Starting at the end of February, if you want to get free grocery delivery through Amazon Fresh, you’re going to have to buy a lot more stuff. Currently, for the Amazon Prime subscriber-only service, you’ll get free delivery with orders over $35. But beginning February 28th, you only get free delivery for orders over $150, as noted on this Amazon Fresh page.
For totals lower than that, you’ll have to pay a service fee that differs based on how much you buy. Orders between $100 and $150 will have a $3.95 delivery fee, orders between $50 and $100 will have a $6.95 fee, and orders under $50 will have a $9.95 fee.
“We’re introducing a service fee on some Amazon Fresh delivery orders to help keep prices low in our online and physical grocery stores as we better cover grocery delivery costs and continue to enable offering a consistent, fast, and high-quality delivery experience,” Amazon spokesperson Lara Hendrickson said in a statement to The Verge. “We will continue to offer convenient two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and customers in some areas will be able to select a longer delivery window for a reduced fee.”
I don’t quite buy the logic about how the change keeps prices low. Adding fees and putting free delivery further out of reach seems like it will ultimately make total prices higher for customers, and the changes add notable costs to a service that already requires an Amazon Prime subscription. Given that Prime recently became a more expensive proposition as well, these Amazon Fresh adjustments might be even harder for customers to swallow. People don’t seem happy, based on some tweets I’ve seen.
Amazon began notifying customers of the change on Friday.
Update January 27th, 4:33PM ET: Added statement from Amazon.