Almost exactly one year ago, Amazon raised its free shipping threshold on orders to $49 for customers who didn’t subscribe to Amazon Prime. The move was seen as a major push to encourage people to subscribe to Prime, a service that gives customers unlimited free two-day shipping on more than 50 million different items sold on Amazon’s site. Perhaps the price increase didn’t work as intended, or perhaps Prime has enough benefits beyond free two-day shipping that it woos new subscribers in other ways. Whatever the case, Amazon has had a change of heart and has dropped its free shipping threshold back down to where it was this time last year: $35.
Last Friday, a big change quietly appear on Amazon’s website. “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),” the company’s site now reads. “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.”
The page of course also notes that Amazon Prime subscribers get unlimited free two-day shipping on all eligible items with no order minimums. Of course, Prime subscriptions have a number of additional benefits including unlimited Prime Video streaming, unlimited on demand streaming of more than two million songs, free Prime Reading eBooks, free unlimited photo storage, 30-minute early access to Amazon’s Lightning deals, and more. Anyone can sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial on this page.
Amazon had quietly raised the free shipping minimum for non-Prime customers to $49 on February 22nd last year. It’s unclear why the company decided to drop it back down to $35 or whether or not the move is permanent, but in any case, you won’t hear any complaints from customers without a Prime subscription.