On Monday, CNBC reported that Amazon increased the free shipping minimum for customers without Prime to $35. Previously, anyone shopping on Amazon without a membership to Prime needed to spend $25 to qualify for free shipping. Prime members, meanwhile, get free shipping regardless of how much they spend on any given transaction.
“We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments,” Kristina Pressentin, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a statement today confirming the change. “Prime members continue to enjoy free delivery on over 300 million items, with tens of millions of items available for free same or one-day delivery.”
This isn’t the first time that Amazon has adjusted the free shipping minimum. $25 was actually the initial threshold for free shipping years ago, but in 2013, Amazon raised it to $35. In 2016, it went up again to $49 but then dropped back down to $35 in February 2017. Three months later, it was once again $25, where it had settled until this week.
As CNBC notes, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been, like several other tech and entertainment CEOs, cutting costs at all costs in recent months. Amazon froze corporate hiring, laid off tens of thousands of workers, and pulled back on product launches. Raising the free shipping minimum will not only push some customers to spend a little bit more in order to avoid shipping costs but could also convince some of them to sign up for Prime.
This change comes days after reports began to spread that the prices of Amazon Music Unlimited plans would be going up as well. The monthly individual plan is increasing from $8.99 to $9.99 while the annual plan is jumping from $89 to $99.