If you’re an Amazon customer who doesn’t have a Prime membership, you may be paying more to qualify for free shipping. That’s because the online retailer is testing a new $35 free shipping minimum for non-Prime members in some of its markets.
Previously, non-Prime members had to spend only $25 to qualify for free shipping. However, over the past week or so, Amazon customers have started posting on social media about a $10 increase after they noticed their free shipping threshold was changed.
ECommerceBytes.com was the first website to confirm the news directly from Amazon after trying to get free shipping at the $25 purchase minimum and failing. The website’s representatives contacted Amazon about the change and got a response from an Amazon spokesperson explaining the price difference.
“We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments,” wrote Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti in the statement. “We’re currently testing a $35 minimum for non-Prime customers to qualify for free shipping. Prime members continue to enjoy free delivery on over 300 million items, with tens of millions of items available for free Same or One-Day delivery.”
Media outlets are reporting that the increases are regional and may be based randomly on zip codes. And while Amazon gave no specific reason for the price increase, there are a couple of possible explanations.
First, the move could be to entice non-Prime customers to sign up for an annual membership and receive free shipping as one of the perks. A yearly Amazon Prime membership costs $139 or $14.99 per month.
Second, competitors like Walmart already have a $35 purchase minimum for shipping if customers are not part of the Walmart+ membership program. As the economy keeps prices high, companies are looking for ways to boost revenue, and shipping cost increases may be a way to recoup losses.
Amazon has not confirmed when or if the $35 free shipping minimum will be rolled out to all non-Prime customers.
If you’re concerned about this development, there are some things you can do to save money in light of the new $35 free shipping minimum.
If you do most of your shopping on Amazon, consider getting an Amazon Prime account. Those who make small but frequent purchases might be the hardest hit by this increase. That $10 extra on each purchase can add up quickly.
For those who don’t want to sign up for Amazon Prime, consider planning your purchases in advance. You’ll want to make sure each order hits that $35 threshold to qualify for free shipping. That may mean combining orders or waiting until you have enough in your cart to hit that $35 amount.
Will Amazon’s $35 shipping cost change the way you shop online? Let us know!