By the Numbers: Jet vs Amazon Subscribe & Save

Jet vs Amazon Subscribe & Save

08/02/2015 Update: Re-framed this post to reflect monthly items without a one off purchase and provide more context as to the potential Jet has to add savings based on how much you buy at once. Thanks to Reddit user pasttense for the feedback that lead to this re-framing.

Last weekend I discovered a new service for shopping online called Jet through this conversation on Twitter. I was intrigued to see if this new service could compete with Amazon on pricing, specifically for Subscribe & Save items. We’ve used Amazon Subscribe & Save for about two years now to have our staple household items delivered to us on a schedule and (primarily) to save between 5% and 20% off of those items in doing so. The biggest downside for us with Amazon Subscribe & Save as of late is that a lot of the offerings that qualify for the program are bulk size quantities and we’ve moved into an apartment that’s a third the size of our previous home[1]. We just don’t have room for all items to come in bulk orders like we used to and I’m sure we’re not alone in that. After perusing Jet’s site I decided to build our monthly cart and see what our cost differences would be. I’m going to share those differences below in the simplest form, by count.

Items Amazon Jet
Pampers Size 5 Diapers $0.29/diaper $0.23/diaper
Pampers Sensitive Wipes $0.02/wipe $0.02/wipe
Charmin Basic Toilet Paper $0.56/roll $0.29/roll
Puffins cereal $3.95/box $2.51/box
Peter Rabbit Organics Pumpkin, Carrot And Apple Packets $1.75/packet $0.73/packet
Barbara's Morning Oat Crunch Cereal $4.30/box $3.91/box
Tide HE Original Scent, 100-Ounce Bottle $11.05/bottle $8.69/bottle
Peter Rabbit Organics Sweet Potato, Corn & Apple Packets $1.92/packet $1.33/packet
Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener $4.98/bottle $4.44/bottle
CoffeeSock Chemex Filter $6.16/filter $5.35/filter
Opti-Free Puremoist Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution $8.02/bottle $6.67/bottle
Total (when buying one of each item) $42.99 $34.18
Total savings on monthly items alone $8.82 20.5%

While everything above provides a fair representation of a regular month’s order, there is one last item that I ordered which shows where the real power of Jet kicks in. With Jet, the more you buy the more you (can) save. In this case I ordered a hand mixer as I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies more frequently and our literal hand mixer recently broke which has left me using wooden spoons like an animal. With all of the above items in my cart I received a substantial discount on the hand mixer as you can see below. Adding this to the total calculations adds another 12% to the savings Jet may provide compared to Amazon when purchasing items together.

Hamilton Beach SoftScrape 6-Speed Hand Mixer $38.49 $20.72
Total savings on monthly items with the hand mixer $26.59 32.63%

You can find the calculations behind everything above here. I highly recommend you check it out as there are links to each product along with the breakdown. It was compiled in Soulver.

Comparing Code

I wish that the amount of time I spent compiling the breakdown in cost above was able to stand as a solid argument as to which service was cheaper but the truth is that we live in the age of dynamic pricing . The main difference between buying these products from Amazon or Jet is the algorithm used to give me these prices at the time I went to purchase them. Amazon has long been the master of dynamic pricing with the largest product base at their disposal to continue honing the ability to supply us with giant boxes of Nerds at cut throat prices. Jet admits that dyanamic pricing is their competitive advantage while (wisely) bludgeoning the explanation of their algorithm with Kumail Nanjiani as the jester in their video explaining how the service works.

Overall my experience with Jet has at least gotten me interested enough to continue using it during my free 6 month trial[2] to replace my monthly subscribe and save purchases if it comes out ahead in cost. It’s going to take a lot to untangle my Amazon usage but competition is always a good thing.

  1. Thanks cost of living differences! Chicago costs all of the money to live in while Memphis only costs part of the money.  ↩

  2. Use the promo code lessmayo when signing up to get 6 months instead of the standard 3 month free trial.  ↩