The perfect way to tamp the sizzle out of an unbelievable online deal is the addition of an annoying shipping charge. That sneaky fee can make an online consumer abandon their virtual shopping cart in an instant. If you ask me, when it comes to shipping, free is the only way to go. So next time you’re loading up that cart, implement one of these savvy tips to save on shipping.
Seek Out Free Shipping Codes
They really are out there. If you haven’t heard of the following site, then today is your lucky day. Freeshipping.org is the research library of shipping coupons. Search by store or product names to find codes from your favorite retailers.
Use a Store Credit Card
When using a particular store’s credit card, retailers will offer free shipping (and returns, if necessary) to sweeten the deal. However, they may require you spend a particular amount or buy a certain product. Target.com offers free shipping when you use their Red Card. No minimum purchase and no annual fee. Many other retailers like L.L. Bean, Nordstrom, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Sears, Costco, The Limited, and Overstock.com also offer free shipping when you use their cards.
Become a Member
For frequent online shoppers, it may make sense to become a member of a retailer’s site.
- For an annual fee of $79 with Amazon, you receive free two-day shipping on every order you place and lower-priced upgrades on other shipping options. With shipping costs starting at $6.99 (for the two-day option), your membership is paid for in less then twelve orders. So if you’re an auntie with 11 nieces and nephews spread out across the country, a student in the market for used books, or just a bargain enthusiast, this may be the route for you. Amazon also offers three to six months of free two-day shipping for members of Amazon Student (all you need is an .edu email address) and Amazon Mom (for all caregivers, not just moms).
- Are you a frequent flower sender? I am. Becoming an FTD Gold member is one of the best money-saving decisions I made. For $30 you can purchase an annual membership, which is worth it when you consider that delivery charges on one order start at $20. Pay that one-time fee and send mom, grandma, and your favorite cousin all pretty bouquets without breaking the bank.
- Williams-Sonoma, JonesNY, and Skechers also offer similar member benefits through their websites with annual fees ranging from FREE to $30.
- Sneakerhead? Become a member on Nike.com’s website and get free shipping on orders over $100.
- DSW offers their members free shipping when they spend $35.
- But there is always at least one amazing exception to the rule. Zappos is that exception. Noted for there phenomenal customer service, they offer free shipping and returns every day for everyone. No membership required!
Buy a Cheap Filler Item
Yes, you read that correctly. Buy more to save. It’s happened to us all: we’ve done our shopping and the total is just shy of the amount needed to avoid the shipping free. Sometimes it’s as little as a buck, and that’s when it makes sense to edit that cart. The filler item finder is a neat tool exclusive to Amazon. Click on the special icon and enter how much you need to spend to qualify for free shipping, and an extensive list of potential purchases is provided. I’ve searched for items costing as little as one dollar. In cases like this, it pays to spend the extra dollar to save upwards of six bucks.
Site to Store
Find that specially-priced gift online and have it shipped, no cost, to the store location nearest you. Many retailers participate in this: Wal-Mart, Kmart, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Save yourself both time and shipping charges with an offer like this.
Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day
I’m sorry, but I have to. I know it seems a bit early, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these two shipping holidays. Online commerce’s answer to Black Friday, Cyber Monday (November 26) and Free Shipping Day (December 17). These two days will be here before you know it. Thousands of retailers participate, and you don’t want to miss the deals that go down in this arena. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Put it on your calendar now, or sign up for alerts at their respective websites.
This has been a guest post by Tavonne from New York, NY
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