Amazon is once again flirting with a $35 minimum for non-Prime subscribers to qualify for free shipping. It’s currently testing the increased minimum order amount, which has been set at $25 since 2017. The price actually started at $25 before Amazon raised it to $35 in 2013, then raised it again to $49 in 2016, when it began lowering it to $35 and, later, $25. (Yes, it’s all very confusing.)
Amazon’s ongoing roller-coaster ride of pricing naturally pushes people toward its $139 per-year Prime membership — where you don’t have to worry about minimum order amounts on items that qualify for free two-day shipping (or faster).
CNBC’s reporting indicates that the minimum order hike hasn’t yet rolled out to all non-Prime accounts, and a quick check of some of our personal Amazon accounts here in The Verge’s newsroom confirms that some are seeing the new $35 minimum while others are still at $25. You’ll have to log in to your non-Prime Amazon account and check the sidebar status near an item’s price to see which price your minimum order is set to. As for Prime subscribers who have a similar minimum order price for extra speedy same-day shipments, that tier at this time seems to be holding at $25.
Amazon has obviously reversed course on this before, though it’s not hard to imagine that the higher price may be here to stay as many services in 2023 are getting pricier and one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, Walmart, also has a $35 minimum. Amazon spokesperson Kristina Pressentin said to CNBC, “We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments.” And Amazon’s track record certainly shows a lot of evaluating and course-correcting.