What the Tech?: Amazon Shipping Changes | Entertainment

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Amazon has raised the minimum purchase for free shipping. It only affects non-Prime members who shop at Amazon. Non-Prime members have always been able to get free shipping if they spend $25. The minimum now is $35.

Millions of Amazon shoppers don’t pay the $140 a year for a Prime membership. Unless you use the other Prime membership perks — such as Amazon Prime Video, early and exclusive Prime Day deals, and free Kindle books — it doesn’t make sense to pay $140 just for free shipping.

Non-Prime members purchasing a Bluetooth speaker for $25 have to pay $6.99 to have it delivered. Amazon pushes people to subscribe to Prime when they check out, offering free 30-day trials.

The solution to always getting free shipping is to add something else to the cart and reach the $35 minimum. If you’ve ever added extras to the cart, you’ve probably purchased things you don’t need just to get the free shipping.

Most shoppers aren’t aware that Amazon sells quite a few items for a couple of dollars or less, but they’re hard to find unless you search for specific items.

The website cheapfiller.com finds those cheap items for you. Simply enter how much you need to spend and cheap filler locates items in that price range.

I need to spend another $9.65 with that speaker to reach the free shipping minimum. I searched Cheap Filler for $1 items, and found taco seasoning packets for $1.49. By adding three of them — I know I will use them sooner or later — I’m just $5.18 shy of $35. I searched Cheap Filler again for $5 items, and it recommended a kitchen tool for $5.39. When I added it to my cart with a click, I reached the minimum for free shipping.

Cheap Filler narrows the possibilities by categories and there are quite a few food items under or around $2. You can find cheap items you may not need right away but add them to a shopping list for later. When you’re a few bucks away from free shipping, just move one or more of those items to your cart to reach the minimum purchase for free shipping. Sure you’re spending a little more, but it’s for things I know I’ll need sooner or later. Plus, I’ve saved the $140 by not paying for a Prime membership.

Cheap Filler gets a cut of what you spend through affiliate links, but it doesn’t affect the price. You can also use Cheap Filler if you’re trying to reach a minimum at Walmart, Target or any other retailer that requires a minimum purchase for free shipping. You won’t be able to add them to a Walmart cart for example, but it’s an easy way to find ideas for cheap items you need or want.

It’s a cheap way to save money.

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