Amazon has yet again increased its free shipping limit, and this time it’s $49, which means Amazon Prime even more of a good deal.
The online retailer recently made the change and requires that non-Prime members buy either $25 worth of books or at least $49 of “all other eligible items” in order to get free shipping.
This new increase comes just over two years after Amazon increased the limit from $25 to $35 back in 2013. It was the first time in about a decade that the company raised this limit, and just two years later, it has raised it yet again.
However, it still puts Amazon right next to the competition, where most online stores also have at least a $50 minimum in order to qualify for free shipping, and sometimes it’s usually just a promotion for some online storefronts.
Amazon didn’t say why it was increasing its minimum yet again, but it’s likely a way to push more shoppers into buying Amazon Prime, which is a service that costs $99/year and gives consumers free two-day shipping on anything, as well as access to the company’s streaming video service, streaming music service, the Kindle Lending Library, and more.
We have no reason to believe that the tactic won’t work. Prime is already a good deal with just the free two-day shipping benefit alone, especially if you use Amazon a lot, but the added features of Prime Instant Video and some of the other services are icing on the cake with a cherry on top.
Once shoppers see the new $49 limit for free shipping, we wouldn’t be surprised if they gave in and bought a year of Amazon Prime. After all, it’s only $8.25 per month, which is the cost of a Netflix subscription.
What’s perhaps most interesting, though, is that Amazon Prime charges for a service that could easily be done for free in the first place. Free two-day shipping is something that Amazon can easily do with any package without any extra effort. The company has so many distribution centers in the US that it could easily ship anything to anyone in just a couple of days without using an expedited shipping service.
Instead, the company likely sits on your order for a couple of days just so it doesn’t have to undermine Amazon Prime, which is an interesting tactic to say the least. Amazon even offers a “No-Rush Shipping” option that will score you a $1 credit that you can use on digital items on Amazon in exchange for an even slower ship time, which means that Amazon is just sitting on your order for longer.
It’s an interesting strategy for sure, and it’s a clever way for the company to get shoppers to sign up for Amazon Prime if they want quicker shipping, but the service is worth it if you’ll end up using all of what it has to offer anyway. Considering that it’s the cost of a Netflix subscription and you get way more that, it’s worth checking out.