Amazon has just increased the threshold for orders to qualify for free shipping - the first time the company has made a change to this policy in over 10 years.
Starting now, orders must hit $35 to qualify for free shipping. As you probably recall, free shipping used to kick in at $25.
"Amazon's minimum order size for free shipping has changed to $35. This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US. During that time, we have expanded free shipping selection by millions of items across all 40 product categories. Look for "FREE Shipping" on product pages to discover eligible items," said the company in a notice to customers.
Amazon doesn't give a specific reason for the change, but you'd have to assume that it all boils down to profit margins and shipping costs.
One effect it could have is giving customers a greater incentive to pony up for Amazon Prime, the company's $79-per-year service that offers free two-day shipping on millions of products. Amazon Prime is already a tempting deal, considering it also gives customers access to Prime Instant Video and Amazon's free Kindle library. But with Amazon upping the threshold on free super saver shipping, it might force frequent Amazon shoppers to take the Prime plunge.
Image via Stephen Woods, Flickr Creative Commons