WTF?! Like many tech giants, Amazon is trying to cut costs in these times of economic uncertainty. Its latest exercise targets the millions of Prime subscribers who take advantage of the free shipping option, offering a few testers $10 to pick up a purchase rather than having it shipped to their home.

The free next/same-day shipping option is often the main reason why people subscribe to Amazon Prime. But it seems the perk is costing the retail giant more money than it's comfortable with. Reuters reports that an unknown number of Prime members have been offered $10 if they choose to collect orders that cost more than $25 from Amazon pickup locations such as Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, or Kohl's.

New York-based shipping consultant Dean Maciuba was one of the customers who received the $10 offer (bribe?). He told Reuters that it's "a huge opportunity for Amazon to reduce the cost of delivery," helping the company avoid costly package drop-offs. It could also train customers in the habit of returning items directly to company locations rather than by mail, said Maciuba.

Another sign of Amazon's search for more income comes from The Information, which reports that it has also started charging some customers a $1 fee if they return packages via a United Parcel Service store when there is an Amazon pickup/return location closer to their delivery address.

Amazon had its worst-ever fourth quarter in 2022 and experienced its first annual net loss since 2014. As such, it is joining the slew of firms laying off workers, though it's letting go more than anyone else: around 27,000. The company has also been shuttering more Amazon Go stores, closing and abandoning plans for dozens of US warehouses, and pausing construction on its second headquarters in Virginia.

The impact on its customers included a $20 price increase for Amazon Prime last year, bringing the total annual cost to $139. Furthermore, a delivery fee of up to $10 has been added to grocery orders under $150, and buyers are now encouraged to have all their purchases delivered on the same day of the week to reduce the number of home visits.