Among the countless ways Amazon has forever changed the way we shop, its Amazon Prime subscription service has taught us to expect fast, free delivery on everything we order online. Of course, Amazon Prime isn’t exactly free – you pay upfront for the service, which includes two-day (or faster) shipping on all orders. And, like so much else in 2022, the price of Prime membership is going up.
For new Prime members, the price has already dropped from $119 to $139 per year. Existing members will see the $20 price hike in annual renewals, starting March 25. For monthly Prime subscribers, the cost goes from $12.99 to $14.99 per month. If you’re a heavy user of Prime’s other services, such as streaming TV and movies, photo storage, and discounts at Whole Foods, Prime might still be a good deal.
“You need to look at how much you’ve used the free shipping benefit and if you were using other Prime benefits to see if it’s still worth it for you,” says Kristin McGrath, of RetailMeNota coupon and offer company.
If, after such consideration, you decide to stop paying for Prime, that doesn’t mean you have to give up free shipping. There are many other ways to have items delivered to your doorstep without paying freight charges. Here are seven methods to consider.
If you still want to order from Amazon…
It’s still possible to get free shipping on items you order from Amazon using the following tactics:
• Create an order worth at least $25
You won’t get guaranteed two-day shipping, but Amazon does offer free five-day shipping on all qualifying orders it processes that total more than $25. Look for free shipping eligibility on item product pages. If the items you need don’t total $25, sites like CheapFiller.com Where FillerChecker.com may suggest as few items as possible to allow you to exceed this threshold.
Another tactic: “Pre-order items that aren’t available yet,” says Michelle Madhok, CEO of the fashion news and deals site. SheFinds.com. Why? Because they count towards your purchase total, Madhok explains. If you later change your mind about the pre-order item, simply cancel before it becomes available to avoid being charged.
• Use “Subscribe and save”
Even if you don’t have Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” Prime offer, you can use this feature, which allows customers to receive automatic shipments of food staples like pet food, toothpaste and toilet paper, usually at a reduced price, without having to remember to reorder. Non-Prime customers may face shipping charges for the initial order of certain items, but subsequent auto-shipments come with free standard shipping.
One thing to keep in mind with this method, however, is that even with free shipping, you might be able to find better prices elsewhere, says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews. “You’re paying for a convenient schedule and you don’t have to remember to reorder,” she says.