Earlier this year, Amazon announced that they’re raising the free shipping threshold to $49 (previously $35); a $14 increase and by far their biggest increase yet. With the exception of books, which ship free at $25, all items ordered on Amazon get free shipping only if you satisfy the $49 threshold. The change does not affect Prime members who will still have their usual 2-day free shipping with no minimum.
Another change took place just two months after when Amazon introduced their Amazon Prime subscription bundle. Amazon now offers 3 different bundles which includes Prime Video only subscription and an option to pay for Prime membership on a month-to-month basis (which ends up costing you more at $131.88).
Just yesterday, Amazon shoppers noticed a change in Amazon’s refund policy. Amazon has quietly updated their refund policy, and with the exception of TVs, the giant e-commerce retailer will no longer offer a price match for any other items.
“Amazon.com consistently works toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry and will match the price of other retailers for some items. Amazon.com will price match eligible purchases of televisions with select other retailers. For all other items, Amazon.com doesn't offer price matching.”
According to Recode, Amazon formerly offer a partial refund if shoppers notice a price drop within a week of purchase. However, it looks like Amazon will be stopping all price matching completely with this new policy.
A group discussion on Reddit notes that due to the change, Amazon will likely see more DOA or “dead on arrival” claims in order to get a refund on any price fluctuation and we’re inclined to agree. In this case, a DOA claim and investigation could mean more work for Amazon customer service team rather than validating a price adjustment. Although a refund is easier to obtain than a price adjustment, that would mean returning the item and re-ordering to get the latest low price. Seems like a hassle.
Recode also notes that the change in price matching could be due to available price change services available to consumers today. For instance, Earny is an app that can track prices on any item for Amazon shoppers and will automatically request a refund on your behalf when there is a change in pricing.
Source: The Verge
Paribus is another app with the same concept with a slightly different strategy. The app can track all your receipts (via email) and notify you if an online store owes you a refund for the price drop.
As noted above, although you can get a price matching via Amazon, you can still utilize other apps that will do the job for you. If you rather not have your phone crammed tight with apps, we suggest using the extension tool camelcamelcamel. Easily accessible from your desktop toolbar, camelcamelcamel provides price history charts and price drop alerts on any Amazon item (something we’re pretty fond of over here).
Other than that, try running a quick price comparison on Google to help you make your purchasing decision. For smaller purchases, this may be unnecessary (unless you’re obsessed with getting the best possible price like we are), but for big ticket item, this will go a long way in helping you save.
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