Amazon Free Shipping Increase

I had $39.00 worth of items in my cart since earlier this week and was waiting for my paycheck to go in yesterday before making the purchase. As of yesterday, my purchase was still eligible for free shipping.

I logged on this morning to make the purchase and it’s not eligible anymore.

Hurt, sad, and confused, I did a Google search for - amazon “free shipping” increase - and every result was about the increase 2 years ago when it went up to $35.00. No one on the internet, it would seem, was talking about the latest increase.

The message I was getting at Amazon was informing me that I needed $49.00 so I added “$49” to my Google search and it seems that this just happened- I wasn’t insane thinking that my order was eligible yesterday. I only got 5 results that mention the newest increase. All five of those were posted within the past 9 hours- but none of those results is from a mainstream source. Reddit is the most mainstream of the five. There’s nothing that would fly as a solid cite at the SDMB. The results mentioning the newest increase are: Reddit, Neogaf, SlickDeals, DealNews, and 9to5Toys.

Of course, since it’s the actual terms I’m getting described by Amazon I suppose I don’t need a more authoritative source than that.

(Bolding mine)

P.S. I did search the SDMB before starting this Thread in case someone else beat me to it, but no recent relevant results showed up for a search for “Amazon”. However… second-guessing myself, I did another search after posting the Thread. There were still no recent results including this Thread. So, if even this Thread isn’t showing up I suppose there’s the possibility there’s another Thread that’s too recent to show up in search results. If there is another Thread already, mods can feel free to merge.

I placed an order with Amazon a couple of hours ago, and had to modify the order to meet the new minimum amount. (Sometimes, though, it’s better just to pay the shipping fee rather than order something I don’t really need to save a few bucks.) Obviously, they’re trying push people to sign up for the Prime service. I like how when I’m selecting a shipping option, they offer the “free” shipping option if I just sign up for the Prime service (or at least the thirty-day trial). The two-day shipping isn’t really free, it’s just prepaid at the rate of 99 bucks annually. So you really need to order a whole lot to earn back that money.

You have to spend money to save money.

This is true, although the calculation depends on what else (if anything) you use Amazon for.

I make considerable use of their streaming video service, both to watch old TV series and movies that aren’t available on services like Netflix (e.g., HBO series like The Wire; network shows like West Wing and NYPD Blue), and also to watch some of their new, exclusive content like Transparent,* Alpha House*, and The Man in the High Castle.

Given the cost of streaming services these days, Amazon video is worth at least 5 bucks a month to me, possibly more, depending on how frequently i use it. I also make some use of their Prime music streaming service.

For me, the free shipping that you get with Amazon Prime is almost an extra goodie, and i don’t feel obliged to order excessively from them just to make sure that i get my 99 bucks worth for the year.

No streaming, usually not in a hurry to get things in two days. I was surprised to see the new increase, too, and like the OP couldn’t find anything about it on line besides the same ones the OP did.

Not really happy about it, but options are limited. One thing is for sure and that will be my checking to make sure anything else I’d like to order has to be worth more to me than just paying the shipping charge that I could otherwise save.

As I was walking out of the grocery store the other day, I noticed a woman at an automated machine; I didn’t look closely but it was a sell / exchange your gift card machine. I guess I’ll be taking that $20 gift card I got to Amazon there since my 2012 purchases were $0 & my cumulative purchases from 2013 are just barely over $100. $99 Prime? Even $9 prime would be a sucker buy for me.

If you don’t have Prime, do you still get two day shipping?

Either way, the thing about Prime is that there’s no minimum*. I can put something in my cart that costs $8 and send it. A few hours later I can think of something else that I need that costs $12 and buy that, and so on and so forth. No more waiting until I hit a minimum.
Also, with Prime you also get to stream music (which I don’t use) and stream TV/movies like Netflix.
If you’re not going to stream and shows and you don’t buy much from them, it’s probably not worth it. Yes, I do agree that you are paying up front for shipping, but OTOH, Two Day Shipping is expensive** and I’m sure they spend more than $99 a year shipping my stuff.

*Not counting add-on items
**They call it ‘two day shipping’ but what they really mean is that it’ll get there in two days, there’s an Amazon warehouse very close to my house, I think they just ship things normally/Ground if the item comes from there.

:dubious: I don’t understand this. Isn’t shipping, without Prime, just $3.99? Why wouldn’t you buy something on Amazon that you’d normally buy elsewhere and just pay the $3.99 shipping giving you $16 free money to spend? You can even buy groceries on Amazon.

$99 is completely worth it for me. I save just as much in a month.

Amazon :smack:




OK, I have no idea what that series of emoticons means. Why aren’t words good enough any more?

I may not have spent $99 on Amazon shopping charges in total, since 2001.

^ shipping charges, that is. I’ve spent plenty shopping, but almost none of it needed to be rushed.

I buy pretty much everything I can on Amazon. I buy giftcards from grocery stores when they have extra incentives. My kids and I watch a lot of the Prime streaming shows and I use the music/radio, too.

What annoys me, and this only annoys me when I’m buying all items directly from Amazon (when there are multiple sellers it’s a bit more understandable), is that each item is charged $3.99 even if they’re all coming in the same box.

If I order 10 cotton balls at $1 each my total comes to $10 which does not meet the minimum for free delivery. But since I’ve order 10 individual cotton balls (why, oh why don’t they sell cotton ball 10 packs?) the $3.99 shipping is added to each cotton ball- even though I ordered all 10 cotton balls directly from Amazon and they will all be shipped together in one box!

So, that’s $10 for cotton balls and $39.90 for shipping!
Now, I don’t begrudge them making a few bucks on shipping. I don’t know what the shipping costs actually are but $3.99 is obviously quite high since I’ve purchased several used CDs and used DVDs for $0.01 each- the seller doesn’t want my one penny for the product but considers the profit on the inflated shipping price to be worth it.

$3.99 added to each item really does make me want to meet that minimum for free shipping. If I really only need one thing then I don’t mind paying $3.99 for shipping that probably actually cost $1.85 or whatever. But, if I’m ordering 5 items that are all going to come in the same box at the same time? A probably actual shipping cost of $6.00 to $8.00 and I’m paying $19.95? Then I start to feel like I’m being made an ass.

So, yeah, I do make an effort to get to that minimum for free delivery. It was easy at $25. $35 wasn’t so bad but I did sometimes have that conflict of feeling like I was adding things to my cart that I didn’t really need just to meet the minimum. $49.00 is going to be tough.

One of two things is likely to happen. I’ll start using Amazon less frequently, in which case: Bad Business, Amazon! Or, I will sign up for Prime, in which case: Touché, Amazon!

Regarding signing up for Prime: As this whole thing put Amazon on my mind, I also started a Thread in Café Society asking about Amazon’s streaming services. In that Thread, I said about Prime that I would probably sign up right away if it were $9 per month but that paying $99 all at once is really rough. There’s very seldom a good time for me to drop $99 all at once even if it’s something that will pay off in the long run. In the other Thread someone said when they tried to cancel Prime Amazon did offer them a monthly plan- but that means being signed up for Prime for $99 to begin with then cancelling and only then getting the offer of a monthly plan.

It’s as easy as it ever was, provided you’re not in a hurry. Don’t buy things you don’t want; just don’t submit the order until you have that much you do want. For most things, if it’s worth buying at all, it won’t matter in a month, let alone a year, if you get it this week or next week.

Could be. Another approach to buying stuff is this:

I don’t buy anything until I *need *it. So once I’m actually ready to send money I have a need that I want filled in the immediate future. Not necessarily same day express soon. But not sometime maybe 4 months from now when I accumulate enough of these totally needed but totally not urgent purchases.

In my world, if it’s not fairly urgent, it isn’t needed yet. If it’s even needed at all. And if it’s not needed, why am I buying it?
Back to the OP:

I have been just beginning to get the Amazon habit. They just set themselves back about a year for me. If they’ve shown their colors by starting to squeeze, it’s time to start shopping elsewhere.

Well this is less than awesome. I think this is going to shift my preferred online bookstore to Abebooks and my preferred everything else stores to Newegg/B&H/Adorama. I’d been leaning in that direction anyway given all the recent press over Amazon working their employees to death and then discarding them, and honestly, it’s nice to have a financial incentive as well.

But did you order things you don’t need to add to your order to get the dollar amount high enough to ship for free? That cost should also be included to some degree.

And prime is with 2 day shipping, and usually not needing to bundle for free shipping usually a higher level of service, which is also worth more to some, and a much appreciated convenience.