Is Amazon Getting Pinched On Shipping Costs?

One of the things that Amazon has been known for is free shipping on most orders over $25, or for all orders if you’re a Prime member.  It’s one of the things that set them apart, but I wonder how long it can last without being eliminated or changed in some form.

I ask because I’ve noticed a change in our shipping carriers that has to be a money-saving measure.

Previously, nearly every order we placed with Amazon was fulfilled by UPS.  In the last few months, though, I’ve noticed that they were fulfilled by ‘PRESTIGE’.

Prestige?

I had to look them up.  Their website looks legit but is pretty sketchy on details.  But, what I found out after some Google searches is that they pretty much contract out their deliveries to local couriers.

This made sense when I actually saw a couple of recent diaper shipments arrive, and they were unloaded either from a van or an SUV.  Both were unmarked.  I didn’t get a good look at the driver to see if they were even wearing a uniform.

I can’t complain, so far they seem to have done the same job that UPS used to do.

But, it makes you wonder, is free shipping starting to pinch Amazon’s margins if they’re going with lower cost carriers?  Can changes to their shipping program be far behind?  It seems crazy to think that they could give up one of the things that they’re known best for, but they quietly got rid of their price matching policy a while back and that didn’t seem to hurt them in the least.

Would changes to the free shipping policy for Amazon change your buying habits?  Have you noticed any changes to what shipping company is fulfilling your Amazon order?

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7 thoughts on “Is Amazon Getting Pinched On Shipping Costs?

  1. I noticed this too (although I didn't think about it until I read this post). I like the change because I'm getting my packages faster and if Amazon is saving money we're both winning.

  2. I haven't noticed this, but I am never around when the delivery guy comes. Like Kay Lynn, I love fast delivery. It makes me buy with Amazon over other places as long as the prices are the same. I probably wouldn't buy as much from amazon if shipping prices change.

  3. Since I live in Canada I always have to pay for shipping. I do find that I still get a deal though on most items. Even if their policy changes, I will still shop there.

  4. I always assumed that the unmarked delivery vans were contracted through UPS. I didn't know they were really their own service.

    I also assumed that big shippers, like Amazon, worked out a deal with UPS for better rates than you or I can get. Maybe even a flat monthly rate.

  5. @Kay – I haven't noticed any difference in the time it takes to ship. Glad to see yours is actually better!

    @Corey – I'm with you. The shipping prices are the key reason I stick with Amazon.

    @Miss T – No free shipping for Canadians, eh? I didn't know that 🙂

    @Ashley – I had always thought there was a flat rate agreement as well. Maybe they had one but if Amazon is growing, they need additional 'firepower' so to speak.

  6. I've noticed the same change only what used to be a UPS or Fedex truck has now more recently been the US postal service. Which is a day or two slower.

    I'm sure Amazon has mastered the art of the shipping game. The tax savings alone make up for the extra wait in my opinion.

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