Amazon's under £10 delivery charge extended to books

Amazon's under £10 delivery charge extended to books

Readers who buy their books from Amazon will now have to pay a delivery charge on orders under £10.

Starting from today (7th January), the internet giant has changed the terms of how customers quality for free delivery, which it calls "Super Saver Delivery", so that customers buying books, music, film, software and PC and video games will have to pay for delivery of order under £10.

Amazon previously introduced the £10 minimum order fee for free delivery to all its other products in July, but excluded books, music, film and games from the qualifying items. The Super Saver Delivery is advertised as taking three-five working days.

The move is likely to delight independent booksellers, who have previously felt at a competitive disadvantage to Amazon which has previously offered entirely free delivery on books with no minimum order, giving customers less reason to visit shops.

However, the move could also be seen as an attempt by Amazon to further push customers to sign up to its Amazon Prime service, which offers “unlimited one-day delivery with no minimum order size” for £49 a year. Prime customers also have access to over 350,000 e-books to borrow at a rate of one book a month through the Kindle Owners Lending Library.  

When Amazon first introduced the delivery charge in July, the company at first said it would only affect “only a very small proportion of orders” because it did not apply to books, CDs and DVDs, and added that it would allow the company to: “offer you a significantly expanded selection of lower priced products.”

Yesterday, The Bookseller reported that Sainsbury’s would stop selling and delivering physical books, cds and dvds online at the end of February in a move to move to a digital “on demand” model in March.