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You probably already know that Amazon offers Prime memberships, giving you free 2-day shipping with no minimum order requirement. Walmart.com also has a new 2-day shipping service, which is free for orders over $35.
Like Amazon, you can find a wide variety of items at Walmart.com – electronics, clothing, pantry items, health and wellness and even furniture. I use both services regularly, so let’s see how they stack up:
- Free 2-day shipping on millions of items
- No minimum purchase required
- $99 annual fee (or $49 for students)
- Includes other services: Photos, Video, Music, Family and other misc. discounts and/or trial programs
Walmart.com Free 2-Day Shipping
- Free 2-day shipping on millions of items
- Minimum purchase of $35 required
- No membership fee
Amazon Prime Service: When it comes to reliability, I would give Amazon the edge; most 2-day items really do arrive within 2 days, but that comes with caveats. If an item is not readily available for shipping, there’s no telling when it will actually be on its way, and Amazon only promises 2 days once it actually ships. This week, I waited 6 days for an item to even be ready for shipping. Last week, an in-stock “sold by Amazon” item shipped right away, but actually took 5 days to reach me.
I also like that you can opt for slower shipping in exchange for $5 in Amazon pantry, music and video credits.
Amazon’s selection is famously huge, offering many things that Walmart doesn’t (liked used books and digital music) and then there are the other services mentioned above that are rolled into your Prime membership (thousands of free movies and millions of free songs). There is the handy Subscription option for items you purchase regularly, and special Prime-only discounts like 20% off diapers and 30% off Amazon devices.
Amazon does sell “pantry” items but the drawback is that you only get free shipping with 5 qualifying items.
Amazon’s service has been very helpful over the years when it comes to problems that arise. Returns are easy and fast. As soon as my return label is scanned by the carrier, I will see my refund shortly after.
Walmart.com Service: Last year, Walmart’s 2-day service was called Shipping Pass and it cost $49.99 to join up, which I sprung for. In terms of reliability, it was hit or miss, with items not always arriving in 2 days. There were some major fails that took a week or more, prompting me to call and complain, whereupon Walmart would usually refund a small amount back to me compensate. About a month ago, Walmart announced that Shipping Pass was going away; even though customers had been using the service for many months, they extended a full refund of the $49.99 to everyone, which I thought was really swell! Since the free 2-day shipping was implemented, I can report that *most* of my orders do arrive in 2 days, but there are exceptions. Walmart often splits up orders, and so I might get 90% of my things in 2 days and the other 10% the next day. Last week, everything arrived in 2 days except for 1 item. It took 5 days, and I got a surprise email from Walmart apologizing and sharing a $5 gift card to make up for it. So in terms of consistent shipping times, Walmart still needs improvement. Luckily, customer service is very responsive when I have problems or questions. I often use their online chat feature because it’s quick.
Last month, I received a box of Walmart items that we didn’t order. After explaining to the chat rep what happened, she said “You can keep everything, if you like.” So I got a huge bottle of Tide detergent and Olay body wash for free. Nice!
Pay close attention to shipping estimates when checking out at Walmart.com if time is very crucial to you. I take a screenshot so that if shipping delays arise later, I can share this with customer support.
Also, look out for occasional deals like this one from February which offered 15% off on millions of items.
Walmart.com has this unique feature, which lets you see how many times you’ve ordered an item, and gives you the option of adding it to your cart in whatever quantity you want with 1 click.
Returns are easy at Walmart.com, too, and you have the option of doing it by mail or in store. Both processes are quick and painless and refunds are issued very promptly.
When it comes to “pantry” items I would give Walmart.com a slight edge. There’s no requirement to buy a certain number of qualifying items, as with Amazon. That means if I purchase a booster seat for $40 and want to add just 1 box of granola bars to my order, no problem. I get the free shipping. I also like that food items overall are much cheaper at Walmart.com compared to Amazon. As one example, I can get a 2-pound bag of Basmatic rice at Walmart.com for $3.32; at Amazon I’ll pay $4.24.
For larger items, it’s a toss-up. Prices are usually very close between Amazon and Walmart. Like the Evenflo Tribute 5-point harness booster – when I checked today, they were both exactly $45.99 at Amazon and Walmart.
I like being signed up for both Amazon Prime and Walmart.com because both offer something unique. With Walmart.com, I can buy pantry items individually or in bulk and not have to jump through any hoops. With Amazon, I can be almost 100% sure my item will arrive in 2 days, if it’s crucial for that particular order. Amazon definitely has an edge in terms of selection, but I often find better prices at Walmart on pantry items.
If you don’t like having to join a service, or pay for benefits, then you’ll appreciate Walmart’s new 2-day shipping service. If you buy items online often, and don’t want to worry about meeting a $35 order threshold to get those items fast, then you will likely find that Amazon Prime’s $99 service is a fair deal.
Do you use one or both of these services? Which do you prefer? Let me know if you have any more questions!