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Amazon scraps free delivery for some items under £10

Amazon has scrapped free delivery for many items under £10, bringing in a minimum spend for the first time since October 2009.

The online retailer told customers this week that the free five day 'super saver' delivery will no longer be available on certain products.

The new policy will not affect books, DVDs, music, video games and software products. However cheaper electronic items, such as USB flash drives and cables, will now be subject to a £3.99 delivery charge. On certain items, the cost could be even higher.

Amazon said the change will "affect only a very small proportion of orders", explaining if a product that does not qualify for free postage under the new system is purchased alongside an item that does, such as a book, then delivery will be free for all the items.

Under the system, if a £3.50 HDMI cable is bought at the same time as a £2 book, super saver delivery will be available. Postage will also be free when a number of cheaper items are ordered at the same time if the total exceeds £10.

Retail analyst Neil Saunders thinks the move could cause problems for the company: "This is potentially damaging for Amazon as there is likely to be resistance to this change from some customers, particularly those infrequent shoppers who don't mind waiting a bit longer for their goods to arrive," he told the BBC.

In June, scrapped free super saver delivery to a number of countries, including Italy, Spain, Greece, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Analysts have predicted the new policy may be designed to promote Amazon's Prime delivery service which offers unlimited next day delivery for £49 a year.

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.