Published on June 29th, 2016 | by Chuck34
Walmart ShippingPass Review and Comparison, 2-Day Free Shipping & 30 Day Trial
Walmart.com ShippingPass members get free 2-day shipping with no minimum for an annual fee of $49. There’s also a free 30-day trial.
The cost for an annual ShippingPass membership is $49.
It’s still being advertised as ShippingPass Pilot indicating that there they are still in experimental stages, and things might change over time.
As with Amazon’s Prime free-shipping offering, the free shipping is only for items sold/shipped by Walmart themselves, not items sold by third-party sellers on walmart.com. And as with Amazon Prime, ShippingPass excludes items purchased for resale.
ShippingPass terms can be found here.
Another big perk to ShippingPass is they offer free returns. Presumably, they’ll send you a free shipping label to make the return.
This ShippingPass benefit trumps Amazon’s Prime, which does not offer any special return policy for Prime members. (On Amazon, certain items such as clothing typically have free returns, and defective items can be returned free. This is the same for Prime and non-Prime members.)
Update: A reader points out that Walmart already offers free online returns. Wow, that’s a nice perk I never knew Walmart had! So you don’t need to be a ShippingPass member to get free returns.
Walmart offers a free 30-day trial to test out ShippingPass.
You do need to give in a credit card for the trial, and you’ll be automatically charged the $49 fee unless you cancel before the trial expires. Future years auto-renew unless you opt out of auto-renewal online or over the phone. [You can get a full refund if you cancel within three business days or if you never used the service.]
If you already signed up for a paid ShippingPass plan, you’ll get 30-days added to your membership in place of the free trial.
Limit of one free trial per customer.
Walmart Versus Amazon
ShippingPass is obviously Walmart’s response to Amazon Prime. Let’s take a look at how they match up.
Edge to Walmart:
- Cost Walmart charges $49, half of Amazon’s $99.
- Free Returns ShippingPass offers free return shipping while Prime does not. Big advantage to Walmart here.
Edge to Amazon:
- Benefits Prime offers other benefits outside of retail: Prime Video, Prime Music, and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
- Value Amazon is a much broader market for a couple of reasons. First, you get free shipping on Amazon Marketplace items that use Fulfillment by Amazon, which is huge. Second, Amazon probably has a wider range of goods (my guess).
- Multi-Person Use Amazon allows two members of a household to share one Prime membership (it used to be even better), while Walmart does not offer such an option. This might not be a big deal since Prime sharing members can see each others info (orders, cards, etc.), and such people might be able to simply share one ShippingPass account entirely.
- Scope Amazon also has numerous other programs only available to Prime members such as Prime Fresh, Prime Now, Prime Pantry, and Dash.
Personally, I think ShippingPass is an intriguing offer for someone who prefers shopping online and who would use it quite a bit (e.g. a family).
Here’s why: I find that Amazon is not competitively priced on low-cost daily items like a bar of soap or stick of deodorant. Prices get jacked up to cover the exorbitant shipping fees, effectively negating the ‘No Minimum’ advertised. (The exception is Add-On items and Prime Pantry.) There are still many cases that Prime is useful, but it’s not across the board.
Walmart, on the other hand, seems to price their online goods in line with the regular discounted prices that we see at Walmart and Target stores. As of now, you can get a $2 thing of hand sanitizer shipped free with 2-day shipping. Technically, this is something available with Prime too, but it doesn’t actually happen much since Amazon will just peg it as an Add-On item.
Of course, Walmart might change all this in the future and start making the equivalent of Add-On items as well. At the moment, however, I think this is the sweet-spot for value from ShippingPass.
I also find Amazon to be less consistent than Walmart, and when buying daily items, this hinders the speed with which you can get your shopping done.
Target.com is also a good option since REDcard holders get free shipping with no minimum, but I find that target.com pegs many lower-cost items as ‘only available in store.’
In the end, I’d say more people will get value out of Prime due to their wider range of offerings and their broader market. Conversely, ShippingPass might not be worth it for a lot of people. For families or others who like ordering online as much as possible, ShippingPass could be a great deal.