Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All Items

Photo (cc) by cogdogblog

The next item you buy on Amazon.com might not come with free two-day shipping — even if you have an Amazon Prime membership.

Prime is a program that offers Amazon customers access to perks like unlimited free two-day shipping for an annual fee. But now, the Wall Street Journal reports, whether an item ships to a Prime member for free within two days depends in part on where the item and the customer are located.

That’s because Amazon is testing a new program, called Ship by Region, with some of its independent sellers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the program allows those sellers to limit how far they will ship an item to a Prime member within the two-day window.

For example, a merchant can opt not to deliver within the two-day window if it must ship a bulky item like a large-screen TV beyond the region where the merchant is based.

A new competitor to Amazon, Jet.com, similarly offers shipping discounts based on the distance between a customer and the items they purchase, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Prime now costs $99 per year, with a discounted rate of $49 available for students. A free trial is still available, although “you will be automatically upgraded to a paid membership plan at the end of the trial period.”

To learn more about it, check out “How to Keep Amazon Prime for Cheap, Plus Other Options” and “Sharing an Amazon Prime Membership? Not So Fast.”

What do you think of this change? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

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