Amazon Offers Free Shipping on Small Items (Even if You Don’t Have Prime)

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Amazon’s newest perk for shoppers: If it’s small and light, you can get it shipped for free, no minimum order required.

The free shipping option is available to all Amazon customers, not just members of Prime, the e-commerce giant’s $99 annual membership program offering free two-day shipping on millions of items. Until now, you had to be a Prime member or make a $35 minimum order to qualify for free shipping.

It’s an effort to woo cost-conscious consumers who shop on eBay, at Target or Wal-Mart, Bloomberg reports.

“The new offer gives online shoppers an opportunity to order inexpensive goods one at a time without worrying that shipping costs are more than the price of the item or feeling compelled to buy additional products to meet a free-shipping threshold,” Bloomberg said.

The free shipping option applies to items that weigh less than 8 ounces, are smaller than 9 x 6 x 2 inches, and cost less than $10, WLS-TV said. The small, light items will ship out of a new Amazon fulfillment center in Florence, Kentucky. Delivery will take four to eight business days.

The bulk of the small, light inventory will come from third-party sellers who give Amazon a portion of each sale for providing storage, packaging, delivery and customer service, Bloomberg said.

“Customers love that even if it’s a $5 item, shipping is free for everybody, Prime member or not,” Neil Ackerman, a senior manager at Amazon, said in an interview. “Customers love it and sellers love it.”

What do you think of Amazon’s free shipping option? Share your comments below.