The latest grocery store on Amazon.com may be free, but the price is still a steep $39.99.
In fact, many grocery store shoppers may have little to no incentive to return their items to their local stores, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Markets.
That’s because, unlike many online retailers, Amazon.
The company has decided to charge a small percentage of shoppers a fee for returning merchandise.
It’s a system called Amazon Prime that lets people shop from a free “free” Amazon Prime account.
The fees vary by state and by region, but a small fee in Alabama would cost $3.50 and $2.50 in Texas, according the Bloomberg analysis.
And even if you pay for return shipping, you can’t really afford the cost of returning items to the store, said Jefferies’ Michael Kranish.
He said that’s because most retailers use a combination of coupons, cash back and Amazon Prime, which lets shoppers redeem their cash back at participating stores.
But Kranisays Walmart is not a free market.
“Amazon has made a lot of money off of Walmart,” he said.
“Amazon has gotten a great deal on Walmart.”
Kranish said Amazon Prime and other online retailers like Walmart are making big money off consumers.
If you shop online, he said, you’re paying a small amount of money to Amazon and they have a profit margin on those returns.
Walmart’s move to charge shoppers a return fee could be problematic, he added.
It could also put Amazon in an awkward position.
Walmart has already been under fire for not doing enough to make its stores more appealing to younger consumers, said Michael Diamandis, a professor of economics at the University of California-Berkeley.
And the company has already become more competitive with other online grocery retailers.
Last week, Walmart said it will offer free delivery for orders of $99 or more, which it says will help drive down the cost to consumers.
The company is also looking to expand its delivery services to new markets.
For now, shoppers are buying groceries at Walmarts and Amazon.
But Amazon’s Prime service could be an effective way to help lower prices for many shoppers, said Rachael Covington, a senior associate at the Economic Policy Institute.
While some grocery stores may have some incentive to keep shoppers, other retailers may have no incentive.
Walmart and other retailers, for example, have struggled to compete with the likes of Target and Walmart.
Target and Walmamps stores are in the midst of a severe recession, and the company may not have much to sell to shoppers.