Sign In

Help Us Out: What Do You Think of Amazon's Free Shipping Price Hike?

If you're not a Prime subscriber, you'll now have to spend $49 or more to get free shipping.
Published

Amazon announced last week that non-Prime shoppers will now have to spend at least $49 or more in a single order to get free shipping. (Book orders only need to reach a $25 minimum purchase.) Previously, the minimum for free shipping was $35.

We're curious to know: Will this change how you shop at Amazon? Are you more likely to subscribe to Prime or take your business elsewhere, or will you continue shopping as you have been? Take our survey and let us know what you think about the latest move from Amazon. Your input will help us with a future article!

Director of Content Marketing

Lindsay Sakraida specializes in writing about retail trends and lifestyle subjects. She's also obsessed with music, movies, and tennis. Follow her on Twitter at @LinSakraida.
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).
You might also like
Leave a comment!
or Register
40 comments
Tim bishop
I love amazon. But will go elsewhere now. Im Deeply disappointed . I will not pay for ridiculous high shipping.
LightRunner
Since the recent price increase my shopping habits had changed. I usually could find something in my wish list to add so that I could make the $35. on say a $20 item, but now I just shop else where and avoid having any add-ons. Amazon has missed my last three orders out of four.
jessicacmor
I used to buy everything on Amazon ALL.OF.THE.TIME. Since they started charging sales taxes here in IL I cut down on my Amazon shopping a bit, and finding out now about the minimum increase for free shipping you bet I will be looking at other alternatives unless Amazon's end up being the best option price-wise! I hope they start losing sales and clients so they'll be forced to reevaluate their increase for free shipping!
alangrus
My big problem with Amazon is with buying CDs which cost $1.22 to ship. Amazon ALWAYS charges $3.95 Shipping fee for each CD which is is robbery. I have seen the Amazon CD Shipping fee often be more than the price of the CD. Needs fixing.
Allyson
*change

Also, I'm looking at Best Buy's website and, currently, as of March 2, 2016, their free shipping minimum is $35+. I think it used to be $25+.
Allyson
@Lindsay. I'm looking for a phone case and I'm price shopping. I don't know when the changed started, but when I went to Walmart's website, I noticed their shipping minimum is now $50 too!
JAppelbaum
I agree with others - I make a note of "wants", intending to save up to reach the shipping minimum. Most often later I decide I really didn't need the item. It really ends up hurting them on impulsive buys.
socalr53
I had to buy few items that I used to buy from Amazon in the past. All my business went to individual small companies via ebay!! Free shipping with no minimum. Because I can choose the sellers in my state or nearby, Ebay sellers are almost always faster than the amazon's free shipping
xterra
After my free prime trial is over with, I'm done with Amazon. I'm not a big Best Buy fan, but it seems they are doing a better job catching up with Amazon.
drt1
I wonder if their "add on item" minimum will increase as well. Personally not to impressed with prime.
ldevere
I just bookmarked jet.com. I have somethings saved to a Buy Later list on Amazon and have begun comparison shopping for them on eBay, jet, Shopping.com, Walmart, and anyplace else I can come up with.

I'd like to see others' suggestions of sites to shop now that Amazon has shut me/us out.
maydepot
Paid $67 for Prime during their special sale so I won't care about this until it expires. Then I'll probably order from Jet.com since I have free shipping with no minimum and their prices are cheaper overall.
foolboy
$25 to $35, then prime membership got more expensive. Now $35 to $49, it makes me think the prime membership fees are going up soon.
rbockman
I stopped shopping at Amazon when they decided to be a tax collector for my state, so it makes no difference to me.
marauder2525
Not exactly on point...What 2 day shipping? I am a Prime member, and I just placed an order on Friday and my 2 day shipping comes to me on Wednesday. This "fake" 2 day shipping has happened to me on several occasions lately, and I did check the 2 day shipping box. I see a class action lawsuit on the horizon!
pottsgw
@HandsomePete42: Unless it was during the frenzy of Black Friday deals, anyone who could "save" $100 in a month on shipping charges lacks any fundamental planning skills. And if it were during Black Friday, it just shows how Amazon is ripping you off, since they hold off on shipping and bundle multiple orders together in one box - which would easily clear even their new $50 threshhold.
jb_mn
We will never pay for prime. I would rather pay a few bucks more to another store that has free shipping. Amazon will test the waters and if people pay (and they will) then everyone is stuck with the increase. Amazon is becoming too big for it's britches--and most certainly not becoming more customer friendly. It's gonna bite them.
Luke
I have been using Amazons prime for four years and Amazons customer service is the best. I like the streaming of movies, music and kindle books good features I use all the time.
HandsomePete42
If I didn't have Prime I would be driven away from Amazon. The free shipping, though is great. It paid for itself within month. I've had a few things take more than the 2 days, and even a few that outright say they'll take a week, but it's free. I'm just praying they don't alter it any further... But honestly, this is troubling. I told a few friends about the new threshold and they looked like they were just hit with a taser. But they all said pretty much the same thing; they'll just shop at places Walmart.com and Jet.com from now on. Honestly I think even at the current price Prime is an extraordinary deal, but... putting it bluntly, we're spoiled rotten. I don't think companies like Netflix and Amazon realize how quickly people forget what things used to be like before they came along. Free 2 day shipping? No commercials and thousands of things to watch without having to wait for the DVD's or pick them up? That's like having a handheld computer/gps/camera/mp3player/phone. Amazing.
maydepot
I have 2 points of view....

If I weren't a Prime member, this increase would probably turn me off to Amazon on most items priced under $50 but not to expensive items such as TVs, cellphones, etc., when on sale such as on Black Friday. I already do a lot of shopping on Jet.com since I get free shipping with no minimum and prices are often lower especially with coupons, no sales tax and no fees such as CRV.

As a Prime member, I love this move because it means more shoppers leaving Amazon which means I have to fight less people to score those specials with limited quantities.
Allyson
@nematoda: I think most people who have Prime like the convenience. I try to find the best price so it doesn't always mean Amazon. One year I wanted to buy a Christmas gift for my husband & had seen it listed as a Lightening Deal. Being indecisive, I'm so glad I didn't buy it. Amazon jacked up the price & used the original price as the "sale" price. I found the exact same gift listed for Amazon's "sale" price at Walmart.Again, I don't need anything immediately & if I did, depending on what it is, I could just go to a brick & mortar store. I also don't need instant delivery & I can wait. As long as my stuff is in the mail, I'm not really picky about when I get it.As far as customer service, I ordered something through a 3rd party, but fulfilled & shipped by Amazon. Amazon didn't get my item to me on time, but they were kind enough to refund my shipping.I guess it depends on what a person is buying, but I found Zappos & Chewy.com are have better customer service.Of course Zappos' main focus is shoes & clothing although I found a non clothing/shoe item for a friend's wedding so I bought it from Zappos & the shipped it to her in two days (before Prime & $49 shipping. Even the previous $25 shipping minimum couldn't get it there in two days).Chewy's.com's focus is on pets & while they have free shipping starting at $49, there customer service reminds me of Zappos. If there's an error with your order, even if you made the error, they'll credit your account & ask you to donate the item to an animal shelter.
CLS9
I tried Prime's 30-day trial and was totally unimpressed. I, too, will shop less at Amazon. There are so many other options. However, if you don't mind waiting a couple weeks for your order, using "Subscribe & Save" gives me free shipping and a great initial price. Just make sure to cancel S&S after you receive your order or you'll be shipped and billed future orders at the regular prices.
Brian.n.Lisa
I've been a Prime subscriber for years. was initially sold on the original Prime model - shipping included (NOTHING is "free"). Then I noticed that Prime items were often RIDICULOUSLY overpriced compared to competitors, particularly Walmart. in recent months I've essentially stopped even comparing prices and just accumulate whatever minimum Walmart requires for "no extra charge" shipping (currently $50).
ablang
I don't have Prime b/c I don't think I'd buy enough to get my money's worth.

That being said, I don't buy unless I meet the free shipping minimums. I'll be buying less than I did when it was $35, and I bought more when it was a $25 minimum.
Brian.n.Lisa
I've been a Prime subscriber for years. was initially sold on the original Prime model - shipping included (NOTHING is "free"). Then I noticed that Prime items were often RIDICULOUSLY overpriced compared to competitors, particularly Walmart. in recent months I've essentially stopped even comparing prices and just accumulate whatever minimum Walmart requires for "no extra charge" shipping (currently $50).

And the Prime Pantry program? Just an excuse to once again apply shipping charges to customers who PAY to be Prime members every year.

Nope. At this point we steer most of our purchases to Amazon's many competitors and frankly the ONLY reason we retain our Prime membership is the video streaming options not available on Netflix.
avid newsreader
Prime user here. I buy a enough products from Amazon in a year's time that the shipping savings more than covers the cost of my Prime membership. And I like the Prime video, too.

However the big selling point for me is the speed of the shipping with Prime. After I order an item, two days later (sometimes less) it's sitting on my porch. And if I need to send it back, it's a totally fluid cost-free painless process. Amazon's service is what sells me, and I've not seen any vendor who beats that.
nematoda
Wow. A lot of Amazon haters. I'll admit, though, if I didn't have prime (at the half-cost student price), I'd probably be upset and vow not to anything from Amazon, too (unless the price was really good).

Still. Amazon provides extremely good customer service. If you don't like a product, you just ship it back for free. If a product is delivered late you a $5 credit or 30 extra days of Prime for free. If a product is defective, you'll often get an immediate refund (just the other day I had a problem with a motion detecting light; Amazon refunded my money immediately; I also bought I shirt I didn't like, and returned it with no difficulty at all).

The customer service is valuable: just consider how frustrating it can be to deal with a company with bad customer service.

Unfortunately, offering all the benefits of great customer service is very expensive.
johnnylately
After Amazon started collecting state sales tax (TN 9.75%) we decreased our purchases by 70% last year compared to previous years. We use them if we need something quickly AND the price is good. Otherwise I buy to other sites or eBay stores. We did use them a lot around Christmas but that's what we've done every year. And the lack of good content on Amazon streaming means we're mostly using Netflix or Youtube (since we don't have cable TV). So Prime is becoming less attractive.
ecvogel
Prime is getting less relevant to me. The only show I can't get on Netflix will be Dr. Who. Prime pulled all the good stuff. Or the few left I got bored of. I am ordering less from Amazon because I have to pay sales tax and I can get Best Buy and Target to price match and get it same day.... Target is free shipping with my Target Red Debit no min.....
adameh
I honestly have been shopping on Amazon for a while now and I've been surprised that I have to spend more on items that I don't want just to get the free shipping. It's made it much harder to keep a good budget and makes it more of a hassle to spend what I can afford. Although their customer service has been amazing and very straight forward with the help I've received I think that they should lower the free shipping requirement or at least add coupons to get free shipping..
ski522
I usually only buy from Amazon if I meet the free shipping requirement.

And looking at my past history with buying from them I bought more frequently when it was $25, but less when it moved to $35, which means I will probably buy even less at $49.
HeyTiger
w1_m2: the benefit is not simply the "free" shipping, as you are right, the shipping is part of the price. It's also the 2 day guarantee that makes it worth it.
computer parts guy
I agree with Lindsey this is obviously a move to make prime more enticing if you are a frequent buyer. I will probably work harder to accumulate a list. I will also look at jet.com and ebay now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
w1_m2
Prime is not cheaper. Prime prices usually match 3rd party vendors who show the price plus shipping. If the prices are the same, that just means that Amazon pads the price with shipping. So, where is the free shipping with Prime?
joe1512
OMG are you serious?? Woow. I have prime but am rather disturbed by this.
I wonder how this affects the Add-On items, and if they are due shortly for another rate hike.
35 to 49 is a really big jump. I can see this stopping a lot of people from buying on Amazon... OR making sure to check the "other sellers" tab to see competitive offers.
JABrwoky13
I am an Amazon Prime user, although, I do try to spread the wealth. If I can get the same deal with another website that I trust, I will shop elsewhere. I agree with Lindsay's response to Allyson. Seems like Amazon is trying to drive more customers to join Prime. If Walmart and others follow suit, that will fall to Amazon's favor.
adollar98
I quit using Amazon when they instituted the $25 minimum. I always need something that costs 2 or 3 bucks and now I just get it elsewhere. I would consider getting Prime for the video service but they won't tell you what you get with that. There's no list.
hm933
There's very little on Amazon I have to have "right now" and often they don't have the best prices anyway. I will do what I've always done - if I have to buy from Amazon, I will wait till my purchase total reaches the threshold. Amazon Prime is next to useless for me b/c I live in a state where Amazon charges sales tax.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@Allyson I'm curious to see how things play out, because I actually bet Walmart and the like won't raise their shipping minimum just because Amazon did. I think Amazon raised it in order to make Prime seem more appealing for its customers. If competitors are smart, they will make the decision harder by offering free shipping at lower minimums. If everyone else hikes up their free shipping, then a frequent Amazon user has no reason to switch and may take the plunge and pay for Prime in the end.
Allyson
I'm not a big fan of Amazon so I try to buy from other stores before I buy from them. If want I want can't be found anywhere other than on Amazon, I have family & friends who use Prime so I can work something out with them if need be.Unfortunately, I bet other companies such as Walmart or Best Buy will increase their free shipping minimum too.
Enter to win $2,000