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Amazon raises its minimum order for free shipping to $35

Up from $25, the new price represents the first increase by Amazon in a decade and could convince more people to pay for Amazon Prime.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
CBS Interactive

Amazon buyers will now have to tally up $35 worth of items before they qualify for free shipping.

The retail giant has posted a notice on its Web site alerting customers of the increase. And now when you add an item to your Amazon cart, the site tells you how much more you must spend to reach $35 to avoid paying for shipping.

The new price is a $10 increase over the prior $25 minimum, which was in place for the past decade. Amazon also noted that during the same time it's selected millions of more items that by themselves are available for free shipping.

The retailer didn't explain why it upped the minimum order price. But it's certainly one way to push people to buy an Amazon Prime subscription. In its notice, Amazon even took the opportunity to promote Prime, a $79-per-year service that offers unlimited free two-day shipping on products and the streaming of more than 40,000 movies and TV shows.

"The service is so popular that more than a year ago we began shipping more items with Prime than with free shipping," Amazon said in its notice.

People who like to buy from Amazon but don't typically order $35 worth of merchandise may now feel the need to plunge into Prime, like it or not.

(Via The Verge)