and past products purchased on Amazon.com and the nature and price of the qualifying product, in determining your eligibility for this offer. We will not use a credit report to determine your eligibility.” https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202095050
Instead of a credit report they're basing it on your payment history with Amazon. And the fact that you have a valid credit card attached to your account. This offer is extra nice given that while I am not eligible for Amazon's Prime Visa Card due to limited personal income, I was still eligible for a secured credit card from Discover Bank and it helped me meet the eligibility requirements of this offer.
Benefits to Amazon
Most of Amazon's customers make several purchases a month and create constant cash flow for the company. By giving customers the device early and on a payment plan they increase the odds the customers will stay subscribed to Amazon Prime (for Prime Reading) and Kindle Unlimited and that they'll buy more books on the Kindle platform. Amazon doesn't have to wait for the customer to decide they're willing to spend a lot of money at once and they increase the odds that the customer will purchase a Kindle and bring all of the additional cashflow that comes with it.￼ There is always the risk a borrower won't pay back but because of DRM Amazon can disable the devices remotely, disincentivizing people from deciding to stop paying. And Amazon still has a lot of data on who will and will not pay on time.
It was a fast process done from the iPhone app. I got this information attached to my order: I had to pay $24.07 upfront and still owe them $71.99 over the next few months in payments of $18.00. Amazon is risking $71.99 in a worse case scenario. They don't lose this money unless a customer fails to make the required payments. The device sits in a warehouse until it's ready to be shipped. If all goes according to plan Amazon continues to make a profit from all of the subscription payments and e-book purchases throughout the lifetime of the product. This is a really smart move on Amazon's part and I imagine it must be paying off pretty well for such a large company.
Amazon makes it easier for me to justify a large purchase knowing that I lose the money over time and not all at once and have the money available to cover other expenses and increasing both of our cashflow. Yay capitalism?!?