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Amazon Quietly Raised The Free Shipping Minimum to $49

Did you happen to notice the free shipping minimum increase for non-Prime members recently?
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Amazon free shipping

Amazon raised the minimum purchase price to receive free shipping for non-Prime members to $49, up from the $35 previous minimum. If you're ordering books, the shipping minimum actually dropped to $25, but we're pretty sure most people will look past that and, instead, feel more pressure to sign up for the online retail giant's membership.

Amazon last raised the shipping minimum in October 2013; that time it went up from $25 to $35. Non-Prime members also have to wait five to eight days for their orders to be delivered, as opposed to the free two-day shipping you get with Prime. Additionally, Amazon has added quite a few new features, or upgraded existing ones, to their Prime membership benefits. Take Amazon Video and Amazon Music, for instance, which is included at no additional cost. However, those who have held firm and not signed up for the $99 annual membership ($49 for students after a six-month free trial) might finally take the plunge, or alternatively, order less frequently.

Amazon has made quite a few changes to their offering over the past year, such as changing how many people can share a Prime membership. They weren't all negative, though. The option of free same-day delivery was well received when it rolled out, and offering 20% off all new video games was also fairly popular. Whether you like Amazon or not, there isn't much debating that you get your money's worth when you sign up for Prime. On the other hand, many people might not want (or be able) to take advantage of the extra features, and could possibly start looking elsewhere for their online shopping. Where exactly they will look is a completely different story.

Can anyone else really compete with Amazon? Will this change drive more Prime membership sign-ups or push people away? Let us know what you think!



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About the Author

Johan Mengesha is the Editorial Director at Slickdeals in Los Angeles, Calif. Mengesha has written for print and online media outlets since 2003 and has a journalism degree from Cal State Northridge. Published work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Daily News," the "Daily Sundial" and eHow.com.

Don't have Amazon Prime? Students can get a free 6-Month Amazon Prime trial with free 2-day shipping, unlimited music, unlimited video streaming & more. If you're not a student, there's also a free 1-Month Amazon Prime trial available.

44 Comments

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HIDDEN RewardRenegade 02-21-2016 at 11:34 PM
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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep 11Dimension?
#3
I think the reason to raise free shipping is Amazon wants us to spend more on total amount each time if we want free shipping. This also encourages me to buy smaller priced items from local stores.
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Last edited by 11Dimension February 22, 2016 at 12:33 AM.
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#4
Amazon wants us to spend more on total amount each time if we want free shipping or driving customers being a Prime Member for sure.. It's a WIN WIN situation for them for sure..
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#5
Amazon was really smart to get shoppers hooked with their free shipping deals and now shoppers cannot do without that service. Its like getting so used to something that it becomes normal not to have it. When it get taken away then you would lost be without it. So shoppers ante up the little extra money to keep that service thinking it's just not that much.
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#6
Amazon Arkham Horror Dice list $11.99
Price: $9.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49.

Coolstuffinc list $9.95 price $6.49

fantasyflightgames list $9.95, interesting, FFG doesn't know it's MSRPs?

Note: these dice are also listed as MSRP of $12.99 incorrect on Amazon to hide even better the shipping.

So 3 sets of these dice from Amazon, I'm paying $28.68 and $10.38 in shipping? Lucky me. Guess I should get 5 sets for that free shipping?

I'm ordering them from Cool Stuff Inc plus their shipping, don't care if it's a break even or not. I see no reason to support Amazon's business model.

The list of misrepresenting MSRP on Amazon goes on from what I can tell. Purchased an 8 quart pressure cooker from Macy's $25 cheaper then Amazon, my guess the difference in shipping. And yes it was over a $100, so free ship. Pressure cookers have really high MSRPs, but sell well under it.

I just shop around online like we used to at the mall. I never buy shoes from Amazon, those online shoe only shops offer better deals. I have saved quite a bit of money over Amazon at other sites.

This is where Amazon has suckered people in. At one time they were a bargain, but they leverage slowly over time that "I want it yesterday", mentality and that "I just go to Amazon because it is so convenient.", one stop shopping. You are now paying for that convenience.

They have lured people into not shopping around over time, now price creeping, I can tell you it adds up. Worst is the grey market crap you can get, try ordering a made for the US market Hikvision security cam from Amazon. You may get the Chinese encoded model. It comes with a loaded, modified firmware, as soon as you try to update the firmware it sees the region code that can't be changed and will only load the Chinese language version.

Amazon seems not to care, business as usual? Their reviews are crap, and mostly noise, they mix review of different versions of the same item. About went crazy looking at phone cases that would fit a Moto E 2nd generation. Ordered it st8 from the manufacturer's website, it was cheaper. Amazon had a $6 shipping fee added to base price, free ship at $35, cough.

Don't you think you should see a rise in the Prime subscription if outside shipping cost is driving the free at prices up? I would think that would be more of a lost to them them then $35 shipping? Maybe not, if Prime users fill their cart with under $49 dollars, that's a win-win for them, stacking that shipping until it becomes profit.

I wonder if Amazon thinks no one notices $49 is basically $50, which is double the old $25.00? Barnes and Noble is still holding free shipping at $25.00.

Funny, every time I see these prices go up I can't help think they should stop the silly side projects, like a flying weed wackier platform delivering my 3 sets of Arkham dice, landing on my cat.

Maybe Amazon should team up with Google's driverless car project for delivery to keep down cost?

On the news it seems we can now get same day delivery, I wonder how they are funding that infrastructure? Expect another rise in Prime subscription, it's the next best thing to printing money.

Odd, I have gone back to Ebay, too, not that I'm a fan of that greedy company.

Forget you, Amazon. Use Amazon as people use Best Buy, Showrooming, I will take slower shipping over higher prices any day.

I have gone back to the evil dark side Empire Ebay, also I gone back to Best Buy. Small crap, local buys.


This just in Amazon has raised its free shipping to $98.00, LOL, what a deal.
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Last edited by NightTraveler February 22, 2016 at 11:12 AM.
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#7
Ebay for small items.
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#8
Google Express has become my Go-to. And, it's back to Ebay. And some Ebay stuff you can get directly on AliExpress where it is dirt cheap and practically always free S&H.

Amazon's prices are definitely not the lowest anyway. And I refuse to pay for Prime.
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#9
This is ridiculous. It's more like greed is starting to take over their company. I still have a year of Prime left, but that is only because I got more than one year when we used to be able get deals on its price before Amazon stopped that.

Their video selection is a joke, just like it is with Netflix, it's all old low budget movies. I also really dislike their idea of robotic workers or flying drones which take work away from Americans... they might as well move to China if they are going to turn into that kind of company.

Anything they do ship out is always shipped at the same speed and cost as any other package, it's just that they have so many warehouses they can do that. They just sit on the "free shipping" packages before mailing them out.
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#10
Indeed, I used newegg that was shipping for free for something that I wanted to order, the price was $47 (and not $49) - Amazon is going to get a tough competition from target and walmart now...I would prefer walmart over Amazon now for my basic needs...
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#11
The big thing the past several years is to sell services - because a service can represent an ongoing revenue stream for the business. It is a way for the business to have a regular reach into the consumer pocket regardless of a physical sale, and done in a way that is not front and center to the consumer, so the consumer doesn't notice as much and tends to keep paying. For added measure a business like Amazon will throw in some other things to sweeten the "deal" and get consumers to justify in their minds paying for the service. So with a service such as Prime shipping, Amazon is able to trick a consumer who would rarely think of paying $5 or $10 for shipping of an item, into effectively paying $5 or $10 dollars for shipping (averaged out of the $99 yearly shipping fee). The psychology behind selling services is smart for the business, and explains how we see many Slickdealers who normally are pinching pennies getting the best deal, ponying up for $99 yearly shipping charge. In some cases not even admitting it is a shipping charge, lol. Guys if you are regularly paying for shipping then that is not slick!
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#12
Amazon prime only make sense for people who order more than 15-19 times a year or little more than once a month. Since shipping cost is around $5-7, calculate your need before going for prime.
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#13
I never shopped at Amazon. Can almost always find it as cheap or cheaper somewhere else.
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#14
the company still isn't eps positive. not surprised they are edging towards that
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#15
Quote from Indio22 View Post :
The big thing the past several years is to sell services - because a service can represent an ongoing revenue stream for the business. It is a way for the business to have a regular reach into the consumer pocket regardless of a physical sale, and done in a way that is not front and center to the consumer, so the consumer doesn't notice as much and tends to keep paying. For added measure a business like Amazon will throw in some other things to sweeten the "deal" and get consumers to justify in their minds paying for the service. So with a service such as Prime shipping, Amazon is able to trick a consumer who would rarely think of paying $5 or $10 for shipping of an item, into effectively paying $5 or $10 dollars for shipping (averaged out of the $99 yearly shipping fee). The psychology behind selling services is smart for the business, and explains how we see many Slickdealers who normally are pinching pennies getting the best deal, ponying up for $99 yearly shipping charge. In some cases not even admitting it is a shipping charge, lol. Guys if you are regularly paying for shipping then that is not slick!
Im pretty sure my prime membership already paid itself off after ordering a living room set last week. The 99 is justified. But for smaller items I can get from the store.. Forget it. I wont be renewing unless I need to order a big box item again.
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