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Most of us already know about Amazon’s Prime memberships, and it’s main attraction which is the free shipping with no minimum order amount. But if you’ve had it Amazon’s privacy violations, pricing wars and assault on free speech and want to take your business elsewhere (like my family has done) you should know that Walmart.com also has a new free shipping service, with no minimum order amount. This service costs only $98 per year, which is $21 cheaper than Amazon Prime. Walmart also offers a free 15-day trial so you can give it a whirl first.
Like Amazon, you can find a wide variety of items at Walmart.com – electronics, clothing, pantry items, health and wellness and even furniture.
I’m going to quickly compare the two services:
- Free 2-day shipping
- No minimum purchase required
- $119 annual fee
- Includes other services: Photos, Video, Music, Family and other misc. discounts and/or trial programs
Walmart Plus Free 2-Day Shipping
- Free 2-day shipping on millions of items
- No minimum purchase required
- $98 annual fee
- Free delivery from your local store
- Use Vudu streaming for both free and paid videos, movies, and TV shows
- Member discounts on fuel
How Reliable are They? Over the years, I’ve found that Prime shipping hasn’t always measured up to its claims. My items don’t always arrive in two days. Walmart.com has proven to be surprisingly reliable and they primarily use FedEx. Not only do my items arrive on time, but sometimes they show up the next day! The exception to this is their marketplace or third party items, similar to Amazon.
What About Selection? Amazon clearly has the edge here, offering many things that Walmart doesn’t, like used books and more choices within product categories. However Walmart.com continues to expand its selection and now includes digital video, new books, audiobooks and even e-books. They also have auto and tire, photo services and pharmacy.
If you’re looking for used books with free shipping, I highly recommend Ebay. You can deal directly with sellers instead of fooling with Amazon’s third-party system (which gives its sellers a bum deal, in my opinion).
And just like Amazon, Walmart.com offers a Registry service and gift cards.
You can also stream TV shows and movies through Walmart.com using Vudu.
How About Pantry and Grocery Items?
My answer might have been different a few years ago, but Walmart offers a LOT more now in terms of grocery items. From 2018 to 2019 their grocery business nearly doubled. You can buy online and have shipped to your door, or have it ready at the store for pick-up.
Amazon’s Pantry service was discontinued this year, and now that they own Whole Foods, the whole cabal is rolled into the Amazon Fresh package. Unfortunately, it’s only available to PAYING Amazon Prime members ($119 per year) while anyone can order groceries from Walmart.com for FREE.
What About Prices?
That’s kind of a no-brainer, as Amazon has not been able to beat out Wal-Mart’s “always low” prices, especially since it acquired Whole Foods.
Walmart also has the benefit of being a huge chain, with a network of more than 4,000 brick-and-mortar stores around the nation, more than 2,000 of which offer same-day delivery. For comparison’s sake, Amazon has just over 100 fulfillment centers in the US.
And with Walmart, you can tap into the low prices they offer on all that other stuff besides groceries. Alongside your cereal and crackers and toiletries, you can order $10 George brand jeans for and $5 Wonder Nation dresses for your toddler, and maybe even a new gadget.
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 and Refunds
Based on my experience, both Walmart and Amazon have competed successfully in this regard. Both offer quick and easy returns, however I do give Walmart the edge for a few reasons:
- You have the option of returning to your local store and getting an instant refund
- Walmart offers unexpected “perks” to loyal customers like receiving a full refund AND being told “you can keep the item.” This has happened to me at least 5 times this year!
- Walmart.com surprises you with free product samples in your deliveries from time to time. We have received stuff like a LEGO bracelet, detergent trial packs, chewing gum, high value coupons and snack foods.
What About Small Businesses?
It goes without saying that it’s always a great idea to support a small business over any online retailer whenever you can. My brick-and-mortar shopping doubled this year – yes, even during a “pandemic.” Because let’s be honest, thanks to government dictates they struggled more than anyone else, and had to watch as the big names were allowed to stay open with far less restrictions.
So get yourself out the door whenever possible and SHOP LOCAL or patronize their online boutiques.
Do you use one or both of these services? Which do you prefer? Let me know if you have any more questions!