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Amazon Raises the Free Super Saver Shipping Threshold by $10

amazon's new free shipping requires $35 orders

After more than ten years or offering its Super Saver Shipping for $25, Amazon is raising prices and making changes to its shipping policy. Previously, Amazon orders over $25 qualified for Super Saver shipping or 5-8 business day shipping. Effective October 21st, the new threshold for free shipping is $35. Amazon has also done away with the “Super Saver” branding and it’s now just called “FREE Shipping”.

free shipping notice

Other than saving a few bucks which is always a good thing, one might speculate this new policy change is a move to signup more customers for its Prime membership. Pushing Prime, Amazon is displaying its membership service on no less than 3 locations I could find around the site vs. its Super Saver Option. Being a Prime member myself, I didn’t notice these changes until visiting the site while logged out.

amazon prime advertising

Similar to Microsoft who loves to give away software to high-school and college students,  Amazon also offers Student Prime accounts at 50% off the normal rate, however it requires a .edu email address and can only be renewed for 4 years.

Amazon has been under pressure in recent months due to its lack of profitable income reports. There are also other factors to consider. Gasoline prices are a lot higher than they were in 2003 when the $25 threshold was set. Shipping costs are higher than they used to be, and then there is also inflation to account for. In fact, according to the US Inflation Calculator, $25 spent in 2003 is equal to $31.78 in present day, a 27% increase due to inflation.

Note that this change did not effect the controversial “Add-on” system that makes some items ineligible for purchase unless added to a $25 order. The $25 order requirement for Add-on items did not raise to $35.

5 Responses to Amazon Raises the Free Super Saver Shipping Threshold by $10

  1. Tenika October 25, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    If they want to increase profits, they may want to actually reconsider the “controversial add-on system” since I’m sure many consumers think like I do: I go to the site to purchase a $10 (for example) item and I can only purchase it if I spend an additional $25 I don’t want to or need to spend; therefore, I find that item somewhere else and purchase it there even if it costs me a few dollars more. A lot of those types of decisions=a lot of lost profits. I’m also a Prime member and LOVE shopping on Amazon but that particular restriction annoys me to no end.

    • Austin Krause October 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      Completely agree with you Tenika.

      Amazon should take a different approach with these add-on items.

      I.E. – Raise the price of the item initially, and then offer a discount on it if is purchased with a $25 order.

  2. KG October 28, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Is there an alternative to Amazon out there, with the same full functionality as Amazon? This new shipping increase, coupled with the fact that they will start charging taxes in Massachusetts (start Nov 1), really have me looking for a full featured alternative. I use eBay quite a bit already, but the return policies sadly vary quite a bit, from seller to seller, if an item is defective….

    Thoughts or ideas folks?

    • Austin October 28, 2013 at 7:52 am #

      It really depends on what you are looking for… but you won’t find all of it in one place like Amazon has.

      Newegg.com is a great alternative for electronics.
      Overstock.com is a (better) choice than Amazon for home goods, furniture, jewelry, etc.
      Meritline.com is good for accessories and tv stands, cables, etc.

      … You know what, I should write a guide on this. I shop 90% online with the last 10% being perishable groceries I have to go to the local market to buy.

      • K.G. October 28, 2013 at 7:58 am #

        Thanks Austin! And yes, a guide would be the coolest! Amazon is starting to charge taxes in several states (where they have warehouses), so these customers are likely looking for alternatives as well. Thanks again!

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