Amazon Raising Free Shipping Minimum For Non-Prime Shoppers From $35 To $49

In what would appear to be an effort to nudge more people toward paying $99 a year for the free shipping included in a Prime membership, Amazon is raising the free shipping minimum for non-Prime members from $35 to $49.

As TechCrunch first reported, Amazon slipped in the new minimum on its help page recently:

“Orders including $25 or more of eligible books qualify for FREE shipping. All orders of $49 or more of eligible items across any product category also qualify for FREE Shipping. With free shipping, your order will be delivered 5-8 business days after all of your items are available to ship, including pre-order items.”

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It’s not a stretch to think Amazon is hoping this will push more customers into the arms of a Prime membership, which offers two-day shipping for free on any eligible order for the $99/year subscription price. Having to spend more to get free shipping, which is still slower than Prime shipping, could convince some customers to make the switch to Prime.

The last time Amazon upped its free “Super Saver” shipping minimum for non-Prime members was in October 2013, when it raised it from $25 to $35.

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  1. Mokona512 says:

    I largely avoid amazon when I can, and instead pick 3rd party sellers when ever possible. If the pricing is similar to other more reliable stores (e.g., newegg), then I go there instead. Amazon has really gone down hill over the years.

    Normally when I order items from them, an order placed on Monday, may not leave the warehouse until Thursday. Furthermore, if you are unlucky enough to get fedex smartpost, UPS mail innovations, or other crappy companies, then the item may not arrive for another week or more.

    My worst experience yet, was when I ordered some case fans from them.

    That same day, I also ordered a smartphone dashboard mount from ebay, as well as an OTG cable ($0.70). Both the dashboard mount, and OTG cable arrived in a little over a week from China (EMS shipping and tracking).

    The UPS mail innovations delivery of the fans took over 2 weeks after placing the order. It stayed in the warehouse for nearly 4 days, and then, was in transit within their system for about 3 days, before being tendered to USPS where it did not move for almost a week, before finally arriving at the local post office for delivery the next day.

    I remember when Amazon prime meant that your product left the same day as the order, and had 2 day hipping, while free orders would often leave the next day, now it is just frustrating and slow.

    It is almost as if they now hold orders for a few days regardless of workload in order to ensure that it is a frustrating experience to not use prime.

    • webalias says:

      I share your view that as Amazon has grown, service has declined. And unless you really like the videos and other perks, Amazon Prime is a dubious value. If you pay a shipping charge and Amazon fails to meet the promised delivery date — as happens more and more in my case — you can at least get a credit for that shipping charge. But if you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you’ve paid in advance for the expedited shipping you did not receive. What’s your remedy? If you ask, they might give you a free extra month of Amazon Prime. I’m always tempted to reply, “OK, your service is getting steadily worse, and to offset your increasingly poor service, you’re offering me an additional month of dubious service, correct?” I’d rather hear how you’re planning to fix the problem, Amazon. The only thing Amazon seems to have gotten increasingly good at is apologizing for late deliveries, products that arrive damaged and other missteps — but then, I’m sure they get plenty of practice.