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Amazon launches a sample section—with a twist

An online giant is rewarding loyalty members for purchasing samples on its website.

Amazon launched “Prime Samples,” a program that enables Prime members to purchase samples across a variety of categories, including beverages and food, sports nutrition, beauty and grooming, baby, personal care and household, and vitamins and supplements. The merchandise ranges between $2 and $4.

Prime members that purchase a sample earn a credit toward a future purchase of select full-size merchandise in the same category. The credit is equal to the price paid for the item, according to Amazon’s website.

Taking the concept up one more notch, the program also features subscription boxes. Prime members can choose from 15 “Sample Box” options that range from women health beauty care and men’s grooming merchandise to snacks to pet merchandise.

Boxes range from $5.99 to $19.99. Like individual samples, each box purchase earns Prime members a credit of equivalent value that can be redeemed on a future purchase.

Amazon’s samples business does have its share of restrictions. For example, credits expire 180 days after samples ship to customers. Also, while customers can choose any item across any category, they can only buy each unique sample once. And while shipping is free, merchandise can take between three and 10 days to arrive, according to Business Insider.
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