Looks like we woke up one Monday morning and suddenly free shipping got a little more expensive on Amazon. For non-prime members the minimum purchase to qualify for free shipping is now $49. A few years ago the free shipping minimum was only $25, later it was $35 now here we are at the $49 mark. On the bright side the minimum for book purchases has remained at the $25 level.
Of the major online retailers Amazon now has one of the highest thresholds to qualify for free shipping. Amazon Prime is designed to created customer loyalty and helps keep Amazon front and center in customers minds. As the price of the minimum purchase has risen so has the price of prime which is currently sitting at $99 per year (although you can get a free 30 day trial HERE).
Another change you may have noticed is that Amazon is now offering products they sell to Prime members only. While browsing the site and looking at the list of sellers of an item you may now see a bit of text reading, “Exclusively for Prime Members”. This is obviously an attempt to get more customers to sign up for Amazon Prime, which is thought to have about 50 million subscribers currently. Other benefits of Prime membership include free shipping on items sold or fulfilled by Amazon, access to thousands of movies and TV shows, streaming of thousands of songs and access to a variety of kindle books for free.
Whether Amazon Prime is worth the price largely depends on how much value you put on the various included services. As an Amazon seller and a user of money making sites I find Amazon Prime to be a great value for me. If you have no interest in streaming media content or likely won’t make 8 or more Amazon purchases in a year then the service may not be for you.