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”.
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.
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.