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Print 36 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Oct 26 at 6:17 PM

This will likely push customers to get Amazon Prime

Amazon has upped its free shipping minimum order to $35 just ahead of the holiday season. 

Amazon's free shipping minimum order has been $25 for the last decade, but the online retail giant has raised the minimum by $10 starting yesterday. This means that customers must purchase a minimum of $35 on eligible items and have it shipped to any address in the 50 states in order to receive free shipping. 

Amazon, which announced that the free shipping minimum order would increase around the holidays earlier this year, is likely trying raising the minimum to keep up with the competition. Retailers like Target and Wal-Mart offer free shipping on purchases over $50, for example. 

 
In the last three months of 2012, Amazon spent almost $1.8 billion USD on shipping. Clearly, shipping isn't cheap and the added $10 will help.

This is also likely an effort to push customers toward an Amazon Prime membership. It only costs $79 per year and offers free two-day shipping on all eligible items with no minimum order size. Prime members also receive access to the company's streaming movie and TV show library. 

Source: Amazon



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parable
By Motoman on 10/23/2013 1:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
One day a man is walking to his new job, and passes a woman sitting on a street corner selling carnations for fifty cents each.

The man asks to buy a carnation from the woman, and hands her the fifty cents, but when she hands him the flower he tells her that it's for her, and she should keep it.

For 5 years the man walks the same route to work, passes the same woman selling carnations, and always hands her fifty cents to buy her one of her own flowers.

One day, as the man hands the woman two quarters on his way to work, the woman points at a hand-made sign taped to a nearby post...and says "oh, the carnations are 75 cents now..."

For those of you who just don't get it, the morale of the story is that if you're getting something for free, you don't get to complain about it. I've heard too many people whining about how it's "not fair" that Amazon upped their price for free shipping. You know what's not fair? People whining about getting something for free.




RE: parable
By jeepga on 10/23/2013 2:59:56 PM , Rating: 5
Cool story bro. Too bad it doesn't apply.

Amazon.com didn't give us free shipping out of the goodness of their hearts. They did so because business factors weighed in their favor to do so. Apparently now those factors have changed. It could be because of cost issues, it might be their latest ploy to push people to prime.

To me it doesn't matter. But, it will definitely be another factor in me deciding between them and another company. There are other choices sometimes better and sometimes not -- despite what Amazon.com would like you to believe.


RE: parable
By FITCamaro on 10/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: parable
By brasstax on 10/23/2013 4:33:23 PM , Rating: 5
Nothing is Free Mr. Camaro.

If you really think you weren't paying for shipping on purchases $25 and over before, then it is unlikely I will be able to convince you otherwise as your fundamental world view is probably unalterable at this point in your life.

We have been paying Amazon to ship us things for 'Free' the entire time. Now we will just need to pay Amazon a little more.


RE: parable
By inperfectdarkness on 10/24/2013 3:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
Truth^.

If you shopped Amazon long enough, you'd soon learn that on many items, Amazon doesn't offer the cheapest items via "free-shipping". In fact, some items are actually substantially cheaper (with additional shipping included) than their Amazon-sponsored "Free-Shipping" counterparts.

I don't really mind their minimums. What I do mind is getting to the check-out only to find that Amazon doesn't ship certain items to APO addressed. F**k you too!


RE: parable
By Cypherdude1 on 10/25/2013 12:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
Right now Amazon Prime is $79/year. Because Amazon has raised their standard Free Shipping threshold to $35, expect them to also raise their Prime membership fee.

A few months ago, I was surprised to learn Amazon has posted losses for a number of quarters. Amazon has just posted a net loss of $41M for the quarter ending September 30. A year ago Amazon posted a net loss of $274M.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24665478

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=AMZN

A few months ago, Amazon was going to delete all user photos and end displaying them. Apparently, because of customer protests, Amazon changed their minds.
http://tinyurl.com/customer-images-gone

Expect Amazon to continue finding areas to raise their prices and narrow their free services.


RE: parable
By edge929 on 10/23/2013 5:00:16 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is meeting the minimum amount. Many times Amazon has the lowest price on items I want but I only need one or two things at the time, both of which are under the $25 free shipping. So now I have to either wait to order until I need more stuff or find something else. If I need one of those items within a week or so, then that $25 dollar hurdle suddenly becomes a no-sale to Amazon and their local competitors now have my money. I don't order enough per year to justify Amazon Prime especially when I don't care for the streaming service.


RE: parable
By Solandri on 10/24/2013 8:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
Before I got Prime, I had that problem too. I tackled it the opposite way. I found a bunch of items I wanted to buy but wasn't in any hurry to get. I put all these in my cart, then moved them to my "save for later" list.

Then any time I needed something from Amazon but it was below the $25 threshold, I'd just find some item(s) in my "save for later" list which would put me over, and add them to that order.


RE: parable
By Moishe on 10/24/2013 2:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
I do this too, and it works great. I have Prime too, because it really is a good deal and can be shared across several accounts in a household.


RE: parable
By jeepga on 10/23/2013 5:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
As brasstax said, nothing is free. Do you think companies put things on sale to be nice?

The answer is no, in case you're confused. They put product on sale to move inventory, attract new customers, etc.; or to put it succinctly -- to make a profit.


RE: parable
By jeepga on 10/23/2013 5:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
And to be clear, I don't fault them for wanting to make a profit. But, we don't owe them anything.

Also, we have just as much right to complain as they do to raise prices.


RE: parable
By The Von Matrices on 10/23/2013 5:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
Free shipping is bad. Free shipping raises prices for most people.

Sure, "free shipping" sounds great, but nothing is free; the shipping cost is part of the price of the item. And it's flat rate, so if I live next to the warehouse, I pay the same amount as someone in the middle of nowhere.

This is why calculated shipping is so much better. If someone chooses to live in a remote area, he or she should be forced to pay for the extra costs of delivering the item. Their extra costs should not be passed on to me and other buyers.


RE: parable
By Moishe on 10/24/2013 2:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Free shipping is like insurance. We all get free shipping. Some of us save money that way and some of us lose money (we're paying for the shipping for another guy).

The real winner is Amazon because they get the instant upsell from people trying to find the extra $5 item to put them over the free shipping threshold. They also get the image that comes from offering something "for free" even though it's not.


RE: parable
By mindless1 on 10/26/2013 4:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with your idea is that Amazon has no incentive to change their shipping price model just to break even.

If they made such a change it would happen only to increase their profits which could mean that your shipping charge savings living closer to a distribution point might be very little if anything.

One of the smallest costs in getting a package from a warehouse to you is whether the delivery truck had to drive an extra two miles past the last delivery point, meaning that even in more remote areas delivery trucks often make runs, perhaps more often than you realize specifically because it is a remote region where more items are mailed and fewer bought at a local store.


RE: parable
By Motoman on 10/23/2013 8:19:39 PM , Rating: 1
It applies perfectly. And for what possible reason does it matter "why" Amazon decided to offer free shipping at all?

The one and only point that is of any validity is that if you're getting something for free, you have no basis to complain about it *at all.*

Regardless of any other consideration. At all.


RE: parable
By Nutzo on 10/24/2013 11:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
Between this increase and that they started charging sales tax earlier this year, I'll probably be buying much less from Amazon. The past few months I've been finding better prices (and free shipping) elsewhere.


RE: parable
By Duwelon on 10/23/2013 3:13:50 PM , Rating: 3
Worst. parable. ever.


RE: parable
By FITCamaro on 10/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: parable
By neihrick1 on 10/23/2013 5:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
500 dollars for gas and I'll mow your lawn for free.


RE: parable
By Moishe on 10/24/2013 2:36:58 PM , Rating: 1
$20 Bic pen with free shipping!

Pretty basic principle. It's all a matter of whether or not it is deemed exorbitant. On eBay, people whine about the $1 DVD player with $50 shipping... This is the same thing with less extremes.

BTW, I think the "free" shipping at Amazon is pretty genius and I can't blame them for doing it or raising it. Prices go up, that's life.


RE: parable
By KFZ on 10/23/2013 3:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'll be one of "those" people.

The man in the story is not getting something for free. He's actually not getting anything; the woman (the seller) gets everything.

Heartwarming gesture aside, technically he's paying the woman to keep her flowers. There's no complete transaction (unless we assume the woman takes the carnation and puts it in her hair and doesn't sell it, or something). It's pretty much a gift to her.

By contrast, Amazon's free shipping policy isn't a free gift; you need to buy stuff. Only then you merely *qualify* for the policy (it's not guaranteed on everything because of other sellers).

I'm not one of those complaining about this change in policy, especially with how much money I've already saved in free shipping from Amazon.

Even so, the parable as written doesn't compare to an argument of getting something for free (once again, the seller is getting everything, essentially keeping her stock of carnations and taking the man's money). It appears more of a statement that business is business and prices/policies are subject to change regardless of feelings toward them.


RE: parable
By neihrick1 on 10/23/2013 4:59:47 PM , Rating: 1
Are you sure. Are you sure the guy isn't getting something for free when he pays the woman and doesn't take flowers.


RE: parable
By Lord 666 on 10/23/2013 6:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
At no point in the story does the man deflower a gorgeous virgin hippie chick.


RE: parable
By Moishe on 10/24/2013 2:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. True. She keeps her flower.


RE: parable
By Motoman on 10/23/2013 7:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The man in the story is not getting something for free. He's actually not getting anything; the woman (the seller) gets everything.


That's because the story isn't really about the man - it's about the woman who became accustomed to get 50 cents for free every day.

You're trying to hard here. The point is that if you're getting something for free, it's free. Free is free, and you have no basis under any circumstance to complain about it.


RE: parable
By mindless1 on 10/26/2013 5:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
1) Yes you do have a basis to complain about something that's free. It's called freedom of speech.

It might seem selfish or ungrateful but nevertheless everyone is entitled to complain about something that's free and the person they complain to is entitled to listen or ignore them.

2) The shipping isn't really free unless UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc decide to stop charging them for it. Therefore it is an operationg expense that we are necessarily paying for, built into the price of goods.

That you can get additional items with free shipping after you reach $35 merely reflects them being willing to take a slightly smaller % profit on each item in order to increase profit by selling higher volume.


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