Is Amazon Gutting The Subscribe & Save Program For Non-Prime Members And Improving It For Prime Members?

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Amazon’s Subscribe & Save option is a great way to save money on Amazon products. There are lots of tips in this post. You can save 5% on 4 or less monthly subscriptions, 15% on 5+ monthly subscriptions, and 20% off diapers with 5+ monthly subscriptions.

Subscribe & Save also allows you to order add-on items without needing to reach a $25 minimum purchase.

Plus, Subscribe & Save allows non-Prime members to order items without paying shipping.

Unfortunately it seems that Amazon is testing out several changes to the program. I have several Amazon accounts and it appear that Amazon is performing A/B testing to see how it goes.

Take the 6 pack of Glaceau Smartwater Vapor 1L bottles. It is an add-on item and has a 20% coupon with Subscribe & Save.

On one of my non-Prime Amazon accounts the option to select Subscribe & Save still shows up as normal:

 

However on another of my non-Prime Amazon accounts the only option is to check a box for Subscribe & Save. In this case the only option is to add it to your cart and get 5% off while it ships instantly and 15% off for subsequent subscriptions. Unfortunately with this option you need to add at least $25 of items to your cart to checkout as there is no option to subscribe to the item now without adding it to your cart:

 

My primary account with Amazon Prime also only shows the box for Subscribe & Save, however it has the option to “Skip immediate delivery and just create subscription”. This is actually the best of both worlds as it allows you to choose between immediate delivery with a 5% discount or a subscription with a discount up to 15%:

 

Or for example, on one of my non-Prime account when I go to buy 6 bags of Kettle Honey Dijon chips, there is only the subscribe box available:

 

However that box only adds it to your cart with a 5% discount. As it doesn’t let you order as a subscription for the first order, it charges shipping if you don’t have Prime:

 

Once again on my Prime account, I can order the chips either with a 5% discount for the chips with 2 day shipping by opting into future subscriptions, or I can skip immediate delivery and take the discount up to 15% by checking out with Subscribe & Save:

 

 

Interestingly, the results seem to vary based on whether you are using a mobile or desktop browser and whether you are using Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.

File this under developing, but it seems that Amazon will be trying to get more people to signup for Prime by improving the subscription program for them and gutting it for non-Prime members.

Please share your data points along with whether you have Primary Prime, Secondary Prime, or no Prime, which browser you’re using, and whether you’re using a mobile or desktop device!

Amazon offers free shipping with $25+ orders or get free 1 day shipping on all orders with a free trial of Amazon Prime. A prime trial is also free with Amazon Family (which also gets you up to 20% off diapers among other benefits) or Amazon Student. EBT/Medicaid Cardholders can save on Prime Membership here.

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32 Comments On "Is Amazon Gutting The Subscribe & Save Program For Non-Prime Members And Improving It For Prime Members?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Jeff

Secondary prime. Tried bic pens. With android app it didn’t let me order since under 25. With chrome on android it showed “skip immediate delivery and add subscription ” that’s what I chose, so able to order but not 5 percent off.

Ezra

Usually if you place an order you can cancel right away. Can you cancel the initial order with the 5% discount and keep the subscription?

Irving

Dan, can you explain the benefit of having more then one amazon account?
Thanks

David

Primary prime. Tried the Smartwater. Mobile browser – same as before. Android app – you can’t start a new subscription for the 15% the first time. And, I couldn’t even get it delivered now (with 5% off) because it’s an add on. That would severely reduce the usefulness of the program.

AsherO

If you order 5 S&S items/subscriptions for immediate (2-day) delivery in one order, does your S&S discount bump to 15%?

BRo

I’m seeing A/B testing from one browser to another with a single, non-Prime account.

Binyamingavriel

Primary prime, ordered on Android phone via browser. I don’t know if this is related or just standard procedure that I never noticed before, but I placed an order on the 16th and had options for one time and subscribe. However, when I chose subscribe my first delivery was then scheduled for Feb 22, with no option to make it earlier. This seemed to be so that it works ship with my diaper order. I went back today (after latest diaper shipment arrived) and was able to place the order again, but this time first delivery was now Jan 21 (which I placed and then cancelled the original order).

Deals dealer

I’m a primary prime. I tried adding an add-on item with a coupon and on my android mobile browser I can’t even subscribe because it’s an add-on item ( I didn’t get the option to skip immediate delivery), and on the mobile app I can subscribe and get 15% off (same as it was until now).
I did my order on Wonderful Almonds, Roasted and Salted, 7 Ounce Bag which is usually $5.99 and you can get it now as low as $2.45

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DB55O0C/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Gil

I have a subscribe and save subscription and wanted to do a one time delivery to an Amazon locker (which you can’t do with a subscription) but there was no option to make a one-time prime purchase.

AK770

This was very helpful. I went to order diapers on S&S via Chrome yesterday and thought something was wrong with the browser because the usual options didn’t show up. Then I went home using Safari and it was as normal (it’s usually Safari that will “misdisplay” things). If Costco can make money off of people’s membership dues you bet Amazon wants as many people as possible signing up for Prime at twice the price.

@mike

I just got an email from prime that they are raising prices for monthly memberships.

Mark

As an Amazon Seller Amazon has been after me lately trying to get me to add subscribe and Save as an option to my offers. They are even giving discounts to sellers on Amazon fees if it ends up being a part of a 15% off subscription.

r

What happens if you check off the box to subscribe, add to cart and then remove it from the cart. Does the subscription cancel?

Shlomo

Dan, Thanks so much for this excellent expose’
It was incredibly helpful. The one advantage of the 5% version
is that it goes to the cart and one can get a no-rush credit.

Jojo

Amazon never fails to be infinitely confusing

Sylvia

I’ve got the student Prime and I ordered 4 items at 5% savings, then added a fifth and saw no reflective change in the subscribe and save to 15% savings. They might be limiting which items affect this change? I also was not able to order a subscribe and save add on item by itself without $25 of other items.

JL

When choosing the option to “skip immediate delivery and add subscription”, will the first order ship at current price or at price at time of shipment?

Work-for-ur-muny

Interesting, I just came across a subscribe and save item that offers only 10% discount for having 5 or more items shipping.

https://www.amazon.com/puredown-Sleeping-Egyptian-Downproof-Standard/dp/B0168H5SZ0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8#

Does this mean they’re beginning to cut the program even further???

Maria

Non-Prime member. Trying to resolve this issue for the last 1.5 weeks by calling Amazon CS which seems to be clueless. They have no idea the problem exists. Thanks for suggesting trying different browsers, I used to use Chrome which did not give me an option of choosing between immediate delivery and just adding a subscription while subscribing for a new item. In Firefox and Safari (both laptop and mobile) there is an option to choose between those at the first page (where the item is described), but then after I choose an address and a payment method and get to a confirmation page, it still only offers me an immediate delivery with a 5% discount! I am annoyed beyond all means.

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