Amazon Claims Customers Have Saved $2 Billion In Imaginary Shipping Fees

Amazon wants the world to know that they’ve been working their robot shipping army hard this holiday season to deliver our purchases. This week, Amazon announced that they have saved their customers $2 billion in shipping fees through their Prime two-day shipping program and free shipping for orders over $35. That’s a nice caclulation and all, but it’s still largely imaginary savings.

Why is that? You eat differently at an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant than at a regular restaurant, and it’s the same with online shopping. Unlimited free shipping on most items that Amazon sells has changed Americans’ shopping habits: before Prime, while we could order paper towels or shampoo or cases of soup online, most people didn’t.

Amazon also says that 10 million people worldwide have given Prime service a try this holiday season. Let’s hope that they remember to cancel the free trial if they don’t want to keep it, or after they’ve finished watching both seasons of Alpha House.

How much stuff is Amazon moving, anyway? The company reports that they shipped 100 million more items this holiday season than last year, for a truly mind-boggling total.

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