Amazon Drops Free Shipping Order Minimum From $49 To $35 – Forbes
Disclosure: I own a small number of Amazon shares.
Last month, Walmart announced it was shutting down ShippingPass — which was an Amazon Prime rival that offered free two-day shipping on eligible products as part of a $50 per year subscription. As a replacement, Walmart said it was going to offer free two-day shipping on more than 2 million eligible items without any membership requirement and its minimum purchase required for free shipping to homes dropped from $50 to $35. And now Amazon is giving consumers less of a reason to purchase from Walmart by dropping the price of its free shipping order minimum from $49 to $35 as discovered by The Verge.
“You receive free shipping if your order includes at least $35 of eligible items or $25 of books (in which case all other eligible items in the order also ship free),” says Amazon’s updated About Free Shipping website. “Any item with ‘FREE Shipping’ messaging on the product detail page, that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon, is eligible and contributes to your free shipping order minimum.”
Amazon’s free shipping orders range at about five- to eight-day shipping. To receive two-day shipping through Amazon on eligible items, you would need to become a Prime subscriber. Amazon Prime costs $99 for standard accounts or $49 through Prime Student. Amazon Prime also has a 30-day free trial and a monthly plan at $10.99 per month. Amazon Prime benefits include Prime Delivery (free two-day shipping), Amazon Family (discounts on family-related products), Prime Video, Kindle First, FreeTime Unlimited (kid-friendly content), Prime Photos, Prime Now (1-2 hour delivery in eligible zip codes), Washington Post Free Trial, Audible Channels, Twitch Prime, Prime Reading, Prime Music, Prime Pantry, Amazon Dash for Prime, Shopping with Alexa, eligibility for the Amazon Prime Store credit card and a few other minor perks.
Walmart and Amazon are not the only retailers that offer free two-day shipping. Best Buy has free two-day shipping on orders $35 and up on qualifying items. Best Buy launched its free two-day shipping program in July 2016.
Amazon does not disclose how many Prime subscribers it has. But the online retail giant revealed in the past that it is in the “tens of millions.” Cowen and Company reported that about 44% of U.S. households are signed up as Amazon Prime subscribers as of last year. And a report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ISLR) estimates that Amazon “captures nearly one in every two dollars that Americans spend online.”
This is not the first time Amazon adjusted its free shipping order minimum price. Last year, Amazon increased the minimum amount for free shipping to $49 from $35. And Amazon increased the price to $35 from $25 back in 2013.
What are your thoughts about Amazon’s decrease in the free shipping order minimum? Do you plan to renew or cancel your Prime subscription following this change? Please leave a comment!