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Report: Amazon expands two-day shipping assortment for Prime members

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon.com is reportedly expanding the assortment of items eligible for free two-day shipping for members of its Prime paid subscription. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is now listing items shipped directly from third-party seller warehouses for free Prime two-day shipping, without any publicity.

Previously, only goods shipped from an Amazon warehouse were eligible for free Prime two-day shipping. According to online retailers quoted in the Journal, Amazon is inviting third-party sellers with good shipping records to participate in Prime. Sellers decide what items to list and must pay for shipping themselves.

Amazon can remove sellers from the Prime program at any time if they fail to meet standards. It is estimated that fewer than 10 sellers are currently participating in Prime. Amazon refused comment.

Amazon is expanding the range and features of Prime as an increasing number of other e-commerce retailers are attempting to directly compete with the free delivery service. For example, subscription-based e-commerce site Jet.com is launching soon and EBay is piloting a service to compete with Amazon Prime in Germany. Amazon has recently launched same-day free Prime shipping in a number of select cities and is also offering some private-label grocery products via Prime.

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