Earlier today Amazon raised the “free shipping on everything” price from $35 to $49. The increase come a little over two years since the last increase which saw Amazon raise the minimum from a very decent $25 to $35.
Beyond the price increase, the rest of the requirements to pick up free shipping remain the same–including for books. This is reasonable since an increase for books would’ve raised some eyebrows given a large chunk of Amazon’s book business is centered on Kindle which is more immediate and tends to be better priced.
There’s been no announcement on why the company raised the price again. Given that Prime doesn’t take a monthly subscription—which likely would’ve brought in more subscribers on a regular basis—bumping the price on the minimum requirements seems like a good idea for Amazon to pull more revenue.
This gives customers two no-win options: pay $100 up front a service you might not use on a regular weekly basis or buy $49 in stuff to get free shipping. The third option is always going through other sellers on Amazon and hustle for free Amazon gift cards through Bing or rewards apps.