This shipping service, which offers free two-day shipping across 85 retail sites including GNC, PetSmart, Neiman Marcus, and Toys R Us, launched a new offer today that is available only to Amazon Prime members.
ShopRunner is giving away free one-year memberships, and it’s only available to Amazon Prime members. The offer went live earlier today, and as you can see if you scroll to the bottom of the webpage ShopRunner has a simple set of instructions for proving that you have an Amazon Prime membership.
“If anyone feels that Amazon isn’t filling your needs, you are welcome to try ShopRunner,” said Fiona Dias, ShopRunner’s chief strategy officer, in an interview. “It is our guess that there is a fairly decent chunk of Amazon Prime members who will decide it’s not for them anymore.”
In a move that came as a surprise to no one, Amazon raised the price of the US Prime member ship today from $79 to $99. This is the first time Amazon increased the price since the service launched in 2005, and Amazon pinned the increase on fuel and transportation costs.
Dias said it is not disingenuous to blame shipping costs on the increase since that is valid, but it’s also not the whole story. “It’s a matter of proportion,” she said. “Sure, shipping has gone up over the years, but the tens of millions they are spending on video to go after Netflix, that’s a much bigger investment in money and resources, so I think that’s what’s driving the price increase.”
In October the Philadelphia-based ShopRunner raised $206 million in a new funding round to rival Amazon from investors which included the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and American Express.
In addition to free shipping, this service also offers free returns, though of course ShopRunner doesn’t offer the free streaming video or the free Kindle ebook loans included in Amazon Prime, so this deal might not be for everyone.
You can sign up for the offer here. I strongly urge you to do so; even if you don’t plan to give up your Prime membership getting something for free is a nice deal. (Just be sure to sign up with Shoprunners before you renew your Amazon prime membership.) ShopRunner normally costs $79 a year.