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Amazon Just Dropped Its Minimum Spend for Free Shipping — Again
It’s about time.
Amazon has returned its free shipping minimum to $35, after almost a year of offering free shipping only for orders of $49 or more.
Shipping on books, Amazon’s superstar, has remained the same: Spend $25 and your books ship free.
A near-$50 order minimum was likely a hefty requirement for people who couldn’t see themselves making the most of a yearly $99 Amazon Prime membership.
Why would Amazon quietly reduce its free-shipping minimum?
To keep up with Walmart.
Walmart KO’d its ShippingPass program on Jan. 31, which cost $49 per year for free shipping. It refunded membership fees to customers who’d signed up and instead implemented free two-day shipping on orders of at least $35.
Both stores have a limited selection of items that ship in two days; Walmart places a green “2-day shipping” logo next to theirs. However, Walmart doesn’t ship on weekends, so its free two-day shipping is really two business days.
Amazon, on the other hand, is a tireless machine that never needs to sleep, so you can get your gargantuan bag of cat litter before Fluffy’s box needs a change. Items that ship free are marked with “FREE shipping” on product detail pages.
Your Turn: Do these shipping changes at Amazon and Walmart change how you shop online with either retailer?
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at the Penny Hoarder. She frequently uses her Amazon Prime subscription to purchase heavy items.