When purchasing products advertised on the Internet or TV, you can easily run into a situation where you’re paying substantially more than you anticipated. In many of those cases, consumers fail to read the small print about extra expenses, such as shipping cost.
Sometimes the prices quoted are so low that they seem too good to be true. But when you add in shipping costs, especially “fast shipping,” you could be caught off guard with how much you’re paying over that initial price.
Be a smart shopper by looking for those specials that advertise “no shipping charge” or “shipping is free.” Be even smarter by requesting free shipping when it’s not advertised.
Here are a few points to consider when seeking out free shipping deals:
- Free shipping can be seasonal. You will find an abundance of “free shipping” deals during the holidays. Merchants realize that holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day are periods in which consumers take the padlocks off their credit cards and splurge for the special people in their lives. For many retailers, it is time to go to war as their competitors become more creative with promotions, upgrades, and, yes, “free shipping.” Internet sales also increase as more consumers turn to online buying.
- Coupon codes. Avoid high shipping costs by using coupon codes available online by merchants who are trying to attract buyers. These coupon codes typically can be found in e-mail advertisements or on search engines under “free shipping coupon codes.” You can get these codes for a variety of retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Target and American Eagle.
- Minimum orders. Many stores have a minimum order requirement to qualify for free shipping. Sometimes it’s just a matter of purchasing something that costs just a few dollars to earn free shipping. In the end, you could actually pay less.
- Local order pick-ups. Some large retail outlets, like Wal-Mart and JCPenney, will allow you to order their product online and will ship it free, if you opt to pick it up at your local store.
- Ask for it. Stores want your business whether you’re shopping online or at one of their locations. If you want the free shipping feature from a store, just ask for it. There is a chance your request will be granted. But you will never know unless you ask.