The e-commerce giant Amazon announced over the weekend it is relaunching it has renewed its shipping services to Israel after deliveries had been halted following the coronavirus outbreak.
Israeli consumers, however, might be left disappointed since the free shipping option - normally offered by the company on purchases over $49 - has not been renewed and it appears the company only offers express shipping at a much higher cost.
The company stopped shipping to Israel on March 22 in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying it would focus on deliveries of essential goods within the U.S. and few other selected countries.
Amazon in the past offered a cheaper shipping option with a longer waiting period, along with express shipping via companies such as DHL and UPS - which now is the only shipping option for Israeli buyers, mostly due to the limited traffic of commercial flights during the pandemic.
Packages delivered through this service, called Amazon Priority, will arrive at customers' homes between Wednesday, May 13, and next Thursday, May 21 - if ordered on Sunday.
Ynet review of the renewed service shows that many products, which were shipped for free or at a minuscule cost, are now being delivered at a cost that sometimes exceeds the product's original price manifold.
The shipment cost for a Tara Toy Disney Necklace activity set, priced at $11.65, now stands at $45.62.
A set of 5 men's short sleeve shirts is sold for $9, with the $49.97 shipping cost.
Shipment for a Sony 64 GB memory card, sold for $129.99, stands at $49.74, not including VAT.
Buying a pricier product, however, does not guarantee lower shipping costs.
A $99 SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB memory card will cost an extra $69 in shipping before VAT. A Kouboo Rattan footstool, which costs $109.60, is shipped to Israel for no less than $357.07.
However, diligent consumers may find some products that are still cheaper on the website than in Israeli stores.
For example, a Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e 128GB Wifi is now sold at Amazon U.S. for $399 (NIS 1,885), which appears to the lowest price found on the market.
For comparison, the 128GB version is not available in Israel, but the 64GB version goes from NIS 1,920 according to the price comparison website ZAP.