Over the weekend, Amazon.com quietly reduced its free two-day shipping minimum rate for non-Prime subscribers to $35. Amazon confirmed the change on its shipping guidelines and options page. Amazon's free shipping rate has gone up and down over the years. The free shipping minimum has been as low as $25 in the past, and was most recently $49. The rate has gone up in recent years as Amazon hopes to move consumers to subscribe to its $99 per year Prime service, which includes two-day free shipping as well as access to its digital library of movies, books and more.
Total Retail’s Take: Amazon’s free shipping option is arguably one of its most popular promotions, and some say one of the key reasons for its success. While it usually leads the competition here, some followers wonder if Amazon's decision to quietly roll back its free shipping minimum without much fanfare is because it's finally feeling the pressure from other retailers with lower free shipping requirements. Last month, for example, Wal-Mart introduced free two-day shipping on orders $35 and over, while Best Buy introduced its own $35, two-day free shipping last July.