Amazon has lowered its free shipping minimum back down to $25, the latest policy change amid a free-shipping battle with Walmart. The change seems to have been made sometime last week, but it went unreported until today. BestBlackFriday alerted us to the change.
This is the second time this year that Amazon has lowered its free shipping minimum. In February, Amazon lowered the minimum from $49 to $35. Now that it’s down to $25, the minimum has returned to the place it sat at for more than a decade, before Amazon starting raising it back in 2013.
A free shipping battle is raging
Amazon began bumping up the minimum on free shipping in part as a way to promote Prime, which covers all shipping costs regardless of how much a customer is buying. Prime seemed like a much better deal when the minimum was at $49, since it opened up the ability for subscribers to place much smaller orders.
But in January, Walmart began offering free two-day shipping, without a subscription, on orders of at least $35. That made shopping at Walmart seem far more appealing, and clearly Amazon agreed. Its first drop in the shipping minimum came just weeks later. And today’s drop suggests Amazon is now more concerned with competing with Walmart than using the shipping minimum as another way to boost Prime subscriptions.
That all said, Walmart still has a leg up on Amazon in one way: though its minimum is $10 higher, Walmart offers free two-day shipping, while Amazon’s free shipping can estimate times of a week or longer.
In a statement, Amazon confirmed that it “recently lowered the minimum order amount" and said that “all orders with $25 or more of eligible items qualify for free shipping.”