Amazon “Add-on” – add low-priced items to your cart for free shipping

Courtesy: Amazon

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.

2 thoughts on “Amazon “Add-on” – add low-priced items to your cart for free shipping

  1. You still have to spend $25 to get free shipping if not Prime, so I don’t see a change there at all. Also, if you DO have Prime the “add-on” item (that would not have been offered as Prime on its own) would be shipped free 2-day along with, say your $9 Prime item you were already ordering anyway (as long as both shipped directly from Amazon).

    One thing I’ve noticed here is that lately Amazon is using FedEx A LOT, where they previously were mainly using UPS (and sometimes “Prestige”). I was happy at first because all my UPS packages over the past year were somehow slit open (as if someone wanting to know what is inside) or Amazon tape broken and retaped with clear tape. Every.Single.Time. Nothing missing but I’ve been ordering boring things.

    Now with FedEx (who announced they are laying off thousands, then announced hiring a ton of “seasonal” employees—so I expect it to get worse), I’ve had packages lost and damaged (Amazon resent but was NOT a streamlined process and defeats the purpose of my $79 “Prime” 2 day Shipping.). So I guess the UPS “peepers” were the better alternative? Sad.

    I never EVER use their free instant videos because it is not set up at ALL user friendly (like Netflix), and you can’t even put anything on a queue (and browsing is useless).

    I highly doubt I will renew next year. Amazon keeps changing bits at a time, and despite the fact they seem to think they’re invinceable, they’re headed toward Ebay uselessness. If you place an order Thurs through Sun it is like not even having Prime by the time it processes/ships. About over it.


    • Thanks for your comments. Interesting on your pkg being opened and damaged .That’s a little unnerving if you ever were to order something of value. I’ve had things shipped to work before if I was nervous of them being stolen or taken. Just a thought if you order something a little more interesting. We’ve had good luck with ordering items on the weekends and them arriving rather quickly. I think we might stay with it another year or so. We order a lot of items online so the free shipping is nice. I don’t want to have to add to my order or think about my shopping to avoid the shipping charges.


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