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.”
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.