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Amazon raises minimum spend for free delivery to £35 – here's how to beat it

If you shop at Amazon and don't have a Prime membership, you now need to spend at least £35 to get your order delivered for free. The online retail giant has quietly upped its minimum spend for free delivery from £25. 

Amazon has blamed the increase – which we were first alerted to by users of the Forum – on "a number of external factors influencing shipping costs". 

Of course, never assume Amazon is offering you the best price. To check if it's a good deal, compare past prices on Amazon, as well as using online comparison sites to check prices elsewhere – just remember to factor in delivery costs too. For more tips to slash the cost of buying anything and everything online, see our Cheap online shopping guide.

If you still want to order from Amazon, we've ways to avoid its delivery charges below. 

1. Check if delivery fees apply to your Amazon order

Amazon's delivery, if you don't have Prime, can be anything from £3.95 to £4.99. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated delivery charges could be as low as 99p, but Amazon has since confirmed this is no longer the case.

You usually qualify for free delivery on orders of £35 and above when you buy items sold directly by Amazon or when you buy items that are dispatched or fulfilled by Amazon from its Marketplace – which means it's listed by a third-party trader selling via Amazon. To check this, go to the product page and under the orange 'Buy Now' button, it'll say where the item is dispatched from.

If you're buying from Amazon Marketplace and goods aren't dispatched by Amazon directly, separate delivery charges will likely apply. 

2. Does your order contain books? There's a lower minimum spend

If you're buying books dispatched by Amazon, the minimum spend for free delivery remains at £10 for now. This means if your order includes £10 or more-worth of books dispatched by Amazon, all other items from Amazon in the order will be dispatched for free too.

3. Spending close to £35? There's a tool you can use to scour for small filler items

The handy Super Saver Delivery tool (developed by an ex-MSE team member) scours Amazon for small filler items to bump up your order to £35. So it may be worth buying something small you need to take you to the £35 free delivery threshold (£10 if your order includes books dispatched by Amazon). You can do this even if your item is being sold by a third-party, so long as it's dispatched by Amazon. 

Just enter how much more you'd need to spend to get to £35 in the tool and it displays a list of items with prices close to that amount. For example, if you wanted a £34.99 candle gift set – you'd face £4.99 delivery, a total of £39.98. But the tool reveals you can add a 22p safety-pin set, so you'd only pay £35.21 in total as delivery would be free.

4. If your orders aren't urgent, group them together

To avoid paying multiple delivery fees for smaller value items, try holding off if you can, so you can buy multiple items together.

This way, once your total order is £35 or more – and the items are dispatched by Amazon – you'll be eligible for free delivery instead of paying up to £4.99 for each individual purchase.

5. Check if Prime is worth it for you

Amazon Prime subscribers can get free one-day delivery on many items without needing to meet the £35 minimum spend threshold. It also gives you access to Prime TV shows, movies and some Premier League games, music streaming and more. 

Newbies can get a free 30-day trial of the service. The beauty is you can sign up, then just cancel the trial before Amazon charges you – although forget to cancel and you'll be charged the normal £95 for a year's Prime (if you select monthly billing, it's £8.99).

Of course, if you frequently place multiple orders with Amazon, you should calculate how much you're spending on delivery costs over the course of a year and check if Prime is worth keeping. For example, if you place 30 Amazon orders a year, costing the maximum £4.99 delivery each time, you'll be paying £149.70 a year in delivery fees – which is £54.70 more than an annual Prime subscription.

6. Don't need delivery? Check if you can collect your Amazon order for free

If you're able to leave the house to get your parcel, check if you can get free delivery to a 'pickup' location, such as a local shop, Post Office or Amazon Locker. Free click and collect is available for items that are dispatched by Amazon.

To check if this applies to your order, go to the product's page. Next to 'Delivery' on the right-hand side, it'll say 'Pickup'. Select this and it'll say if free pickup is available. Then, to select click and collect at the checkout:

  1. Click 'Change' to the right of your delivery address. All the addresses you have listed on Amazon will appear. Under these, select 'Your pickup locations'.
  2. Select 'Find a pickup location near you' and enter your postcode. Scroll to find a convenient location and select 'Pick up here'.
  3. Make sure free delivery is selected. Under 'Review items and delivery', it'll say 'Choose a delivery option'. You should have 'Free standard delivery' selected.

You'll be notified once your item has arrived at the pickup location. If you're collecting it from an Amazon Locker, you'll need to pick it up within three days, and if it's at your local shop or Post Office, it's seven days.

For more ways to save if you need to shop at Amazon, see our 30+ Amazon buying tricks, as well as our Amazon deals and discount codes.

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