“From time to time, we review our shipping options.” Amazon’s told Re/code. The company isn’t offering a more specific explanation for the change, though there are a few likely explanations.
The most obvious reason is that Amazon is simply pushing more people to sign up for Prime, which also includes free music and video streaming. Amazon Prime costs $99 per year, making it a pretty good deal for anyone who frequently makes small purchases on the site.
It’s also possible that the company could be raising its free shipping minimum to cover new costs. Re/code suggests that Amazon’s recent efforts to speed up delivery times for Prime customers could be the cause for this change. In that case non-Prime customers are essentially footing the bill for Prime benefits.
Either way there’s one clear solution to the problem: sign up for Amazon Prime.
Update: Amazon reached out to let us know it also recently lowered the Free Shipping minimum for eligible book orders to $25 for non-Prime members.