Amazon Expands Free Shipping

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Amazon said it is making it easier for customers to qualify for the minimum $35 order for free shipping.

The online retailer began notifying customers Tuesday that it is no longer requiring all of the items in a shopping cart to come from the same seller. Items sold by third-party sellers that offer free shipping can be combined with Amazon-fulfilled products to achieve the minimum $35 order.

Amazon said it expects the new shipping policy will more than triple the number of items eligible to contribute to free shipping. All eligible items will have a “Free Shipping” message on the product page.

Millions of retailers sell on Amazon, but the company used to require all of the items in a customer’s basket come from the same party to qualify for free shipping.

With free shipping, orders are delivered five to eight business days after the items are available to ship.

Amazon said at the end of December that 100 million more items shipped for free during the year-end shopping season compared with 2013, saving customers more than $2 billion.