Amazon Introduces Free Shipping For Small Items Weighing Less Than 8 Ounces

Have you ever been turned off to buying a low cost item online because the shipping charges were too high? Amazon feels your pain. The mega online retailer is reportedly introducing free shipping on thousands of smaller and popular items, things like mobile phone accessories, makeup, and other lightweight items and low cost goods.

You don't need to be an Amazon Prime member, a $99 per year subscription service that offers free two-day shipping on millions of items, nor do you have to spend a minimum amount. The caveat? Shipping could take four to eight business days, depending on where you live in relation to a new shipping hub in Florence, Kentucky. Known as Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light, the new hub is specifically intended for the free shipping initiative and stocked only with qualifying items.

Amazon Fulfillment

Items that qualify weigh 8 ounces (230 grams) or less. They usually cost under $10 to ship, though if you're paying a couple of bucks for an item and shipping doubles the cost, it can be a turn off to buyers. Rather than head to eBay or shop locally at Walmart, Amazon is hoping that by offering free shipping on these items that they'll choose to shop online instead.

An analyst with Forrester Research reckons that Amazon is content to simply break even on smaller items. While it's not an initiative that would be outright profitable, it could snag market share from competitors like Walmart and Target.

Amazon's been trialing the program for the past couple of months and apparently is content with the outcome. According to Amazon, it's a been a hit with both customers and third-party sellers who supply most of the inventory.