As they say, one man's ceiling is another man's floor. And just weeks after Amazon said its Prime members can expect to get their orders delivered quicker, the company has begun increasing the free shipping minimum from $25 to $35 for non-Prime members in some markets across the U.S.
According to CNBC, which first reported the move, Amazon resists calling the change official, rather couching it as a test.
“We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments,” Kristina Pressentin, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a statement. “Prime members continue to enjoy free delivery on over 300 million items, with tens of millions of items available for free same or one-day delivery.”
Why oh why is this happening?
The smart bets on why this is happening are being placed on cost-cutting. Coming out of a bottom-line-happy pandemic, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is having to take a hard look at how the company deals with the post-pandemic slowdown.
More than 25,000 jobs were cut, some of the company’s projects were paused, the number of private brands was cut back, and the company started placing fees on some returns at UPS stores.
However, to its credit, Amazon has made strides in dealing with consumer paint points like prescription costs, especially insulin.
As far as whose accounts are affected by the $10 bump, there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason, although there’s some speculation the test may be clustered by zip codes. Ecommercebytes has been tracking the situation since it first noticed consumers complaining about it and said that non-Prime members who posted about the situation on Reddit were clueless as to what the motive was, as well.
One user said when they saw the higher threshold, they thought it was because their account got flagged because of the number of recent returns. Another person said Amazon told them it was due to the economy.
"Yes, it's increased to $35 for me too about a month ago. No one at 'customer service' seems to know anything about it. I got someone to look into it again today and they said it was a business decision due to the economy,” the customer posted.
“The fact is, it isn't hard to get $35 worth of merchandise, but this should have been announced. There is no news of this increase anywhere as there was when Amazon Fresh raised their minimum recently to I believe, $150... Amazon is not transparent. I can buy my items elsewhere."
Amazon said it will continue to offer Same-Day Delivery for $9.99 to non-Prime customers in participating metros and that non-Prime customers can also pay for delivery on orders under $35.