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Amazon Just Matched Walmart's $35 Free Shipping Minimum

It's only been a year since the online giant hiked the purchase requirement to $49 to combat rising logistics costs.
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Amazon shipping price

A year ago, Amazon hiked its free shipping minimum for non-Prime customers from $35 to $49. Naturally, many customers weren't happy with that move. Meanwhile, Walmart recently adopted free 2-day shipping with a $35 minimum purchase requirement.

Now, it seems Amazon has changed up its shipping again in a bid to hang on to customers.

Competing With Walmart

Amazon was known for its low-minimum free standard shipping, which undercut many retailers that required purchases $50 or more. It was one of the best deals online — until Amazon bumped the requirement up to $49 last year. Customers were understandably unhappy with the increase, but Amazon likely needed it to combat the cost of logistics.

And Walmart's free 2-day shipping policy is pretty tempting: it doesn't require a membership fee and applies to most items on the site, as long the order total is over $35.

Non-Prime customers can once again earn free standard shipping on orders over $35.

Amazon has walked back its shipping increase now, likely due to the appeal of Walmart's new policy. Non-Prime customers can once again earn free standard shipping on orders over $35. As Engadget notes, "That won't deliver your goods any sooner ... but it could tip the balance if you're more interested in avoiding fees than getting your order in a hurry."

Readers, what do you think of this shipping shakeup? Are you more likely to shop at Amazon or Walmart now? Let us know in the comments below!


Staff Writer

Julie joined DealNews in 2015, after many years of becoming well-versed in technology issues as a communications professional for a software company. She first entered journalism in college, reporting on issues facing frugal students for CollegeCandy.com. Julie lives in DealNews' hometown of Huntsville, AL.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Unless marked as a "Sponsored Deal," the opinions expressed here are those of the author and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies mentioned. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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15 comments
ShanaDoobyDoo
The $49 requirement wasn't exactly the end of the world, but I usually ended up paying more b/c I'd wait to get free shipping and item costs would end up changing. I just have to wonder how much prices will now increase to offset the shipping charges.
PSR9877
Great news! I often shop Amazon and have just over $35 worth of items, but less than $49. A smart way to compete with Wal-Mart.
Sassyzanne
I shop at both Amazon and Walmart. I prefer Amazon for online purchases. The last time I bought from Walmart online, they did not send what I ordered and paid for. They never responded to e-mails or phone calls. I still shop in the store. I just think Amazon has a better selection and the prices are great.
george104
With this lower $ shipping amount I will buy more from Amazon. Its a good move for Amazon.
Pilm
The $35 minimum is a big deal, I could fairly easily fill my cart to meet that minimum but had much more difficulty with the $49 minimum. As far as Walmart goes, the big benefit of Amazon over Walmart is inventory, Amazon carries almost anything anyone might want, Walmart doesn't. Further, Walmart is very often out of stock on items, something not too common with Amazon (and if they are out of stock they often offer a date when it will be in stock again, while Walmart just gives you a blank screen).
kf7nn
i was looking up simple things like a toaster and found walmart price $16.88 to amazons $29.99, alot of other things also have been in walmarts favor and some were exactly the same even the same seller but i didnt find any amazon items lower yet but i will keep looking.
xterra
Walmart just doesn't have things I like. Seems like when I find something I like amazon has it and Wally World doesn't. Pc stuff, phone stuff, music.
Brian.n.Lisa
I'm a Prime member but in head-to-head tests (with primarily grocery items) I've found Walmart to be significantly cheaper than identical Prime products on Amazon. You have to pay for pay for Prime upfront butthe suggestion that you save on shipping is bogus. Do the comparisons yourself and I think you'll find that in most cases, Prime item prices are significantly higher (can you say not-so-well-hidden embedded shipping costs?). Whether the limit is $35 or $50, I just save up my purchases until I can meet the Walmart threshold and invariably save money over Prime.
Al-in-SoCal
You should do an article on who we can thank for disrupting business as usual:

1. Free S&H
2. Free GB storage for email & then other things
3. Free social networking vs. paid (back in the day - remember Classmates, etc)
4. Getting rid of wireless contracts

=)
vwoom
Guess I can put my monthly Amazon Prime Membership in hiatus (for the meantime). It just forces me most of the time, to spend more unnecessarily. Thank You, Wally's World..Competition is GOOD!!
randallmagg
I have recently been noticing I have preferred Jet for a lot more orders lately, which they offer free shipping on orders $35+. I like their algorithm that lowers prices the more items I add to my order. I don't like the fact they are now owned by Walmart, but for now, they have been getting a lot of my business.
I even ordered a bunch of chicken noodle soup the other day because I have been sick, and noticed that they (among many other items in that order) was delivered in less than 24 hours! Their shipping times vary, which can be inconvenient, but I suppose the occasional free one-day shipping isn't too bad. I like that you can sometimes get additional shipping discounts if you opt for slower deliveries.
R1one
I've been buying back and forth between walmart and Amazon. Ever since amazon added tax in my state. It boils down who have it cheaper and who i can get it from quicker. walmart has pickup today offer benefit, amazon doesn't!
DeletedUser169775
Walmart is running 15% off all 2day shipping eligible items now too.
adollar98
Too bad I never need anything that costs over $35.
Phatdeals
Competition is great! Thank you Walmart!
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