In case it hasn't been clear by now (it has), Amazon's primary objective when it comes to everyday users, is to get them to become Prime members, which gives them access to free two-day shipping.
Amazon has offered free shipping to non-Prime members for years, however. It just takes longer. It used to be for orders of $25 and over, but they jacked it up to $45 and over a few years ago. Now, they've increased the minimum yet again - this time to $49.
Amazon says, "Orders including $25 or more of eligible books qualify for FREE Shipping. All orders of $49 or more of eligible items across any product category also qualify for FREE Shipping. With free shipping, your order will be delivered 5-8 business days after all of your items are available to ship, including pre-order items."
Last year, Amazon saw a 51% increase in Prime memberships worldwide. In the U.S. it was 47%.
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