Amazon has raised the free shipping threshold for free Super Saver shipping to $49. The threshold was raised from $35, which is a $14 increase and the largest. This is the second time that Amazon has raised the free shipping threshold since it was raised to $35 in 2013 from the original $25 threshold that was held for many years, a $10 increase. Books will ship for free on orders of $25 or more.
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Amazon Prime continues to offer free 2-day shipping on all orders with no minimum purchase. Shoppers can sign up for a free 30-day trial with no obligation to continue once the 30-day trial period has ended. Once the trial period is over, shoppers will be charged $99 for an annual membership. The free 30 days does not count towards your paid membership period as you will still get 12 full months of membership once you pay. The price of Amazon Prime was raised back in 2014 from $79 only about 6 months after the Super Saver shipping threshold was raised. It is unclear at this time if the cost of Amazon Prime will increase as a result of the increase in the Super Saver shipping threshold.
Why does this matter? The increase likely means that competitors follow the same trend. Best Buy currently offers free shipping on orders of $35 or more, which was raised from the $25 threshold following the original Amazon increase. Walmart has offered free shipping on orders of $50 for years, so it will be interesting to see how the competition fares now that Amazon and Walmart offer almost the same shipping requirements, especially because Walmart offers free in-store pickup with no minimum purchase. Kmart and Sears lowered their threshold from $59 to $35 to match Amazon, but may soon raise it again. Office Depot lowered their threshold from $50 to $35 as well. Walgreens and Groupon also raised their free shipping threshold to $35 from $25 following Amazon's first increase.