Amazon Prime: Buying Add-On Items Without Minimums w/ Alexa

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alexaboxOn of the main benefits of Amazon Prime is that you can buy things whenever you want with no minimum purchase requirement, shipped to you for free. Mostly. Amazon classifies some of their lower-priced products as “Add-On” items, which must be bundled with $25 of items shipped by Amazon, excluding gift cards.

I understand the reason for this. I usually don’t even use 1-day or 2-day shipping even on larger orders. I pick up the No-Rush shipping credit and then let Amazon bunch up my orders and ship them more efficiently. However, I like actually making the purchase, otherwise some things will languish in my cart and I wonder why it never came. Also, this lets me lock in the current price for items that are temporarily discounted. Sometimes I want a $6 item but I just ordered $100 off stuff yesterday and I don’t need anything else.

You can have Add-On items ship without meeting the minimum purchase requirement by ordering it via the Alexa voice assistant. If you don’t have an Echo Dot or similar, you can also access Alexa on-demand via the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa, and now through the Amazon Music app. These also let you access Alexa-only deals.

Here’s an additional time-saving trick, picked up from minisnoey of SD:

  • For example, let say you need Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews, Small Dog, 30 count. It costs $8 but is an add-on item.
  • If you tried to order via Alexa and say “order dog chews”, there are a hundred types of dog chews. It might take a long time for Alexa to figure out the exact type, size, and count of dog chews that you want. Some people have resorted to spelling out the product name letter-by-letter. T-E-D-I-O-U-S.
  • However, this time place the Add-On item in your online shopping cart via website or Amazon app. Do not buy it yet.
  • Now using Alexa, ask to buy the item “order dog chews”. Alexa should now know that you want the dog chews that are in your cart. She will verify the name and price, and you can now buy it via Alexa without any minimum order requirement. Frustration-free ordering.

Many times, I already have another order in process so it just gets bundled along.

Bonus tip: This deal is still working: $10 bonus on your first RE-order via Alexa ($10 minimum order).

In order to qualify for the $10 credit offer, you must: (1) be an Amazon Prime member that has never made a reorder with Alexa Voice Shopping and (2) order a physical product in your Order History of at least $10. The reorder must be made using voice shopping on your device with Amazon Alexa.

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  1. Rudi Pittman says

    You didn’t mention that the amazon MUSIC app allows folks to use alexa for FREE to order these deals without a minimum. No additional purchase necessary.

    • I didn’t know that, thanks for the tip. It’s weird though, you can’t use Alexa trough the Amazon app or the Amazon Alexa app, but you can through the Music app?

      • Rudi Pittman says

        Well the amazon alexa app does let you use alexa but won’t work on the deals…go figure..anyway I’m told the reverb app (free) also works to do alexa deals.

    • Joshua Katt says

      Awesome tips, works great via the music app when the item is already in the cart. Didn’t want to hit up the Echo and wake the baby. I did note that it only ships quantity of ONE even though I had 2 x baby bottles in the cart, so I simply did it twice.

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    I used to use Amazon prime (and Amazon in general), but calculated that it’s not worth it to spend extra $100 for Prime. Initially, Amazon would let you order and ship items for free if you’re a Prime member, but as time went on, Amazon began aggressively categorizing certain items as Add-On. So despite you being a Prime, you still had to purchase $25 or more to get the free shipping. Amazon just wants you to spend more of your money with Amazon.

    I cancelled because by the time you accumulate $25 in your cart the price had gone up on these items that were in your cart. NOW, if you do a comparison shopping to your local stores (Walmart,Target), Amazon already marks up its items higher then Walmart/Target. So you’re a Prime you pay that extra $100 to Amazon AND these items that are shipped to you for free are not really free, Amazon charges you extra $$. So, it’s like you pay $100 and you DO pay shipping as the items are marked up.

    I went with Walmart and/or Target. With Walmart, the same items are cheaper and you get a free shipping to your local Walmart for you to pick up in about 2-3 days. Take simple computer cables, like USB or other with Amazon you pay no less then $10, but usually $20 (oh it’s $19.99), with Walmart the same USB (maybe not a brand name) you pay $5. It gets better with Walmart, you can return most non PC items within 90 days. For me it’s a WIN-WIN. Adios Amazon. (Jeff want to colonize the moon, but not from my wallet).

    • I would agree that if you just used the free shipping, Prime is likely less worth it. But my kids use it for the videos, and I’ve got the Prime credit card which gets me 5% off all my Amazon purchases. After a while it adds up, and if you used the free music, free books and magazines, and other stuff, it can be a pretty good deal.

      • Rudi Pittman says

        Take the slow shipping credit ($1 per order) and order alot of things as individual items..they will still lump them together but you’ll get enough digital credit to get free movie rentals, music or ebooks. I use the music portion heavily with my echo dot’s. I’m just now getting into the video with my Roku’s. I’ll admit to being jealous of all these people who can get prime at 1/2 price (student, low income etc) but every time a package doesn’t meet the two day delivery guarantee I call or live chat and they add a month to my prime membership as compensation (this is actually an inconvenience because if I didn’t need the item in a hurry I would have taken then slow shipping credit so I’m not abusing it). The alexa deals (monitored by the hot deals forum on are pretty useful as well along with prime specials like getting the alexa wand for $20 with a $20 credit or $10 credit for your first re-order etc. I find ways to get my money’s worth. On the other hand I’m also fine with letting my membership expire a few months and catch one of these $73 special’s they have going. I think right now ibotta is paying you $20 back on getting a membership so ends up costing $80. I don’t have a 2nd person to split the cost with but if you did you could share your household assuming you trust them being able to see your credit card info (probably only immediate family). Walmart and target on occasion CAN be cheaper…I just ordered epsom salt from walmart and bounty paper towels from targer ($10 giftcard back) because they ended up cheaper and still delivered to my door. I’d love a plugin for chrome that monitors all 3 and gives the prices.

  3. For the Amazon prime, I share it with my sisters. One of my sisters has it and she can add multiple email addresses to her account to reap the free shipping benefits. I know a bunch of people that are just added to others accounts just for this.

    Also, I you get the new ecobee 4 there’s an Alexa built in, but not sure if you can order from it though.

  4. Joshua Katt says

    Jonathan, do you actually use the no rush shipping credit? It’s only for the pantry I think and the few times I looked into ordering somethings it didn’t make financial sense. Curious if you found otherwise, thanks

    • I guess everyone gets a different type of offer? For me, it has been for electronic/digital items like eBooks, movies, and music. Those have been pretty easy to use up.

      • Joshua Katt says

        Thanks, I emailed them to see I could switch – and it clearly stumped them as I haven’t gotten a reply in 24 hours instead of the 2 or 3 which is their norm in practice. Will update if I find out anything of use.

      • The credit type seems to vary for me – used to be digital items like Jonathan, then for a while I was getting pantry offers. Then a couple times I got “Prime Now” credits, I guess since they just started doing that in this area. A couple $10 Prime Now credits were very useful, but the last offer I got was another Pantry one, which I find less interesting.

    • For me, I was getting the digital credit, but then it changed to pantry credit, but it’s changed back to digital credit.

  5. Joshua Katt says

    I never got an answer back but found this link essentially stating that they pick what you get based upon what you order.

    Can I choose whether to receive a discount or a reward?
    No, we will surface only one type of offer per order at checkout, either a reward or a discount.

    What can I purchase with my No-Rush reward?
    No-Rush rewards apply only to the type of items indicated in the offer at checkout. Depending on the offer you can use your rewards to shop for daily essentials on Prime Pantry, Kindle ebooks, Amazon Instant Videos, Digital Music, Amazon Appstore apps, Digital Video Games, Digital Software titles and more. Rewards are automatically applied at checkout.

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