Even if you’re an Amazon addict, there are some things that don’t make sense to order from The Everything Store.
For example, you likely wouldn’t bother shelling out a shipping fee for a $US5 toothbrush you could easily pick up from your local convenience store.
But Amazon just announced a new policy that could change that.
This week, the company banished its $US35 minimum on free shipping. Instead, people can opt for free, 4-to-8 day delivery on thousands of small, light products, like phone cases, ear plugs, and toothbrushes.
Amazon calls it its “small and light” program, because it only applies to products that weigh less than 8 ounces, are smaller than 9x6x2 inches, and cost under $US10.
Before, only Prime customers, who pay $US99 a year to be part of Amazon’s membership program, got free shipping without an order minimum (though products will arrive on their doorstep in only two days, instead of 4 to 8).
“Customers now have the opportunity to buy single items without a threshold,” Amazon VP of product management Robert Eldridge told Business Insider.
Eldridge also stressed that this program is good for sellers too, who he says have seen an uptick in sales of smaller, cheaper items since Amazon started beta-testing the service about three months ago.
To have their products qualify for the free shipping, third-party sellers must sign up for Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) for those products. Amazon says the fee it charges for FBA is less than what sellers would otherwise pay to ship those single goods in a 4-to-8 day threshold
“We’ve got thousands of products from hundreds of sellers and more signing up every single day,” Eldridge said, adding that Amazon looks forward to continuing to scale the program over time.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.