Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the number one place to shop for many customers out there. The site has all the items you need and the free shipping is just $35. I meant to say was, because the retailer has raised the free shipping minimum to $49.
The change was made without any official announcements or press release. Most customers found out over the weekend. The raise isn’t much but many believe this is a move to get online shoppers to sign up for Amazon Prime, which offers really good deals and fast shipping.
Prime has become a top option for millions of online shoppers. The service is available for $99 a year and it offers a number of things, including free streaming of music and videos. Prime also gives subscribers free two day shipping on most purchases, so it is a really good deal if you’re now thinking about subscribing.
The retailer saw its membership numbers go up in December, when it revealed that three million members had joined the service during that month. There are now close to 55 million Amazon Prime members in the United States. The service not only gives $99 a year to Amazon but it also makes customers spend more.
There are millions of customers out there who have not signed up. It’s not that difficult to get free shipping on Amazon if you are not a Prime member. Most orders of $35 or more qualified for the free shipping. Sure, the shipping is slower but some people prefer to wait than pay more. With free shipping, you have to wait five to eight business day to receive your order.
The raise will make it a little more difficult for shoppers to have free shipping and this could make them think about Prime.
If you’re thinking about becoming a Prime member, here are some of the benefits:
- Access to original series, music and movies.
- Free two hour delivery. You can also pay $7.99 for the one hour delivery if it’s available in your area.
- Early access to deals. The retailer offers thousands of deals everyday and Prime members have a 30 minute advantage.
- There is also a discount for college students. They can try the service for the first six months for free. The membership will then be available for half the regular price, $49.
What do you think about the new free shipping minimum? Will this help Amazon? Let us know in the comments.