In Competition With Walmart, Amazon Lowers Free Shipping Minimum

Now you only have to spend $35 for free convenience

Feb 27, 2017 at 3:34 PM ET

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, you might want to take advantage of Amazon’s new shipping policy. The online retailer recently announced that it’s bringing back down its free shipping minimum to $35 for non-Prime users.

Prior to the change, those without Prime memberships had to spend at least $49 if they wanted to qualify for free shipping, which usually takes five to eight business days. Ordering books will still require a minimum of $25 to receive free shipping.

Amazon’s announcement comes just one month after its competitor Walmart started offering free two-day shipping on orders of $35 and over. Best Buy also has the same offer of $35 or more in order to be eligible. Two-day free shipping for Amazon will continue to only be available for Prime users, which costs $99 a year or $10.99 a month. That means Amazon is still trying to entice people to get a membership by keeping their free shipping to regular five to eight-day delivery.

Although all these retailers have adapted $35 as the new standard, free shipping in general is a truly an unsustainable business practice. Free shipping costs companies a lot of money so it’s usually always folded into the price of the item or funded by investors, according to Fast Company. Amazon might be able to keep up with offering free shipping for awhile, but smaller retailers are really affected by trying to keep up a business model that offers free shipping.