[Update: Amazon has launched Prime Membership here, to ship items from the US. More details here.]
It was fun while it lasted, but it looks like Amazon USA is no longer offering free shipping to orders from Singapore that are over US$125.
On 5 December 2017, we learned that Amazon USA will be stopping this service permanently, and this has come without any warning whatsoever.
If you were to add in any item on your Amazon cart, you will see a new option for taxes and shipping. In fact, there are no longer items that are listed as Free Shipping for orders over US$125.
Geek Culture spoke with an online Amazon representative, who gave us an official statement when we asked about the lack of Global Free Shipping options in our purchases.
“Actually, we have stopped that service permanently.”
Here’s the actual transcript to the conversation that we had:
Since June 2013, Singaporeans have enjoyed free shipping to Singapore as long as orders hit US$125 for their entire order. While not everything available on Amazon is eligible for free shipping to Singapore, those that did meant significant savings compared to items available in Singapore.
Remember the awesome Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals you probably enjoyed? It’s all probably coming to an end.
Why Amazon would do something like this could be anyone’s guess.
However, we noticed that over time, less products have been available for shipping to Singapore. If you’re a fan of LEGO you would have been the first to experience this.
One simple reason could be the recent arrival of Amazon Prime Now. Some items listed on the mobile-only retail site are actually more expensive than the ones listed on the US online store, so how do you make Singaporeans stick with one option?
You make the other option unavailable of course.
Or does it boil down to distributors clamping down on cross-border sales, especially now that there are calls to impose GST on online purchases as well?
All these might be probable reasons, and all it does is force individuals to buy local goods at inflated prices. Local retailers will cheer, but I’m pretty sure consumers might double-down and tighten their purse strings even more.
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. You are still able to purchase stuff from Amazon with an added shipping cost. We checked out a few recent buys and the once “Free shipping for orders over $125” option is no longer there. The only avenue right now is a variable shipping rate based on the item weight.
Guess that’s the end of it. Goodbye to the era of easy accessibility to affordable goods, hello artificial barriers of trade.