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?