Amazon hikes free shipping minimum to $35 for some users without Prime

on Aug28
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The Amazon Prime logo is displayed on the side of an Amazon delivery truck in Richmond, California, June 21, 2023.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Amazon has started increasing the free shipping minimum to $35 for non-Prime members in some markets, according to notices on its website, as the company looks for more ways to cut costs.

Until now, the minimum purchase for free shipping has been $25. Prime subscribers, who pay $139 a year for free shipping and other services, will see no change.

Shoppers who don’t subscribe to Prime will have to spend at least $35 to qualify for free shipping, up from a previous minimum of $25.

Kristina Pressentin, an Amazon spokesperson, confirmed that the company is testing a $35 minimum for non-Prime members.

“We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments,” Pressentin said in a statement. “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.”

The test was first spotted on Ecommercebytes, an e-commerce newsletter.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has embarked on a wide-ranging review of the company’s expenses amid slowing sales and an uncertain economic outlook. Amazon cut 27,000 jobs, froze corporate hiring and paused or canceled some experimental projects. The company also started charging delivery fees on Fresh grocery orders below $150, and instituted fees on some returns at UPS stores.

Raising the free shipping threshold could push more shoppers to sign up for the Prime membership program, which includes free, two-day delivery; access to streaming services; and other perks. In 2021, Amazon said it had more than 200 million Prime subscribers globally. Subscription services, which include Prime memberships, generated about $9.9 billion in revenue, according to Amazon’s latest quarterly earnings report.

Amazon has tweaked the free shipping threshold for non-Prime members in the past. In 2016, it raised the minimum to $49 from $35, then reverted back to the earlier threshold a year later before dropping the minimum down to $25 in an effort to compete with Walmart.

Walmart also has a $35 free shipping minimum for shoppers who aren’t part of its loyalty program, Walmart+.

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