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*Updated May 8, 2017*
Amazon has lowered their free shipping minimum to $25 for non-Prime members, making it the second time they've lowered it in 2017 after previously raising it to $49 in 2016. This move will compete with Walmart removing the subscription model for their ShippingPass service and replacing it with free two-day shipping on all orders of $35 or more. Coincidentally, Target just went the opposite direction and increased their free shipping minimum to $35, up from $25.
Here's what Amazon's free shipping minimums have looked like over the years.
- January 2002, free shipping on orders above $99 via Free Super Saver Shipping program (before Prime launched in 2005)
- 2003, free shipping on order $25 and above
- February 2013, free shipping minimum raised to $35
- February 2016, free shipping minimum raised to $49
- February 2017, free shipping minimum lowered to $35
- May 2017, Amazon free shipping minimum lowered to $25
As you can see, this is the second time since Amazon Prime launched that the eCommerce giant has lowered its free shipping threshold for non-members. Stiffer competition from other retailers in the free shipping category is most likely what pushed them to make this decision. Walmart had to bow out of the subscription model earlier this year after admitting that Amazon was just too far ahead of the game. Instead, they offered their ShippingPass service for free, and let's not forget they also own Jet.com. Those two factors combined probably forced Amazon's hand, and as a response, they lowered their free shipping minimum back down to $35. You can also get free shipping on orders that include at least $25 in book purchases, something that didn't change with last year's price increase.
Many Slickdealers were vocal about their disapproval of Amazon raising free shipping to $49 last year, citing that the combination of slower shipping times, smaller inventory for non-Prime members and the increase in free shipping minimums would make them take their money elsewhere. With Google Express, Ebay, Target and Walmart/Jet.com, there are too many options for consumers to get their products elsewhere, and Amazon has probably realized that now.
h/t to MAKNYC who posted about this first in the forums.
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