10 tips to save on Free Shipping Day
The annual online shopping event will be held on Dec. 17 this year.
This post comes from Karla Bowsher at partner site Money Talks News.
The annual retail event, created in 2008 by the people behind FreeShipping.org, was designed for those who have put off their holiday shopping and want their online purchases for Christmas to arrive on time.
Here's how to make the most of this event:
- Double-check participants. Many of the stores participating in Free Shipping Day are already listed on FreeShippingDay.com, but others -- and the deals they're offering -- won't be revealed until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 17.
- Double-check cutoff dates. If you buy a gift online any day between now and Christmas, confirm that the retailer's holiday shipping cutoff dates guarantee your purchase will arrive on time without added fees.
- Think outside the (gift) box. Free Shipping Day isn't just a potential savings opportunity for procrastinating holiday shoppers. If you ever buy anything online -- even if it's groceries or personal care items like shampoo -- this retail holiday could be a great day to stock up.
- Look for specials. Stores participate in Free Shipping Day to help squeeze in more last-minute sales before Christmas, so check for special deals on FreeShippingDay.com and at your favorite store's website.
- Always compare prices. Enter your intended purchase into the search engine of a price-comparison website such as PriceGrabber, Bizrate or Nextag to be sure you are getting the lowest price.
- Check for additional discounts. Do a search for the name of the item plus "coupon" or "promo code" to ensure you're not overlooking extra savings.
- Read the return policy. You'll want to be sure that you or a loved one isn't stuck with an unwanted item.
- Pay with a discounted gift card. If you don't have any, some sites that sell them have electronic versions that can be emailed to you before Free Shipping Day.
- Pay with a rewards or cash-back credit card, but make sure you pay off your balance each month.
- Get a rebate. Rebate websites will essentially pay you to shop.
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
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Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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