Amazon drops free-shipping minimum

Alicia Cross
November 6, 2018

Amazon has decided that it doesn't want to miss out on those precious holiday dollars, and because of that, it's going to open up free two-day shipping to anyone who buys something through its store.

Beginning Monday, the online retail giant said it will expand its free shipping to all customers on items scheduled to arrive in time for Christmas - with no minimum purchase required.

The news follows Target's recent announcement that it will offer free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items. Amazon also boasts that this is the biggest selection of same-day shipping items in the U.S. It includes toys, electronics, home goods, and fashion items, among other listings.

This is the first time Amazon is offering such an offer, though the company had free shipping for orders over $25 past year. Free two-day shipping has always been the core benefit of the Amazon Prime program, which costs $119/year.

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The war for online holiday shoppers is already off to a roaring start, and Amazon is preparing to take the lion's share of online shopping again this season. Before, the purchase threshold was $25. With this move, Amazon is forgoing numerous fees it would normally collect to offset shipping costs. Sales in November and December - excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants - are expected to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion, according to figures from the National Retail Federation.

Amazon also said that Amazon Prime members will be able to enjoy free same-day delivery.

Amazon didn't say when customers using the free standard shipping tier would have to place orders to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

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