Amazon Add-on Items are a bad idea

So yesterday I tried to buy some Melatonin and some Echinacea since I’m running low and thought that rather than driving about two miles out of my way to get these two things at the only store in the area that carries them, I’d just order then on Amazon and use my Prime membership to get free shipping.  Well Guess what, when I went to the check out I saw that the Melationin is listed as an “Add-on Item” and wouldn’t ship with an order that was less than $25.00, seeing how the Melatonin didn’t seem to count towards the total and the Echinacea was only $9.19 I was no where near the $25.00 minimum to get what I ordered.
So what is the Add-on Item Program?  Well lets just look at the Amazon description:
When you include Add-on Items with qualifying Amazon Prime orders of $25 or more, you’ll also receive Prime shipping benefits, including Free Two-Day Shipping. Add-on Items are also eligible for Free Shipping in qualifying orders of $35 or more. See About Free Shipping by Amazon for more information. Many Add-on Items are eligible for our Subscribe & Save program. Only items shipped by Amazon count towards the $25 minimum required to buy Add-on Items; items that are eligible for Prime but shipped directly from a seller don’t apply towards the minimum. Add-on Items ship for free as part of any Subscribe & Save delivery.
To buy Add-on Items:
  1. Look for the Add-on Item badge  while shopping on or the blue title bar around Add to Cart.
  2. Include the Add-on Item in an order that includes $25 or more of items shipped by (including items sold by other sellers and shipped by Amazon). This order can include a mix of Add-on Items and other items shipped by Amazon, or be entirely made up of Add-on Items.
Note: If you have an Add-on Item with less than $25 of items shipped by in your cart, you can check out with the other items. You can also save your Add-on Item in the Saved for Later section for a future order.
If you have Add-on Items saved for later in your Cart that are marked Add to next qualifying order over $25, they will automatically be included in your next qualifying order of $25 or more. You’ll have a chance to review these Add-on Items before completing your order.
Alright, so if you’re like me your still a little confused.  But I said fine I’ll see if there are any other things I need and found enough to bring my total to 27.62.  And so I thought I was set and ready to buy, WRONG!  I missed one very key point in all the text:
Note: If you have an Add-on Item with less than $25 of items shipped by in your cart
When I went to go check out after filling my cart with over $25.00 worth of things, I was told that the one thing I actually wanted, the Melatonin, still would not be shipped because the other two items that I added into the order to get it over $25.00 were not shipped by Amazon.  So guess what I did, I removed everything from my cart and said to hell with Amazon, I’ll just drive two miles out of my way on my way home from work tonight and stop by the store and pick out what I need.  So way to go Amazon, by making it such a pain in the ass to order the one thing I needed you completely lost out on a sale.
What should they do?
Well first of all make sure people understand what the “Add-on Item” thing is and how it works, but really what they need to do is either get rid of the program or fundamentally change how it works.  What Amazon should do is offer an item as an “Add-on Item” like they do now, but let’s say in a case like I describe above where the customer wants to buy something that is an “Add-on Item” an isn’t buying enough to cover the $25.00 minimum order, give that customer the option to buy it anyway and just mark up the price $1.00-$2.00 since the customer is not meeting the $25.00 minimum order.
By saying to the customer “No you can’t have it unless you give me more money” your forcing your customers to either give you money money or more likely say screw you and take their business elsewhere.  Right now Amazon is acting like the bully in the school lunch room who takes your milk from you then makes you pay to get if back, eventually everyone comes to hate that person, so make some fundamental changes to the crappy “Add-on Item” program or I see you loosing a lot more business as time goes on.