If you don't subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can qualify for free shipping if your order is $25 or more – and it ships from Amazon. But what if you don't need $25 worth of stuff? Even then, there are ways to qualify for free or low-cost shipping.
Add filler items
Filler items, as the term sounds, are those you purchase just to fill your online shopping cart to meet a minimum price. Amazon makes it easy for you by letting you search for "add on items under" plus the amount you need. You can also check out SFiller.com, which enables you to search for a product with a maximum value in specific categories and with keywords.
Buy within 24 hours of placing an order that qualifies for free shipping
Under Amazon's Extended Free Shipping policy, you can enjoy free shipping on orders for 24 hours after placing an order that qualifies for free shipping. The items in your new order must be shipped by Amazon and to the same address as the qualifying order, but there is no minimum purchase amount.
Purchase lightweight items from Amazon Marketplace sellers
Many small, lightweight items don’t cost much to ship, and Amazon Marketplace sellers often offer them with free shipping to get more orders. You'll find these offers in the "New from" tab under the price and in the "Other Sellers on Amazon" section below. Items will often be more expensive than Amazon and take longer for delivery, but when you factor in the $5.99 shipping that Amazon charges, it can end up being less expensive to buy from the Marketplace seller. Just make sure to check out the reputation of the seller. You can check their reputation by clicking on the "New from" box.
Join an Amazon Household
Do you know someone with an Amazon Prime account? Amazon Prime members can share their benefits with you by adding you to their Amazon Household. When you join an Amazon Prime member's Household, you'll receive free 2-day shipping, access to Prime Video, and more. Check out my story on How to Share Your Amazon Prime Benefits with Someone Else for Free to find out more.
Updated on 11/14/2022 to reflect new Amazon free shipping policies
[Image credit: Screenshot via Techlicious, Amazon boxes on porch via BigStockPhoto]
For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.
From Kay on February 24, 2016 :: 5:14 pm
I just had to order a micro USB card. Amazon’s price was 12.60. They added tax and then a whopping EIGHT BUCKS to ship that tiny thing. One of Amazon’s sellers with a 99% rating was offering it for 12.74, no tax, and free shipping. Which one do you think I picked? I can wait five days.
Check those other sellers, folks!