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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stores across the country are offering back-to-school sales on everything students will need for campus life -- from books and electronics, to cleaning supplies and toiletries. Some stores even offer extra discounts to students with a valid school I.D.
For online student shoppers, Amazon offers a free trial of Amazon Prime for six months. Under the free trial, students receive free two-day shipping, exclusive deals and promotions, and unlimited photo storage. When the free trial ends, students will have to pay a fee of $49 per year, which is 50% off the cost of Prime membership. The student fee includes extra perks such as unlimited instant streaming of movies, TV shows and music.
The free trial is a great deal for students who just want to take advantage of all the exclusive back-to-school deals that Prime members receive by email and also the free two-day shipping for last-minute items. But is it worth paying the $49 Amazon Student Prime membership fee afterward?
Students who use Amazon to purchase at least five items with two-day shipping or nine items with standard shipping pay just as much in shipping fees as they would for the Amazon Student membership. With the membership, students save money with any additional purchases made that year. Once the paid membership begins, students no longer need to pay extra for movies on Netflix or songs on iTunes or Spotify.
College students actively enrolled in at least one course at a college in the U.S. or Puerto Rico can sign up for the six-month free trial of Amazon Prime. Students must also have a ".edu" email address and be able to provide proof of enrollment upon request by Amazon.
Note that Amazon Prime subscriptions will automatically upgrade to a full paid Prime subscription at the end of the fourth year of Amazon Student Prime or after graduation, whichever comes first. Many users take advantage of the Prime deal as students because they find the full cost of a Prime membership to be expensive.
"It was worth it when I was going to school and I qualified for the student membership," writes Melanie Gibson, a former Amazon Student member. "I know a lot of people besides me that were forced to cancel because $99 was too much all at once to have taken out of a credit card. I bet they would get a lot more people if they had some sort of payment plan rather than asking us to pay for it in one big chunk."
Even without an Amazon Student Prime membership, students can still take advantage of great deals on test prep materials and buying or renting textbooks. Here are some great back-to-school deals that are currently open to non-Prime members:
Available until August 31st:
Available until September 7th:
Available until September 30th:
Available until October 31st: