If you shop online at least once a month, you could be paying a small fortune in shipping costs over the course of a year. Why not save all of that money and use it on something fun?
Here are seven ways you can get free shipping when you shop online. Be sure to share your favorite tips in the comments below, too!
This is a big one – if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you get a lot of benefits, but one of the most significant is free two-day shipping on any order. If you’re like me, and place a lot of Amazon orders, this can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Combining it with other benefits makes it worth the annual $100 fee, especially if you’re taking care to save money on your Amazon purchases.
Also keep in mind that if you choose “No-Rush Shipping,” you’ll get a small credit toward another purchase (usually a Kindle book, movie, or MP3 download), and that can add up over a lot of purchases, too. In most cases, getting an order in four or five days instead of two isn’t a big deal, and getting that credit will be worth the extra couple days.
ShopRunner and FreeShipping
While they’re not as well-known as Amazon Prime, free shipping subscriptions like ShopRunner and FreeShipping.com are also options that you should consider. Instead of just getting free shipping on a single site, they work across a wide variety of online retailers.
Just sign into the relevant service at checkout, and you’ll get free shipping as well as free return shipping. ShopRunner even gives you the option to get free two-day shipping. Both services offer special coupons and other deals too, so the $70 or $80 annual fee could be recouped very quickly.
Watch for Free Shipping Sales
A lot of online retailers offer free shipping during their seasonal sales, so if you’re shopping around Labor Day, Christmas, Memorial Day, Valentine’s Day, or any other holiday, you might be able to get free shipping just for buying something.
Social media can help you save money, so keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for retailers to announce these sales, as you don’t always know when they’re coming. Signing up for retailer newsletters will also tip you off to these opportunities.
For more tricks to help you save money, check out Sandy’s article on 5 useful, money-saving online shopping tips you should know.
Remember that there’s also Free Shipping Day in mid-December when online retailers are encouraged to offer free shipping to their customers. It’s only once a year, but it’s during a big online shopping time, so it can be really valuable!
Ship to a Store
Many online retailers will offer free shipping to one of their brick-and-mortar stores or free pickup if you order online. Walmart, REI, Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, Office Depot, Best Buy, and lots of other popular retailers offer at least one of these options. If you’re willing to make a trip, you can skip the craziness of shopping in a store and just swing by to pick up your purchase.
While you can’t always rely on online coupons, free shipping coupons are some of the most common. There’s often a minimum amount that you need to order, but running a search through a coupon-finding site or a coupon-finding browser extension for the retailer you’re shopping at could net you a code for free shipping. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s worth a shot.
Some brands will post free shipping coupons to their social media accounts, so you may want to follow the retailers that you buy from most often. It might be a good idea to separate them into a list or hide them from your primary Facebook feed, though, as being exposed to all of that advertising could tempt you into spending more.
Make the Minimum Purchase
A lot of online retailers will just give you free shipping if you spend enough at their store. ModCloth, for example, offers free shipping on purchases over $75. Backcountry.com will ship your order for free if you spend more than $50. A number of websites also offer free international shipping, which could easily be worth $20 or more on a single order.
Even if you aren’t planning on spending the minimum amount, you can find creative ways to get there. Ask if anyone else in your household needs something from that website. Stock up on supplies that you know you’ll need to buy again soon anyway. Sometimes — only very occasionally — it’ll be worth it to add another item to your basket to get free shipping. Be sure to compare total prices carefully to see if this is a good idea, though, or you’ll end up spending more than you intended to.
You might be surprised to find out just how often you can get free shipping just by asking. Send a message over Facebook or Twitter to the company, or if the website has a live chat agent, ask if there are any coupons available for free shipping — you’ll score a discount code more often than you might expect. Even if they don’t have one for you, there’s a decent chance you’ll get a 5% or 10% off coupon instead, which could cover the cost of shipping.
Social media actually provides a number of interesting ways to save money, so combine this with other methods and you could be looking at a notable amount of savings.
Never Pay for Shipping Again
Paying for shipping can really add to the cost of shopping online, which is already full of traps to make you spend more. By employing these strategies and being a smart online shopper, you can save a really significant amount of money on your orders. It’s only $5 or $10 here and there, but over a year or two, it adds up. Don’t pay for shipping if you don’t have to!
How else have you gotten free shipping in the past? What tips do you have to save money when it comes to shipping? Share your best tricks below!