09 April 2020

Amazon's Misleading Free Delivery

Perhaps as with most other people who engage in e-commerce, every now and then I purchase items in Amazon. It's convenient, after all. And because we typically lead busy lives, we explore other options, like having things delivered at a pick-up point which you can then later pick up at a time convenient to you. That's great, especially when you have the time to wait. That said, somehow recently things have changed and become slightly annoying, when it comes to their claims of free delivery.

The thing is, it used to be the case that they have a minimum basket value that qualifies you for free delivery. If you exceed about 30 EUR, then your purchase qualifies for free delivery. Nowadays it seems that this option has disappeared. Now, your orders qualify only for free delivery when you also opt to be a member of Prime. Prime is Amazon's membership schema, with a yearly fee. The question then is whether I order enough items with enough frequency to make being a Prime member worth it. I think my answer to that is no.

The annoying thing is that this free delivery concept is falsely marketed by Amazon. They make it super easy to accidentally become a Prime member, when it's not clear at all that there's a membership fee to it. Customers get hooked with the promise of free delivery and they click all the relevant buttons forcing them to sign up for Prime, so they get hit by surprise when they later see a separate charge on their credit card for the Prime membership fee.

This definitely is annoying.

So yeah, forget about free delivery if you're not a Prime member. If you want Prime, that's 69.00 EUR per year. Figure out your Amazon behaviour and see whether that's worth it or not. For me, it definitely isn't.


  1. Weird, I got the free (i.e. no fee) delivery right before Christmas when I grouped several purchases. I refuse to sign up for Prime, I just don't use Amazon enough to justify it.

    1. Zhu,

      Same here, Amazon for me more or less is the last resort option. I use Amazon as a way to keep a list of books I want to order, but I definitely go to my neighbourhood independent bookstore first to see whether they carry the titles I am looking for, before ordering them in Amazon.