A year in, how competitively priced is Amazon Pantry?

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Amazon launched Amazon Pantry just over a year ago in November 2015. The service offers more than 4,000 low-priced everyday essentials in everyday sizes.

On the day Amazon Pantry launched I placed an order to test the service. I ordered 4 x six packs of Coke £2.90ea, 4 x boxes of 12 Whiskers cat food £2.50ea, 1 x 2kg of Whiskers dry cat food £3.50, 4 packs of Dreamies cat treats £1.00ea, 1 x 80 PG Tips tea bags £2.00, 1 x Pringles £1.00 and 2 x 6 packs of Walkers crisps £1.00ea.

The cost of my first order was £37.09 including the £2.99 carriage cost, but was this subsidised introductory pricing or would Amazon be able to maintain keen prices long term? Now, a year later, we can place the same order again to compare prices.

At the time I compared prices with Tesco and in particular the cat food was competitive – £2.50 on Amazon compared to £3.50 (or two for £6.00 on special offer) at Tesco. Today for that product it’s a dead heat priced at £2.66 on Amazon and still £3.50 at Tesco, but on a 3 for £8.00 special offer Tesco’s price works out to £2.66 (£2.66 and two thirds of a penny before someone calls me out for not being entirely accurate!).

So with the cat food being more expensive you might be expecting Amazon’s pricing to no longer be as competitive as it was at launch. That’s certainly what I was expecting, I was guessing that once they’d sucked me in as a customer they might edge prices up so let’s compare the entire order.

The tea bags are down from £2.00 to £1.25, the Pringles are a penny cheaper and the crisps are 6p more expensive.

You can’t get six packs of cola any more but three eight packs at £2.90 each give the same number of cans saving £4.10. Tesco price is £3.50 but they’re on promotion at £2.50 so today are 40p a pack cheaper than Amazon.

Overall the original £37.09 order costs £32.68 today or a saving (including carriage cost) of £4.41.

Some prices have dropped, others have risen but it’s fair to say that Amazon Pantry is overall just as competitive as it was at launch. Compared to traditional supermarkets Amazon’s prices aren’t spectacular, but even allowing for the delivery cost they’re competitive and it certainly beats carrying heavy bulky shopping home.

The only downside to Amazon Pantry is you’ll be wondering what to do with an ever growing collection of extremely tough Amazon Pantry cardboard boxes. Of course they can go in the recycling but they’re so strong it seems a shame to throw them away.

If you’re an Amazon Prime customer and haven’t tried Amazon Pantry yet then I’d recommend you give it a go. Order the heaviest and bulkiest items that you don’t want to carry home from the shops and have them delivered to your doorstep. It’s hard to see what’s not to like, apart from Amazon getting even more of your monthly spend and even more competition for Tesco and the other supermarkets.

6 Responses

  1. I started to fill a box a few weeks after it came out. I quickly realised they didn’t have fresh food like fruit and veg and didn’t see the point so backed out. I can do an online shop at Tesco and get everything in one go.

    I haven’t been back and until they do a proper range of goods I won’t be bothering.

  2. Does pantry give any control over delivery day/time?

    For working people the convienence falls away if you have to be at home for a delivery.

    If there is no choice of delivery slot then it would seem to only benefit those who work from home or are housebound.

  3. Think you asked the wrong question. Amazon have a long history of using low prices to drive others out and then raising prices. Its what they did with books and what they use the sales data from marketplace sellers for. When they had their “can’t sell cheaper on cheaper websites” policy they claimed to be concerned about pricing, but they don’t apply it to themselves. I’m multilingual and have found very substantial savings buying from Amazon France and Germany, including a huge saving on a Dyson. Work that one out! Made in the UK but much cheaper on Amazon’s European sites.


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