Whether you order online once a day or once a year, one thing that sticks in everyone’s craw is paying for shipping. We used to accept it as par for the course and didn’t mind paying for the convenience of having items delivered right to your door. But, times have changed. Free shipping is more widely available now so we’ve become spoiled. Here are seven ways to avoid paying that dreaded shipping fee.
Meet the Minimum
This is a simple solution. Many sites offer free shipping if you spend, say, $50, like Old Navy and Gap, or $75, like Macy’s and Forever 21. Spend at least that amount and get free shipping.
Use a Promo Code
If your purchase doesn’t meet the required minimum for free shipping, all is not lost. Before you pony up that shipping fee, see if you can find a code online. Using your search engine, like Yahoo, Google or Bing, search for the retailer’s name and “free shipping code”. You’ll probably find listings for free shipping codes from a variety of coupon sites. They won’t all work, but it’s worth trying!
Pick it Up
If you like to place your orders online but don’t mind dashing out to pick your items up, there are more than 30 stores that offer free in-store pickup, including Bed, Bath & Beyond and Container Store. In-store pickup is not only convenient, but it saves the time you would spend roaming the store looking for the items you want. It’s also a good way to stay on budget. Roaming those aisles can breed temptation!
Join the Club
Some retailers, like Bloomingdale’s, Converse, and Nike, offer free shipping to members, and membership is free! Seems pretty worth it, right? Rule of thumb: if you shop regularly at one site or another, check to see if there is a free membership program that you can join.
Pay for the Privilege
Other sites offer paid memberships, which allow you to order as much as you’d like and get free shipping. Amazon obviously comes to mind. For $119 per year, you can get unlimited 2-day shipping for free, among other benefits, like access to Amazon Music and Amazon Video. There’s also Shoprunner. For a $79 annual fee, you can get free 2-day shipping with hundreds of merchant partners. American Express cardholders can actually get a Shoprunner membership for free. A FreeShipping.com membership is $12.97 per month and gets you free shipping at over 1,000 different sites, plus the potential for cashback and price protection.
With the Sephora Flash membership, you pay $15 per year and receive free unlimited 2-day air shipping at Sephora. The Barnes & Noble membership is $25 per year and you get unlimited free shipping plus $60 in bonus coupons when you sign up.
Wait for the Holidays
If you’re shopping during the holiday season, free shipping is easier to find. Retailers, like Target, Best Buy and Amazon are known to waive their minimum threshold and offer free shipping on all orders. And if the site you like to shop isn’t offering free shipping for the whole holiday shopping season, chances are they are offering it on Free Shipping Day, which usually occurs in mid-December.
Free Shipping All Year ‘Round
And believe it or not, more than 45 online stores offer free shipping all year long, no minimums or membership required. These include department stores, like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, online-only sites, like Zappos and Shoes.com, and beauty sites, like Dermstore and MAC Cosmetics.