For my purchases the shipping often makes a big difference. I only see the total on the very last step, when everything is being confirmed. Is there a way to see the shipping cost much earlier, for example even before it is added to the shopping cart?

  • On a hunch I deleted my secondary address, and now the shipping price is included on the product page. Weird though, because my secondary address was at a post office a block away from my primary address, so you'd think the shipping would be the same for both.
    – wjandrea
    Nov 4, 2018 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


Well, there are many reasons. This has been brought up before. Let me provide a low down (I currently work at Amazon for process improvement and web development).

The algorithm we run takes into account several factors when determining shipping costs:

  • Weight of the item
  • Size of the item
  • Where the items are shipping to (Alaska costs more than California for example)
  • Speed of shipping
  • Who is selling the item (we support third party sellers)
  • Current information for multiple carriers (FedEx, UPS, USPS, LazerShip, etc)
  • Stock and location of the items in our fulfillment centers
  • Several other small pieces
  • How the shipping will be broken up (one order can be 4 shipments for example)

The reason we don't just say "This item will cost $6.98 for shipping" is because it might cost $4.00 and it might cost $12.00. We don't want to create a false expectation for the customer by promising $6.98 and having it cost $9.00 at the end of checkout.

Simple answer?

Too many variables. We must check all of the parameters to give you an accurate figure.

Amazon does not want to create a false expectation until we determine the actual cost we can provide.

  • 2
    All of the reasons given are invalid. All the variables needed to figure out the shipping price, are already available at a much earlier time. There's no valid excuse for not showing the price until the last step of the purchase. Obviously it should show the cheapest shipping option, and if you later change to a more expensive one, the price should just be updated. It's very simple and places like eBay have no problem showing the price.
    – Peter
    Aug 3, 2016 at 10:06
  • 3
    Do you really need payment information to determine the shipping costs? Because I need to add a card or bank account before I can see the total (including shipping costs).
    – SQB
    Aug 28, 2018 at 8:47
  • 4
    This is not a valid argument for several reasons. Almost all of these variables are either not variable or can specified when performing the search. Present the same options during checkout in the search results and you have your values. If it still can't be a single number just show a range which at least can be compared relative to other results. This is a UX problem not a technical one.
    – steinybot
    Sep 1, 2018 at 22:14
  • 5
    The only valid reason is that Amazon wants you to put too much effort to withdraw at the very end when you see the shipping cost and also I'm sure it was A/B tested and improved based on conversion rates so it probably works. The answer above is plainly misleading, and I hope to get a few upvotes in future just to reach125 points and be able to downvote this answer.
    – konrad
    Feb 18, 2019 at 22:56
  • 1
    That why I don't buy on amazon, and that's why you shouldn't too. Amazon make fool out of us. It's really isn't that hard to calculate final price include shipping. It's also not that hard to make your sort algorithm work. Anyone who tried to sort item on amazon by price, knows how frustrating it is. If it works on Ebay, and works on AliExpress, and works on any simple site, it can work on Amazon too. They just don't want us to find the lowest price, that's all. It's about marketing.
    – Izik
    Jul 7, 2020 at 19:36

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