Amazon’s New Add-On Program [The Answer to Too Much Paprika]

Have you noticed this image below lower cost items at Amazon lately?

Amazon’s got a new Add-on program, which you can read about here. Here’s the gist of it:

We’ve kicked off the Add-on program with thousands of new Add-on Items, and we’re adding more each day. Add-on Items ship with orders that include $25 or more of items shipped by Amazon, and you can get them delivered to your doorstep with free shipping.

…Add-on Items are products of all different sorts at a low price point, from a jar of paprika to a single light bulb. Previously it was only possible for us to offer items like these in large multi-pack sizes (which for many families would have been too much paprika).

…To purchase Add-on Items, just include them in an order with $25 or more of the millions of items shipped by Amazon. For example, you could order a $5 packet of teriyaki-flavored beef jerky that’s an Add-on Item with a $20 thermos, an $80 pair of shoes, or anything else that gets your order to $25 or more of items shipped by Amazon.

…When you add an Add-on Item to an Amazon Prime order of more than $25, your Add-on Item will also receive Prime shipping benefits, including FREE Two-Day Shipping. For example, if you ordered five $5 pacifiers, each of which was an Add-on Item, your order would receive FREE Two-Day Shipping.

…If you’re not a Prime member, you can combine your Add-on Items with other items and take advantage of FREE Super Saver Shipping. For example, you could include a $6 bath sponge that’s an Add-on Item with two $10 paperbacks and receive FREE Super Saver Shipping on all three items.

The program’s been around since May, evidently, but I spotted it today for the first time when looking at straw cups in the baby department. I sum it up this way: Amazon’s offering a bunch of new items priced at $6 or less, but you can only buy it if you’re ordering $25 worth of stuff or more, even if you have Prime.

What’s your take? Do you find Amazon’s new Add-on program useful?

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  1. Tamara says:

    That’s very disappointing! I’m going to think twice before ordering from Amazon now on. I’m considering for a lot of items!

  2. Kim says:

    It’s like they realized people were using “Slick Fillers” and decided to cash in on that market. It doesn’t make sense though, because I thought the goal was to get the total to $25 for free shipping, not necessarily more than that. Or it could be the same principle as candy by the checkouts at the store. You didn’t *think* you needed it, but seeing it right there next to your cart is so appealing!

  3. brandy says:

    i am sure they are targeting the behavior of prime members like me that will buy small items separately several times a week. i try to avoid this behavior but without curbs it’s inevitable.

  4. Kari says:

    Sounds like scam to me. First to belong to amazon Mom and takeadvantahe of subscribe and save, you now have to have amazon prime, although items do not work for the 2 day shipping. what???? now because you have prime, if you want to order these items, they don’t count towards the $25 total like they do for other people. Double what???? It’s like you are now being penalized for having prime.

  5. Allison says:

    This makes me not feel bad about that one pair of $5 safety scissors I ordered for my daughter with free Prime two day shipping! Whereas before, I really tried not to take advantage too much, but now, all bets are off!

  6. Mad at Amazon says:

    Amazon is deceiving customers. They already sold at least some of these “add on items” with free shipping to Prime members in the past, even with a total purchase less than $25. In April 2012, I bought some items which are now “add on items,” but in April, with an order total of $21.00, I still received free shipping because of my Prime membership. Now those identical items can’t even be purchased without running up a total of $25. Amazon is ripping off Prime members (we just recently renewed) but will NOT do so next year.

    • Aaron says:


      They might be offering “new” items, but they are also reclassifying former Prime-eligible items as “Add-on” items now. I just ran into this for the first time on a product I have been buying regularly. Suddenly, I can’t check out anymore without adding $$$ to my cart, not even if I decide to pay for shipping. How about offering Prime members REGULAR shipping on these items? I’d be happy with that. But the fact that I can’t even CHECK OUT makes this a bait-and-switch for Prime members.

  7. Rachael says:

    I will not renew Prime again. Between the new California sales tax, and the charging of shipping for items that didn’t use to cost extra, this just isn’t lucrative for me. I am on my last baby, so I will just order a bunch of diapers before my membership expires, then its bye-bye to Amazon for me.

  8. James says:

    Having items that can only be purchased as part of a $25+ order (whether you have Prime or don’t) doesn’t change the benefit that Prime offers. You still get free 2-day shipping rather than paying for shipping or getting slow free shipping. The only change is that some cheap items cannot be purchased alone, with or without Prime.

    Most items:
    Non-Prime: Pay for shipping or get slow free shipping w/ $25 order
    Prime: Free 2-day shipping

    “Add-on” items in $25 order:
    Non-Prime: Pay for shipping or get slow free shipping
    Prime: Free 2-day shipping

    “Add-on” items in under $25 order:
    Non-Prime: Not Available
    Prime: Not Available

  9. Em Mil says:

    Unfortunately, I see this as an underhanded way for Amazon’s marketing department to appear as though they are offering their customers more catalog items than in the past. When in reality, they are setting themselves up to bring in more revenue ( a guaranteed $25+ just to make these add on items available to customers in a depressed economy). They truth is that many of these items were available with Amazon Prime before this Add On program was launched. But then they found a way to make at least an additional $25 per order, and make you, the customer feel they were offering you something that wasn’t available to you in the past. The fact that these items are completely unavailable until you pay them $25 for items you may not need nor want and that there is not an option to pay for the single item’s shipping clearly shows the company’s intent to make money at the expense of their customer’s wallet. The reality is Amazon has a theoretical internet superstore monopoly and needs some healthy competition. If they think at least some of their customers aren’t intelligent enough to see through their marketing fleece, and I’m sorry it has come to this Amazon; I, as well as many of my family and friends once had a lot of respect for your marketing practices, but that has quickly dissolved away.

    • Carlos says:

      I’m trying to by some leather cleaner and conditioner; Amazon won’t sell the sponges to apply it to me, unless I order over $25. They refused to sell it, even if I pay shipping. I check the local ACE store, and I’ll save $8 dollars, even after paying shipping for all 3 items, I’ll even save more money (shipping + $2) if I order 2 sets of sponges with free shipping from Amazon, but I think Amazon is abusing their loyal customers.

      They changed the rules to Prime, I was going to re-join, but I am considering it now. I was going to order another (my kids have 3) kindle-fire, I was going for the newer, bigger one, but I better wait for Apple to release their smaller iPad. I am losing all respect for Amazon and I’ll even go to their “rival” (LOL) Apple for a tablet.

  10. hendry says:

    I feel like add on program on amazon is a rip off,what the point for you to buy $80 prime program a year?for the video? I never watch amazon video since I have Netflix and premium cable,and Now I’m not able to buy any item under $25 with my prime since all that item mostly on add-on item .I tried to cancel my prime which I have it since Nov(4 month) and they said I will not get refund just enjoy the rest of the prime period.

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