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Amazon Launches Prime Pantry for Delivery of Nonperishable Groceries

How much would you pay to avoid going to the grocery store, big-box chain or warehouse membership club for nonperishable groceries? Amazon is prepared to deliver up to 45 pounds (or four cubic feet) of “everyday essentials” in “everyday sizes” for a flat $5.99 delivery fee per box. However, it’s for Prime members only, which recently increased its annual membership fees from $79 to $99.

Why not just order the items individually, since Prime members get free shipping? Amazon explains, “Prime Pantry allows Prime members to shop a wider range of products, including heavy and bulky items, all in popular pack sizes that are cost prohibitive to ship for free.”

In addition, the marketplace has been classifying more items as Add ons that don’t qualify for free Prime shipping on their own, such as certain brands of razors or razor blades.

But before considering an Amazon Pantry order, shoppers may want to consider Amazon’s existing subscription service called Subscribe and Save that also offers customers delivery of nonperishable groceries. The program saves subscribers up to 15% with no extra charges for delivery. Amazon explains the program on its website:

“Subscription orders are available in monthly intervals from one-month to six-months. You select the frequency with which you want to receive new orders, and we’ll automatically send your subscriptions by your monthly Subscribe & Save delivery day. You can change your subscription schedule online at any time.”

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For those not wanting the commitment of a set monthly delivery schedule (even though customers can adjust their orders any time), Amazon Prime Pantry may be an alternative. As shoppers add items to their Amazon Prime Pantry order, they can see how full the box is getting – something that is an engineering feat to calculate on Amazon’s part.

“Save gas, save money, save time.” is the tagline for the new service. Amazon had yet to announce the new service when the website Engadget wrote about the service this week.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.