Amazon is making some serious changes to their Prime program, and you might want to pay attention if you thought their previous model was out of reach. Now in order to qualify for free shipping - one of the biggest perks of Prime that bring people over to the program - you have to purchase at least $49 worth of eligible products.
Prime is $99 a year and includes free two day shipping and a subscription to their unlimited video streaming.
The rate used to be $35, and this is the first time that the minimum amount was increased since 2013. However, you still only need to purchase $25 worth of books in order to qualify for the free shipping.
Amazon isn't offering up an explanation for why they raised the order minimum, though many can conclude that it is to push customers toward Prime. More and more people are signing up for Prime, according to reports, so that might be something that they want to continue. In fact, Prime membership increased by 51% worldwide last year, according to Wired.
Amazon is getting more aggressive with shipping because they are also working on building more storehouses that will allow them to get purchases out to the public at a quicker rate. Prime is the biggest asset that they have, and they will continue to nudge more and more people to use their services.
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Maybe this will work.