Walmart Challenges Amazon Prime with $50 Unlimited Shipping

Walmart will take on Amazon with a new unlimited shipping service, starting this summer. The service will cost $50 per year, undercutting Amazon Prime's $99 service. Walmart, "the world's largest retailer," says that delivery will take three days or less. Amazon promises delivery in two days, with some products available for same-day shipping.

The new service will be invitation-only to start. More than 1 million of the company's top-selling items, such as electronics, will be included in the program. These items will be flagged or labeled as eligible, separating them from the more than 7 million products available online. 

MORE: How to Save Money on Amazon

At launch, the as-yet-unnamed service will not offer free video or music streaming, which Amazon Prime does offer. However, the big-box retailer could offer video streaming through its Vudu service at some point in the future. Amazon Prime also comes with unlimited photo storage and access to the Kindle e-book lending library, which Walmart doesn't offer. 

There is no word on when Walmart's service might be available to mainstream consumers, and it's unclear who will be given access to the beta program. Walmart already offers grocery delivery and in-store pickup services in five areas, including Hunstville, Alabama; Phoenix; San Jose, California; Bentonville, Arkansas; and Denver. The company has also experimented with, and ultimately shuttered, a subscription-based sample box service. 

Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson is the editorial director at Tom's IT Pro. After getting infected with the tech bug at Wireless World and Cellular Business magazines as an intern in 1998, Anna Attkisson went on to dabble in a sorts of publications covering everything from children’s fashion to cars. During the last 9 years she’s returned to her roots where she’s been writing and editing for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide, before moving on to Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Anna Attkisson at @akattkisson.
  • Dyseman
    1/2 price 1/32nd the value. Won't be able to do any of the streaming services. 2nd day is a big plus for me. Plus they don't carry the latest greatest electronics the this geek craves. Need a raspberry Pi? Sorry, Wallyworld just has a couple of books on them. A NAS at a good price? Negative!

    IMO Amazon is the end all be all of online ordering in my book next to ebay... in which I don't trust half the time
  • rayden54
    Walmart just doesn't have the selection, I'm afraid.
  • kawininjazx
    99% of what I use Prime for is 2 day shipping. With the price climbing, and the fact that sometimes I get things in 3 days, or they don't even ship out for 2 days, it's nice to see some competition.
  • elbert
    Walmart would have to offer some sort of free vudu to this deal. Vudu needs this also else its never going to be anything in the streaming circuit.
  • jasonelmore
    in the world of shipping.. 2 day delivery takes 3 days.. 3 day delivery will take 4 days.. no thanks.

    You always add a day because it never ships the same day, and even if it does, it only gets "accepted" status, and does not move until the next day.
  • joex444
    Not actually having to go to a Wal*Mart is a big step forward. Unfortunately it's not the other customers that are the issue, it's their low end garbage.
  • bustapr
    All this talk about prime and 2nd day shipping brings tears to my eyes. I live in PR and I'm sure Alaska and Hawaii are on the same boat, prime only gets us free parcel pool( which arrives in 7 days if were lucky). In any case, I use prime for the streaming service which is decent as well as the book deals. I can drive to my nearest walmart 2 miles from my home or the next walmart which is just 20 miles down the road.
  • applegetsmelaid
    Poor UPS guy.