Amazon drops $25 free shipping minimum for holidays

Amazon's warehouse in Fall River Massachusetts.                  Ben Fox Rubin  CNET

Amazon's warehouse in Fall River Massachusetts. Ben Fox Rubin CNET

Target last month raised the stakes for the all-important holiday shopping rush, offering USA customers free two-day shipping. It's hard not to say that Amazon's the one driving this bus, since the company has millions of people paying the company a tidy sum each year for their own version of free shipping (among other services, such as streaming video and music). The offer covers every product category, and although no end date is listed in the Amazon press release, orders arriving in time for Christmas suggests it will end around December 22 just like Target's offer does.

Amazon has just announced that they are offering free shipping to all Amazon customers in the US with no minimum purchase starting Monday, November 5! For many Prime members, the convenience of having orders arrive every few days outweighs small markups imposed to allow for fast and free shipping.

"We know many of our customers are starting to think about Christmas presents, parties and decorations at this time of year and we're excited to offer great deals when shoppers need them most" said Doug Gurr, Country Manager at Amazon UK. Best Buy also removed its free shipping threshold for the holidays, but gives no time guarantees.

Amazon Warehouse Partially Collapses in Storm, Killing 2
National Weather Service had earlier warned of thunderstorms in the area, with some producing gusty winds and heavy rain. Fire department chief Roman Clark told the Baltimore Sun that a 15-metre wall collapsed as a storm hit the area.

The outlet will be open from November 22 to November 25 and will be located at 3-10 Shoreditch High Street in London.

Prime members already get free shipping on all eligible orders with no minimum required, but without the holiday promotion, non-Prime shoppers must spend at least $25 to land free shipping.

Amazon has seemingly reacted to pressure from rivals before. Walmart, which offers free two-day shipping on orders over $35, told reporters after the Target announcement that it has no plans to change its shipping policy. Forrester Research is predicting 14% sales growth online but only 1.7% growth in stores.

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