Amazon has increased the amount a customer needs to spend to qualify for free delivery.
Products in certain categories - DVDs, music, video games and software - will still qualify for Free Supersaver Delivery.However, customers will now be slapped with a £3.99 charge when they buy an electronics item under £10, with many others incurring a charge of over £6.00 - often more than the cost of the item itself.
"Whilst the change will affect only a very small proportion of orders, it will allow us to offer you a significantly expanded selection of lower priced products," the company clai ms.
Apart from saving the company delivery costs, the motivation behind the move is likely to be to try and shift more customers to signing up for Amazon Prime, whereby customers paying a £49 annual fee can receive free next-day delivery on all orders.
But it's likely to be unpopular with third-party sellers using the company's Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) service, many of whom are specialists whose sales consist mostly of single low-cost items. "I think this is really bad that there has been no warning from account managers in FBA that this was going to happen. Eighty percent of our products are under £10!" comments one seller on vendor forum Tamebay.
However, there is still a way of getting free delivery on orders under £10 - as long as customers can think of a book or DVD they'd like. Free Super Saver Delivery still applies to all orders including a book, DVD, game or software package of any price - so that if a customer orders, say, a £2.50 bag of pet-food, adding a £2.00 book to the order will mean it qualifies. Indeed, with many books and CDs costing under £1.00, Amazon might start to see its customers becoming a lot more cultured in future.