updated 12:41 pm EDT, Tue October 22, 2013
Amazon ups minimum free shipping cost
Amazon has increased the minimum order to qualify for free shipping to $35 in the first change to that requirement in more than a decade. The online retail giant announced the change Tuesday in a post that also touted Amazon Prime, the company's subscription-based offering that provides free shipping alongside access to a number of other Amazon services. The change affects only Super Saver Shipping from Amazon.
Prior to Tuesday's announcement, the minimum for free Super Saver Shipping had been set at $25 for US customers for more than a decade. In raising that cost to $35, Amazon likely lowers some of its own overhead, while encouraging customers to either buy more items to qualify for Super Saver Shipping or to sign up for Amazon Prime.
Prime members get unlimited free two-day shipping on any order. In exchange for that, they pay an annual $79 membership fee. That fee also gets them access to Prime Instant Video, Amazon's online streaming service for movies and television content. Prime membership also grants access to the Kindle Lending Library, which allows access to a range of Kindle e-books for free.