4 Ways to Get Free Shipping at Amazon (Without Paying for Amazon Prime)

Updated January 10, 2024 by Kyle
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I did some research and came up with four clever ways to get free shipping at Amazon without paying for a Prime membership. While I’m personally a big fan of the 2-day free shipping that comes with Amazon Prime (free 30-day trial), and think it’s worth the $119 annual price tag, I understand that others would disagree.

Maybe you don’t shop much online, or maybe you have no need for the added perks that come with a Prime membership. I totally get that. I hope these tips help you to shop at Amazon, avoid the Prime annual fee, and still score free delivery to your doorstep.

4 Ways to Get Free Shipping at Amazon (Without Paying for Amazon Prime)

1. Score Free Shipping on Lightweight Stuff

Amazon quietly announced that they were going to start offering free shipping on thousands of small, lightweight, items like cosmetics, in-ear headphones, and mobile phone accessories.

No Amazon Prime membership required. No minimum order size required.

If you’re like most, and missed the memo, it’s a great option to start considering.

Be aware that because all items are fulfilled from their Kentucky warehouse, shipping will take between 4-8 business days, depending on how far you live from the blue grass state.

The single best way to discover these items that ship for free is to click on “Other Sellers”, from the product page, as those are the majority of eligible products.

See Also: 7 Amazon Prime Benefits You Probably Had No Idea Existed

2. Add “Filler” Items & Get Free Shipping

If you’re not a Prime member, you’re probably already aware that Amazon offers everyday free shipping on $25 or more.

Plus, a ton of 3rd party sellers offer free shipping with NO minimum order size required. Always check the shipping incentives that “Other Sellers on Amazon” are offering.

Also, if you’re ordering books, you only need to spend $25 and your entire order ships for free.

But what happens if your order total comes up just a little bit short of the minimum order threshold?

Instead of either paying for shipping, or adding something to your cart you don’t really need, try using a site like Cheap Filler.com or Filler Checker.com.

This handy website allows you to enter the exact dollar amount you need to qualify for free shipping, as well as the product categories you might be interested in.

Pretty handy tool that helps you get free shipping on Amazon without paying for a prime membership.

The take-away here is to qualify for free shipping by only adding stuff to your cart you actually need.

Stuff that you can either use in your home, or maybe as a stocking stuffer or upcoming gift for someone in your life.

Also, it’s worth noting that you can buy Amazon gift cards to bump you up to the $25 threshold for free shipping.

Then you can simply use them on later purchases. (Thanks Becky for this tip!)

Update: After reading through the boilerplate on the Amazon site, it appears gift cards will not count towards your order total. Bummer.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for FREE

3.The “Pre-Order” Free Shipping Hack

A sneaky little-known way to get your Amazon shopping cart over $25 is to consider adding items only available for pre-order.

This is because they count toward your $25 minimum order requirement for free shipping.

The really cool part is that you won’t actually be charged for the pre-order items until they become available and ship.

So if you change your mind, or don’t actually want the item, just cancel the order before it ships.

The best product categories to search for pre-order items include books, video games, Blu-ray movies, and smaller tech items.

Word of warning: Don’t abuse this trick as you’ll get caught and end up having to pay for all your pre-orders. But you can definitely use it a couple times a year without raising any red flags.

See Also: Here’s How to Find an Amazon Return Store and Save Money

4. Use Subscribe & Save

We all have items in our life that we need to replenish on a fairly regular basis.

Think about things like shampoo, soap, diapers, dog food, laundry detergent, trash bags, toilet paper, I could go on and on.

Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program is free to join and lets you get these items really cheap AND delivered to your doorstep for free.

Again, no Prime membership required.

Plus, by taking advantage of Subscribe & Save, you’ll get up to a 15% discount on the regular everyday Amazon price.

From the Amazon site, here’s exactly how it works:

  1. Choose from thousands of eligible products in the Subscribe & Save store.
  2. Select your delivery frequency and create your subscription.
  3. Skip your deliveries or cancel your subscriptions at any time by visiting Your Account > Your Subscribe & Save Items.
  4. In advance of each delivery, we will send you a reminder email showing the item price and any applicable discount for your upcoming delivery. The price of the item may decrease or increase from delivery to delivery, depending on the Amazon.com price of the item at the time we process your order.

There’s no commitment once you subscribe, and Amazon will send you an email reminder before your order ships.

Bonus Hack: Learn How to Search for “Free Shipping” Items

Amazon Free Shipping Search

Another great hack to quickly figure out which Amazon items ship for free is to do a product search, then refine your search by clicking on the “Free Shipping by Amazon” button (see image above).

You might not get the item delivered as quickly compared to having a Prime membership, but if you don’t need it right away, who cares?

Free shipping is free shipping, no matter how long it takes to reach your doorstep.

Ask the Reader: How do you get free shipping on Amazon without paying $99 for an annual Prime membership?


By Kyle James

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Becky

Adding an amazon gift card can up you to the $49 minimum just to be used later as well.

loring chien

I went to filleritem.com for the first time in a few years since I got Prime. I had some add-on items I needed a minimum of $25 even with Prime.
BUT, while it still loaded it looks like its database hasn’t been updated in years. The prices for the filler items are all way off and usually too low of their current price, or discontinued..

Your blog was dated 2016… did you actually check or just went by previous posts (I could not find a goole reference to them after 2011 except yours. Is it just a ghost site now?

Barbara Bachmeier

I would like to purchase an Apimaye bee hive. The add shows “free shipping” but now that I am at the payment screen, I see charges for shipping. What’s the deal?

Somedude89

Not all books qualify for the $25 free shipping minimum requirement. This weekend, I tried ordering several books and wanted to avoid the shipping costs, but when I reached the mark, none of them qualified, apparently, so my total was gonna be upwards of $50 due to shipping costs.

hiya

Where is the other sellers button? Can’t find it.

Lisa

First, most of you probably realize that the default option on the payment page is for standard shipping for which you are charged. You must actively change the method of shipping to “free shipping.” I think the default is set that way hoping that people in a rush slip up. If you do make a mistake and realize it before your order ships, you can cancel the first order and re-order the items, making sure you purposefully change to the free shipping option.

Many companies other than Amazon offer free shipping or discount specials. Amazon often does not have the best prices when the order is totaled, including merchant discounts, tax and shipping. I always compare with a manufacturer’s website and maybe other retailers before I order on Amazon. With a place like Bed, Bath and Beyond, you might get free shipping with a minimum purchase, find a coupon online, and have an easier time (going into a local store) if you need to return. Also, Amazon is notorious for counterfeit items, and I sometimes wonder, when I read some Amazon reviews for items I like, if the buyer has received a counterfeit. Ordering through the manufacturer, such as Westpoint Stevens for Vellux blankets, ensures that the products will be genuine.

Finally, know that Amazon might charge more for shipping third party seller items than the sellers themselves charge if you can order from them directly. Things like CDs can have a ridiculous shipping charge through Amazon, which might add $3.99 per CD, regardless of how many CDs you order. If you can identify the third party seller, go to its website and see what you would pay ordering directly. Often you’ll find a percent discount for new customers, and the shipping may be much less.

Trillium

I would like to add to this discussion that Amazon is playing games once again with what they are disclosing and omitting. I had prime membership for years but was fed up with all the hacking online. I stopped and closed out my account and a few months later I opened a new account but this time I only use gift cards. What I am finding is if the item says they meet the $25.00 minimum with Amazon handling the fullfilment in reality they will only honor this if the $25.00 are met with just one seller. They will not allow other vendors sales that do qualify for the free shipping for 25.00. The total of $25.00 now has to be from one vendor but they don’t say this anywhere you can read it. Only when you check out with gift card do you have any problems with them allowing you to move past the payment option. What Amazon is not getting is that I am contacting online retailers directly and explaining the problem of so much hacking and wanting to send a check instead and what I am finding out is many of the biggest retailers and smaller ones too are accepting my checks for payment. So I really am finding other online options. Even Amazon has been hacked! State and federal agencies have been hacked. Equifax breach in 2017 was supposedly hacked by Chinese government hackers which is over 60% of all credit files. We leave our files frozen since experts warned all of our data will be sold on the dark web. Then if you do get hacked the lame class action lawsuit will only provide $125.00 in assistance and they say don’t bet on the money being there when you need it. Also $125.00 won’t pay for attorney fees if you legal help either. With industrial military complex beating the war drums about China I wonder why Homeland Security just watched this Equifax hack go down which affect 149 million Americans or over 60% of all credit files for Americans . . . and didn’t pull plug? Homeland Security had to inform Equifax it was hacked they were so bad in securing our data. Is this propaganda to get Americans angry with China to fund a protracted war with China at the tune of trillions? Semi conductor plants around the U.S. are opening back up for production so we don’t need to save Taiwan because of chips like we are hearing in the news. Then why are we spending so much money on saving Taiwan and we do nothing for Sudan or ______? But I do worry that Amazon has made several fortunes from selling Chinese fakes and helped Xi fund his military and using political prisoners to make the cheap goods for Amazon and their vendors. Why couldn’t we fund U.S. manufacturing instead and actually make things here and not put ourselves at more risk of supply chain issues we learned the hard way during the pandemic. Amazon had to have known about the pandemic long before the U.S. public did with all their Chinese connections but kept silent. The investigative reports were showing by August 2019 the first signs of the pandemic was showing up in China. Who knows maybe our CIA wanted to humiliate China and planted the virus? They have done much worse. Why would Fauci contract China lab for bioweapons research with a lab that was not certified for that level of dangerous research? Why would he contract with a known enemy to research a bioweapon? Was omicron in Africa the fire break? Africa was not having any problems with covid and no vaccines and no tracking so a perfect place for omicron to show up and no way to trace to patient zero. Why wouldn’t omicron evolve where covid was affecting large numbers in China or the U.S. and given way more opportunity to mutate? The narrative doesn’t make any sense. Also we are finding out from Muddy Waters report that the DOD or department of defense was the one who ordered the vaccines. So this was a military operation with the vaccines not the NIH or CDC or FDA or ______. Will the next major hack take down the banks completely since they already are getting hacked to the tune of billions a year and won’t say how much otherwise customers would pull their money. Is having your money only available by using easily hacked debit and credit card numbers a smart thing since if they get hacked no way to access your money. Some use their phones which is another easy target. Now Apple wants to be your bank which is a really bad idea from this retired commercial banker. Money can be erased digitally but harder to make real money evaporate. If it were so safe why is all the hacking happening? No one seems concerned that this is a risky proposition but a new normal. Have you asked your bank what they will do if the major banks get hacked to the point they need to shut down and how will you access your funds while they figure out how bad the damage was? Hacking just doesn’t happen to one bank since the system is all inter connected so when one falls others will fall with it because they are all borrowing from each other. Remember the lines outside of the Silicon Valley bank and how they made customers wait days to pull out their money. What if they needed gas or groceries or ____ during that time? A huge hack won’t be so easily remedied either. The feds are already short on money but they keep printing up more money. I can see the feds not being able to actually cover the losses immediately and customers will have to wait while the politicians try to outsmart each other about rescuing consumers from a mostly unregulated banking system. Next time will they just let stockholders lose or will it have to be a percentage of the money with consumers? When I closed my first Amazon account they listed several reasons why we are closing the account. I checked the box for security so Amazon knows this is a big problem with smart consumers who are taking this seriously but still not doing enough. They want easy fast cheap transactions and your security is an after thought. Instead online companies are collecting all that data and collating it and putting it up in the clouds so hackers can get a nice bundle of all your data in one easy sweep. How does that remotely sound like a good idea? Collecting our data is not really making anything but actually a business plan to sell your privacy. Kind of creepy. I would love to pick up my items at a local Amazon warehouse not some lonesome locker that can be targeted by thieves. I would love to show up at a warehouse and order the item there and pay cash then come back and pick up the items rather than leaving them on my door step for the porch pirates. Sears did that long ago and it worked… Read more »

LisaMichelle

Trillium, you couldn’t have said it better and your timing coincides perfectly with an order I placed on my Amazon mobile app less than 24 hours ago.
I selected three items from three different vendors all of which clearly displayed ‘free shipping with $25 or more’ and all three items stated nothing whatsoever the items must be from the same vendor.
I opened my cart and at the very top of the cart page, Amazon specifically stated all my items qualified for free shipping. My total before taxes was over $31. I then selected practice proceed to checkout and before I placed my order, I scrolled down to the total price and seen a $11.98 shipping and handling fee. I then found delivery options for two of the items and selected a local store pick up which eliminated shipping charges for those two items but the third item gave NO shipping option, only $5.99 shipping charge. Furious, I spent more than 30 minutes trying to get the automated voice to connect me to customer service. A women I could barely understand agreed I shouldn’t have to pay any shipping charges and tried to persuade me several times to go ahead and pay for the order totaling over $40 and then once I receive the items of the order, I’m to contact customer service and request a refund for the $5.99 shipping charge and she claimed she’d send me an email confirming our conversation which she did but the email ONLY states we spoke about the order NOTHING about a $5.99 refund!
Furious as hell at this point, I pulled up my Amazon order and seen Amazon made two (2) orders out of the one (1) order I placed.
What the hell is this kind of business that is obviously trying to rip me off!?!
I called customer service again and a different lady tells me NO because the item I ordered doesn’t come to $25 to qualify for free shipping.
OMG! I finally convinced her to look at the time I placed my order —— one (1) order! Amazon split my order into two separate orders! The lady said hen told me to wait until all my items are delivered then contact for refund because Amazon MUST charge me $5.99 in order to receive my items!
WHAT? I’m NOT a charity. I’m on SSI. I CANNOT afford to LOAN Amazon $5.99. It IS completely clear to me Amazon is betting I will either forget to request a refund OR just let them have it.
This is a bunch of BS. Surely I’m NOT the only customer Amazon had done this too. Shouldn’t this type of bait and switch monkey business be against some laws? A class action suit?