Didn’t Think It Was Possible? Amazon’s Catalog Just Increased by Thousands of Items.

Published on May 25, 2012
by Tricia Duryee

Amazon has started to sell thousands of new items online, including products that were previously uneconomical to ship because of their size, weight or low price.

The e-commerce giant, which already had an enormous selection by any measurement, is calling this its “Add-on” program, where consumers will be able to add low-cost items to their baskets in order to qualify for free shipping — as long as they spend $25.

Many of the new products fall into the household goods, beauty or grocery categories, such as Guayusa Tea ($3.52); four ounces of chopped pecans ($3.42); or a 1.6-pound bag of Iams cat food ($4.72). The items are identified by a blue checkout box.

Previously, Amazon had said these products were not available on the site at all, or had to be purchased in bulk, making them a little impractical. After all, how many four-ounce bags of pecans does one family really need?

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the program launched about two weeks ago.

The addition of low-cost everyday items to Amazon’s site signals that the company has been able to figure out how to make the economics work for items that were previously deemed uneconomical, or that it is betting that the program will lead to incremental sales.

For instance, now customers will be able to use these low-cost items to fill out their baskets in order to qualify for the company’s free Super Saver Shipping program, which requires orders of $25 or more. Consumers were often faced with the dilemma of adding more items to their cart in order to hit the $25 minimum — often overspending to do so — or paying for shipping.

Now, they could order a $22 book and add a box of tea to qualify without going over, or they could just buy five “add-on” items for $5 each in order to get free shipping.

Amazon Prime members, who pay $79 a year for free two-day shipping on qualifying items, will also have to spend $25 in order to get these items, but they will get items shipped to them faster — or within two days.

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