While there is no such thing as a free lunch, it seems that might hold true for free shipping, too.
Retailers are apt to promote free shipping around the holidays, but online shoppers using Amazon, Best Buy or the Gap will have to spend more money this year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a customer must spend $82 on average to qualify for free shipping, based on data from July, up from $76 at the same time last year.
The companies claim the increased price is to cover the cost of the service in the first place.Last year, for instance, Amazon spent about $6.64 billion on shipping, but brought in only about $3.1 billion in payments for shipping.
The article also reports customers tend to change their shopping behavior in order to qualify for the free shipping, like adding an extra item to meet the minimum requirement.
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