There is no such thing as free shipping, as someone somewhere pays the cost. Over the last decade, Amazon and other retailers have used the “free delivery” tactic to drive customer loyalty.

However, record shipping prices have all of them trying to figure out how to balance consumer benefits while maintaining their profit margins.

Some are adding fees for faster service, raising minimum purchase requirements, and using other methods to avoid the costs or shift them back to consumers.

Clearly, the race to be the cheapest and fastest may have backfired on the industry, as consumers’ expectations have never been higher. 

Reuters has more.