If you make purchases on Amazon even semi-regularly throughout the course of the year, Amazon Prime is probably worth the price of admission. Free shipping is an incredibly tempting offer, but according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, your home address might soon affect which items qualify for Prime’s best perk.
The report claims that Amazon is currently testing a program nicknamed “Ship by Region” which would allow sellers to decide which regions they’re willing to sent to without charging for shipping. Even if a customer subscribes to Amazon Prime, the seller won’t have to provide free shipping if the distance between the item and the customer is too great.
The only sellers that have access to the program at the moment are those that have been authorized to tag their products as Prime-eligible even when they ship directly from their own warehouses. Previously, all sellers had to send their products through Amazon’s warehouses first in order to offer free two-day shipping.
Clearly this isn’t the sort of development that will excite customers, but it gives Amazon a way to expand its Prime-eligible inventory without irritating sellers that might not sign on otherwise. No time frame has been given for a more extensive rollout of the “Ship by Region” program.