Amazon waives minimum requirement for holidays

Amazon's warehouse in Fall River Massachusetts.                  Ben Fox Rubin  CNET

Offering up free shipping with no minimum could be an attempt to gain more Prime users, but it also may be a tactic to ensure that competitors such as Walmart are less likely to take away sales. Walmart, arguably Amazon's biggest competitor in the U.S., has kept its $35 minimum threshold for free shipping for this holiday season (so far, at least). For many Prime members, the convenience of having orders arrive every few days outweighs small markups imposed to allow for fast and free shipping. Starting today, for a limited time, Amazon is offering all customers free shipping with no minimum purchase required. Prime members already get free two-day delivery.

Last month, Walmart added free two-day shipping for Marketplace items to its previous offer of free two-day shipping for purchases over $35.

Amazon's shipping costs have grown rapidly in recent quarters.

About $720 billion in sales are up for grabs for the Black Friday shopping weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

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T3 has approached Amazon UK to find out whether the free shipping promotion will be coming to our shores, and will update this article as soon as we hear back.

Black Friday, which falls on Friday 23rd November, has become a highly-anticipated date in the United Kingdom shopping calendar and marks the start of the Christmas shopping season for some people.

Amazon didn't say when customers using the free standard shipping tier would have to place orders to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

Amazon Prime members, including customers enjoying a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, will have an exclusive 30-minute early access period to all Lightning Deals.

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