We’re bombarded by products at stores from the moment we walk in until the moment we leave. There are items everywhere because consumers tend to impulse buy. Now, it’s spreading to the online world. Make an impulse buy and you may get free shipping.
Amazon offers free shipping if you spend $25 on items it ships. Now, getting to that threshold will be easier with its “Add-on” program. I see it as a way to get you to impulse buy or spend more so you can save on shipping.
The retailer wants you to see this as a treat because it’s add-on products are ones it normally wouldn’t sell you. These are small-sized items that are low-priced. Normally, Amazon doesn’t sell or ship these items because it is cost prohibitive. Some of the items include Diamond chopped pecans for $3.42, an exfoliating towel for $5 and The Body Shop mini hairbrush for $5. Now, you can “add-on” these items to your order. So, if the product you want is $12, you can $13 worth of “add-on” products to your order and you’ll get free shipping as long as Amazon ships the items. Your other option is to pile several small and low-priced items into your cart to meet the $25 free shipping threshold without a higher priced item.
Many of the featured items in the add-on program are grocery, pet or health and beauty products. Before this program; Amazon sold grocery items in bulk and you couldn’t buy just one bag of nuts. Look for the Add-on Item icon and subsequent blue box next to qualifying items.
If you have add-on items and your order is not over $25, you can save them for a future purchase.
Some consumers are complaining on Amazon’s site about the $25 minimum order. Some say they only want one $5 item and wish they could just pay the shipping costs. This program requires you to spend more if you want free shipping.
This also brings into question the value of Amazon Prime. I’m a Prime user and love it for the free shipping. Why pay the money for membership if you can get free shipping by adding on items? The problem right now is the product offerings appear limited. However, Amazon said it’s adding more items every day to its Add on program. Plus, I can spend whatever I want with Prime and still get free shipping on most products. The shipping will still be faster than Add-on free shipping. With Prime, you also get other benefits if you stream video or read e-books. Still, I’ll be watching closely as Prime may have passed its prime for me.