Amazon introduces free shipping on small items

By: Abbey Dufoe | June 4, 2015 (Edited July 7, 2017)

In the face of mounting competition from other big box retailers, Amazon is going to provide free shipping on all small items - and no Prime subscription necessary.

There will be a weight limit, however. All packages 8 ounces or less will ship for free, but will likely deliver within 3 (or 4)-8 business days, according to CNet. There will also be a price limit of $10 or less.

This new offering is different from Prime, which normally gives free 2-day shipping to members (membership costs $99 per year). Amazon also offers free shipping for items over $35.

Amazon Prime has proved lucrative for the online retailer. At the end of 2014, Amazon Prime had 40 million US members, up from an estimated 29 million at the end of the third quarter, data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows. CIRP estimates that the average Amazon Prime customer spends $1,500 per year on the e-commerce site, compared with $625 for nonmembers.

Deliveries will come from a specially-stocked warehouse in Kentucky, according to USA Today. Most of the inventory will come from third-party sellers from which Amazon collects a percentage.

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Written by Abbey Dufoe

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