Amazon used to have free super saver shipping for orders over $25. Then the minimum was raised to $35. Now the minimum is $49. Amazon is pushing more people to sign up for Amazon Prime. I don’t have Amazon Prime. When I looked at my Amazon orders I figured if I had to pay shipping on every order, I would still come out ahead.
Without Amazon Prime, you still get free shipping if your order includes $25 worth of books, presumably because Barnes & Noble offers free shipping at $25 minimum order. However, many books are under $25. If you prefer hardcopy books as opposed to e-books on Kindle, it feels silly to pay $18 for the book and then add 30% for shipping. To meet the $25 minimum you’d have to wait until you want to buy two books.
Amazon actually owns a company that sells books with free shipping worldwide on every order, even when you just buy one book. It’s called Book Depository. The company is based in the UK, but you buy in U.S. dollars. Prices are about the same as on Amazon.
I bought a few times from them. Even when they ship from the UK, the delivery time isn’t noticeably longer than Amazon’s free super saver shipping.
I compared prices with a few random books:
|The Index Revolution by Charles Ellis||$20.11||$19.02|
|How to Think About Money by Jonathan Clements||$13.99||$13.98|
|How to Make Your Money Last by Jane Bryant Quinn||$19.04||$19.68|
As you see prices are within $1 between Amazon and Book Depository. If you don’t have Amazon Prime and you just want that one book, you can order from Book Depository.
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If you spend money on TV and music services which could be replaced by Prime video/music, and count in free shipping, it may be worthwhile to purchase Prime.
Sam S says
Wow. Great find, Harry. Thanks for the tip.
Don’t forget your local library, which you already pay for through taxes, may have these books already, in many formats including Kindle. I find the restricted time you have for reading a book encourages me to read it faster, instead of letting it sit if I paid for it.
I recall Amazon announcing a while back that they were getting rid of the free family add-on’s, but I’ve only been an add-on on my parent’s account and I still get the free shipping. They even let me take the Prime member discount on Amazon Music Unlimited. Pretty cool.