Amazon has just given you another reason to stay nailed to your sofa by ditching shipping charges for small items.
The new service, called "Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light," includes items weighing under 8 ounces (230 grams), many of which sell for less than $10, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
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Amazon shoppers without Prime membership usually have to spend a minimum of $35 to qualify for free shipping, though this will remain the case for items falling outside the "small and light" category.
Operating out of a base in Florence, Kentucky, delivery should take between four and eight business days. The base will reportedly hold inventory from a large number of third-party merchants who'll pay Amazon a percentage of each transaction in exchange for the e-commerce giant's end-to-end service.
Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has focused on increasing the value of the $99-a-year Prime membership, adding same-day delivery in big cities, video streaming and music. By offering free shipping, the Seattle-based online retailer will be able to target a wider pool of customers and market its services, including Prime membership.
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The new offer gives online shoppers an opportunity to order inexpensive goods one at a time without worrying that shipping costs are more than the price of the item or feeling compelled to buy additional products to meet a free-shipping threshold.
Amazon started the program on a trial basis 13 weeks ago. The company introduced it Monday after seeing that items targeted for free shipping without a minimum order threshold sold more quickly than they had previously.