Amazon Limits Prime Free Shipping with Amazon Add On Item Program

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amazon add on program

Oh Amazon. I am a member of Amazon Prime. I am a member of Amazon Mom.  I use to spend HUNDRED of dollars with you a month, but as of recent — I just don’t think you like me, or us, the consumer.

I have had some ISSUES with you as of late.

Amazon MOM: When introduced, I saved 30% on my diapers and wipes and now it’s 20% AND the shipping is slow.

Sales Tax: I’m in Texas, so as of July I am now paying 8.25% more for all of my purchases from you.

While I LOVE Amazon Prime, well loved it – the movies are slow to update and honestly the majority of what you are offering, I already get on Netflix.

NOW this is what really gets me…..

Amazon Add On Item Program

amazon add on program itemAmazon has a new program that obviously is posed to stop people from buying small priced items and get free shipping with Amazon Prime.  So remember when you use to be able to buy a box of popcorn and because you pay $79 a year it shipped free? Well nope, not anymore. 

Amazon has placed a ton of small priced items on a new program called Amazon Add On Item program.  This program basically means if you want to buy a small priced item, say your box of popcorn from Amazon – you will need to spend $25 of more total on your purchase in order to buy the product! So basically, if you want to buy that box of popcorn from Amazon, you will need to buy $25 worth of them!

Here is how the add-on program being pitched at Amazon: 

The new Add-on program allows Amazon to offer thousands of low-priced items that would be cost-prohibitive to ship on their own. We’ve kicked off the Add-on program with thousands of new Add-on Items, and we’re adding more each day. Add-on Items ship with orders that include $25 or more of items shipped by Amazon, and you can get them delivered to your doorstep with free shipping.

and what does Amazon say about us who have purchased an Amazon Prime Membership?

When you add an Add-on Item to an Amazon Prime order of more than $25, your Add-on Item will also receive Prime shipping benefits, including FREE Two-Day Shipping. For example, if you ordered five $5 pacifiers, each of which was an Add-on Item, your order would receive FREE Two-Day Shipping.

As a Prime member you can continue to choose from the over 14 million (and growing) Prime-eligible items sold on, plus access Prime Instant Videos and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Not yet a member of Amazon Prime? Learn more about the benefits of Prime membership.

You can read the full details here.

Amazon Has HOW MANY Amazon Prime Members?

I spent many years in marketing and management. I KNOW the game and the marketing spin. You are looking at numbers and what is killing you is shipping. You look into shipping and come to find out that a large number of shipments are under $25 and are costing you more than it’s worth. You need a plan. A plan that won’t piss off the 3 – 5 MILLION Amazon Prime members that you have (source: Quora) that you told HEY YOU GET FREE SHIPPING and you don’t have to spend $25 — IF you pay us $79 a year.

So yes, at let’s go with the low number of 3 MILLION Amazon Prime Members. This is quite simple to do the math: $237 MILLION a year. I am sure the UPS bill is quite large. And I know the marketing game. Amazon is going to be playing up all of their other Amazon Prime Member benefits – you know like the movies (that don’t update that often). With their new Apple iPad app to play movies, and the free book you can borrow from the Kindle program – they are hoping this little Amazon add on item program will go to the way side.

Buying Everything on Amazon

Because REALLY, who needs to ship a box of pop corn? Well I did. I bought my groceries from you. My diapers and wipes from you. My baby food from you. My coffee and toilet paper and paper towels and laundry detergent all from you Amazon. And you know what, a lot of those items may seem minimal, but when things like sales tax, higher prices and what not start to add up – I’ll just go to the grocery story… OR find another online retailer.

For a mom of 4, Amazon is something I preached as a God send. I am not boycotting Amazon. I am not here to shun their business, because they still have a few good things going for them. I just know that this mom isn’t happy about the changes and in return won’t always utter the words AMAZON when something needs to be purchased.


What Do You Think About the Changes at Amazon? 


12 thoughts on “Amazon Limits Prime Free Shipping with Amazon Add On Item Program”

  1. I’m glad I read this post this morning. I, too, am not happy. I’ve been a Prime member for years and have been staring at the renewal email (due later this month) wondering if I should renew. What do you think? Will you be renewing when the time comes?

  2. Are you sure you understand this program correctly? These are are items that normally wouldn’t be shipped for free anyway. If you have Amazon Prime and want something uder $25 shipped for free, you still can. But if you want any of these add-on items, if your total goes over $25 then they will include those with your other items and ship those for free as well. They aren’t taking anything away. They are adding an addtional free service.
    I also looked for microwave popcorn and didn’t see anything labelled as an Add On item that was previously being shipped for free.

    • This is simply not accurate. I have one simple example. 6 months ago I bought a $5 USB cable from Amazon prime, and it was shipped with 2 day shipping. I lost that cable last week, so went to order the EXACT SAME CABLE today. I even pulled up my old order to make sure I was getting the same cable. Now, that item is an “Add-on” item, and I can’t check out once I have it in my cart, unless I also add $20 of other crap that I don’t need at the moment to get over the $25 mark.

      Now, I understand that Amazon can’t take constant losses shipping small dollar items with expensive 2 day shipping, that isn’t sustainable. So, since I need the cable anyway, I would happily actual shipping charges to get the cable shipped. But, I can’t do it. There is no option available to get this thing shipped to me, even if I will pay for shipping. I even called up their support number and their only answer was to add more items to the cart until I had enough to check out. So, instead, I went to a competitor site, added my $5 cable, picked the cheapest shipping cost ($6), and placed my $11 order for the cable. Crazy that I couldn’t do the same thing from Amazon don’t you think?

  3. Gray, I’m seeing many items that used to be included in Amazon Prime that are now only offered as an “add on” item. I think the popcorn was used as a hypothetical, but if you want specifics, over the past few days I’ve seen art supplies (crayons, drawing pads) that cost as much as $5 now being included as an “add-on” whereas previously they would have shipped alone as part of my prime membership. So many of these items WOULD have “normally” been shipped for free before they were turned into add-on items. They HAVE taken something away, and when my Prime membership is up, I’m going to have to seriously re-evaluate whether it’s still worth it for me to be a member.

  4. Just an FYI .. you are supposed to pay sales tax on your own when you purchase online. I’m not saying everyone does, but you are supposed to.

    I’m just as angry as you about this issue, but you can’t factor in the sales tax as a “savings” since you are supposed to claim it.

  5. Thank you for posting this. I too purchased a lot of small items from Amazon and got hit with this add-on program right after I signed up for their Amazon Prime service. To be fair it was probably just bad timing, but to sign up for a service and then a month later learn that my monthly purchases were no longer available unless I bought a book on top of it, made me rather livid. Fortunately, I had invoices to prove that I never benefited from Amazon Prime and got a refund. But the way Amazon worded their program is dishonest because these were not products they were unable to ship before, they were normal Prime eligible products. Reading your blog post was rather cathartic because it expressed exactly what I was internally ranting about and helped me come to terms with the fact that while this policy is a bad thing, Amazon still has its uses. I’ve been distressed of late trying to find alternatives places to buy specific items I used to rely on Amazon for.

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  7. I just did an order at amazon and got the same thing. The original order was 17.95 and I paid shipping of about $6 for it a month ago. When I went back to do the same exact order I couldn’t get it. I had to almost double my order to be able to check out and they still made me pay the 6 dollars in shipping. If I had any other place to get it I would have.

    Amazon right now is getting to show exactly what is wrong with the USA, totally caught up in greed and profit to the max that they when they do lose sales they are going to not understand why.

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