Amazon is offering shoppers $10 to get their purchases back as it targets delivery charges

LOS ANGELES, May 8 (Reuters) – (AMZN.O) is offering customers $10 to pick up a purchase rather than have it shipped to a home address, as the e-commerce giant joins other retailers in a race to cut costs for home delivery and returns amid weak consumer demand.

In the past few days, Amazon emailed an unknown number of Prime subscribers offering them $10 to pick up an order of $25 or more from the company’s pick-up locations at places like Whole Foods. , Amazon Fresh or Kohl’s stores.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dean Maciuba, a shipping consultant based in upstate New York, was among the customers who got the offer.

Increasing use of Amazon pickup points would help the company avoid costly residential package drops and is “a huge opportunity for Amazon to reduce delivery costs,” Maciuba said.

It also helps train consumers to submit returns directly to the company, he said.

Amazon has separately started charging certain customers a $1 fee if they return packages through a United Parcel Service (UPS.N) store when there is an Amazon pickup/return location closer to their delivery address. a change first reported by news site The Information.

Shipping companies UPS and FedEx have encouraged customers to use so-called hotspots, especially in rural areas where delivery to remote addresses can be prohibitively expensive.

Amazon has worked for years to train consumers to expect fast, free shipping and returns. As the company tightens its belt after a period of explosive growth, it has taken many steps to reduce delivery costs across the business.

Late last year, Amazon raised the price of its annual Prime membership that includes free shipping benefits from $20 to $139. It also raised minimum order thresholds for free grocery delivery, encouraged customers to have all their packages delivered on a designated weekday, and expanded faster same-day package delivery with a fee for grocery orders. less than $25.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Lisa Baertlein

Thomson Reuters

Lisa Baertlein covers the movement of goods around the world, with a focus on maritime transport and last mile delivery. In her free time, you’ll find her sailing, painting, or exploring regional and national parks.

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