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Free Shipping Online

How "Free Shipping" Deals Usually Work


Online retailers frequently entice Internet shoppers by advertising free shipping. Sometimes this type of offer is exactly as stated -- Free Shipping -- no strings attached. However, more often than not, a minimum purchase must be met, and sometimes other qualifiers must be satisfied, in order to receive free shipping.

Here is a list of things to check in the "free shipping" fine print found at many websites:

Does It Pay Off to Meet the Minimum Purchase Amount?

Decide if adding another item to your shopping cart makes sense and if the original item you are purchasing is something you really want to buy regardless of the shipping deal. By adding another small item, you can save the cost of shipping and actually get something you can keep or give as a gift. Sometimes, meeting the minimum is less costly than paying the amount other companies may charge for the shipping alone. Purchasing a small gift or a staple item may be the best way to go and, with a little comparison shopping, you will be able to determine what works best for you.

Will They Ship for Free Anywhere?

Most free shipping offers are for standard shipping only, including UPS ground shipment to addresses within the Continental U.S. Delivery to Post Office boxes is usually not included. Often, there are weight and size limitations, which may exclude your purchase from the free shipping offer. If you live in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico, your order is likely to require air service, which is often excluded from free shipping offers.

Who Offers Free Shipping?

The list changes almost daily. For that reason, it is always wise to read the shopping site's posted specifics and policies regarding shipping.

Ask the Following Questions:

  • What is the before tax amount that you need to purchase to qualify for the free shipping promotion?
  • Is there a "coupon code" to enter in order to receive the free shipping offer?
  • Is the item you are purchasing within the specified size and weight limits?
  • Does the company ship to the destination of your package?
  • Have you met all other qualifying specifications of the "Free Shipping" offer, such as signing up for a site newsletter, buying a specified item or any other qualifiers, which should be stated clearly on the retailer's Website.

    Tip: Always check the sub-totaled invoice before you select the "Final" button to make sure you agree with the amount you are about to be charged.

    List of current Free Shipping Deals

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