Yes, it's called a "business scheme" until the law says it's a scam.
Cynical much? You're calling it a "scam", which by definition is a "fraudulent business scheme". Where the hell is the "fraud" in the free shipping?
I'm a careful shopper, and will only purchase from Amazon if their prices are comparable to other places. Which they usually are. In many cases their prices are better than most.
"Scam" indeed. One might even suspect you're an advocate of a full blown communism. All these hateful business practices, designed to do the most EVIL of deeds, make money! Oh, the horror.
Usury was once legal, so were the pyramid schemes and false advertisement.
And there is a whole flurry of financial "tools" Wall Street and the banks use today that skirt legality by a hair.
This has nothing to do with communism.