Amazon Killer? Walmart Announces Free 2-Day Shipping

More stores are offering free 2-day shipping in an effort to compete with Amazon. Walmart is just the latest one to do so.
Walmart Shipping change

Walmart has been trying to compete with Amazon's popular Prime 2-day free shipping for years.

Last year, the megastore kicked off the ShippingPass program, where customers could enjoy free 2-day shipping for $49 per year. But as of January 31, Walmart has dumped this program in favor of something new.

Instead, it's now providing free 2-day shipping on over two million items, and the best part is, there's no membership fee required. Orders must meet a minimum spend of $35 before taxes, but that's not much of a catch. To bag free standard shipping with Amazon, non-Prime members must spend at least $49.

Walmart orders must meet a minimum of $35, but that's not much of a catch. To bag free shipping with Amazon, non-Prime members must spend $49.

Walmart's new shipping plan is currently only available in the continental US, while Amazon is expanding its Prime service worldwide. It's a big move against Amazon, but Prime membership still offers plenty that makes the $99 price tag worth it. Those extra Prime perks are an area that Walmart just can't compete with yet.

More Retailers Offering Fast, Free Shipping

Last year, Best Buy kicked off a similar shipping offer for members of its My Best Buy program, which is free to join. The basic tier requires a minimum purchase of $35 to bag free 2-day shipping, with thousands of items that qualify.

SEE ALSO: How to Get One Extra Month of Amazon Prime for Free

Apple, Ray-Ban, and Running Warehouse all offer free 2-day shipping on most orders as well. And if you join Zappos' free loyalty program, you can take advantage of that perk from it as well.

Readers, does this news make you more likely to shop Walmart's website? Or will you stick with Amazon? Let us know in the comments below!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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Walmart/Jet will have to up its game to truly compete:

- weak customer service
- less hardy/rich reviews/ratings
- less built in competition from 3rd parties in their storefront.
- no Camelcamelcamel price tool.
- no Prime extras - hard to imagine they could catch up in that area.

+ easier to return to a brick and mortar store (although it requires entering a Walmart - yuck!)
+ perhaps hungry in an attempt to save its life.
+ Amazon needs some real competition - this move is great for consumers!
+ Perhaps this will stop Amazon's rumored coming Prime price hike.

But we'll gladly buy from the cheapest place that delivers. If Walmart ups its game then we'd certainly consider killing Prime.
I've been noting a trend with Amazon, where prices keep creeping up, often leaving them NOT the cheapest vendor of a product I'm searching for. There's loads of very poor quality crap for sale cluttering up their pages, too. The Amazon search function is almost completely broken, unless you use the "relevance" sort order. Sort by price and you get pages and pages of useless unrelated junk. (For a laugh, search for "oven thermometer" without the quotes. Change the results order to price low>high. The first item I get is a freezer thermometer, then inexplicably, cut-out wooden numerals to teach preschoolers how to count.)

On the other hand, store pick-up at a Walmart store is slow and cheerless. Not something I'll willingly do, except for huge savings.

I have had horrible luck with Amazon returns, with them demanding that I pay return shipping on a DOA new Braun coffee grinder. At least with Walmart, I can return merchandise in person 10 minutes away.
I actually preferred the ShippingPass program, since I could order all kinds of small items without having to reach $35. Right before they eliminated the program I ordered--on separate occasions--a $10 space heater, a $2 travel sewing kit, and $5 worth of pasta. And if I forgot to include an item in my order, I'd just order it by itself. Of course, people ordering stuff like that is probably why they stopped the program.
I've had so many issues with Wal-Mart,their online ordering, and customer service follow-up in the past they'd have to significantly beat Amazon's price to make me take another chance with them. Thankfully I haven't had my card stolen like some others, but delays, damaged products, frustrating employees, and cancelled orders seem to be the norm, not an exception. I've had issues with a mere handful of orders from Amazon over years, continents, and tens of thousands of dollars, and every time they've solved the problem to my satisfaction within hours, if not minutes.
This will be competition for Amazon for a bit, but then customers will be reminded that they have to deal with Walmart customer service. Anyone ordered from and had to pick up in-store? Horrible experiences! Don't even think about calling about an issue, either. The 3 times I called Walmart customer service, I waited almost 30 minutes each time. Today I called Amazon twice, hold time was less than 2 minutes each time.
If Walmart and Amazon have the same price on a larger item, I'll buy from Walmart knowing that I can drive it down the street and return it if I don't like it, without paying shipping fees.
i have had my credit card hacked off twice as well. it was such a hassle i stopped shopping on the website. however, i now no longer keep it saved on their website and haven't had any issues since.

when i remember i do try to price compare. but usually it is just easier to buy off amazon. i do like the walmart option of picking up in store when it is available, but it all depends how many (and who) they have working the customer service desk. once waited 20 minutes while they tried to find my windshield wipers!!
I buy from who has the best price, but I would buy from Walmart if this is going to be something they continue into the future...Competition is a good thing!
yes I will buy from walmart
The last 2 times I ordered something from, within a couple of hours someone was attempting to use my credit card to buy phone cards in a different state. The ONLY times it has happened were just after ordering from walmart. I deleted my account with them and refuse to buy from their website again.
I love Amazon but this will work for me as well
I buy from Amazon because of their amazing customer service. There is no way Walmart can match the customer satisfaction to Amazon even if they provide 1 day shipping (just in case their 2 day shipping doesn't work like their Walmart shipping pass failure). I had very bad experiences in past like sending used items and one time they did not even acknowledge my online order for few days and after waiting for 10 days, got an email that they ran out of items for in store pickup. Had to wait for 10 more days to get my money credited to my account. NEVER AGAIN
Amazon is Customer and Service driven, Wal-mart only price driven. Wal-mart customer service, can't hold Amazon's Jock Strap.
As a non-Prime shopper, I love the idea. And for me, it's often easier to go pick up an order than have it delivered to my house. That said, Walmart service varies considerably. I bought an ink cartridge online there (just so I'd be sure they weren't out of stock), then waited and waited for confirmation. It took them *23 hours* to get it ... and by that point, I'd bought it elsewhere.
I have to wonder how Walmart's 2 day shipping will work with weekend orders. If I order from Amazon on a Friday, 9 times out of 10 it will show up on a Sunday. I would be really curious if Walmart has the same deal with the USPS that Amazon has.

You also mentioned Best Buy's "My Best Buy" program. Best Buy doesn't have a clue how 2 day shipping works. I have ordered something from them on a Friday using 2 day shipping and didn't get it until the next Thursday. Best Buy doesn't process orders on weekends so your Friday order is processed on Monday and shipped on Tuesday. You then get it on Thursday. That is if they don't mess up your order which I have found is the rule, not the exception. I am an Elite Plus customer with Best Buy and I get free 2 day shipping on everything. I have rarely if ever have received anything in 2 days like I do with Amazon Prime.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@shaungallagher Good point!
I wonder how much this has to do with Walmart's acquisition last year of, which also offers free 2-day shipping on many of its products for orders over $35.
Critical Consumer
Compare prices, people. Yes, Prime has all sorts of benefits, but dollar for dollar, seriously? Have you ever price-shopped Prime offerings at Walmart? Walmart kicks Prime's butt almost without exception. Build identical carts sometime and you'll see that Prime may have a lot of side benefits, but economical shoppping ain't one of them.
Not even close with all the benefits that prime has and no minimum for prime members. This will only appeal the non prime members and I would not give up my prime because of all the extras.
Not even close to competing with all the perks prime has and no minimum for free shipping. It will only appeal to non prime members and I would not give up my prime membership.
Makes sense for Walmart to go hard in the paint now that Amazon is collecting sales tax in even more cities and states (e.g., Missouri), thus cutting into Amazon's discount on many items.
amazon killer, seriously?