Online shopping has become a trusted source for finding the best Christmas gifts at a low price. However, multiple shipping costs tacked on to checkout totals can easily reduce overall savings, making any internet discounts found less beneficial.
Knowing the how to save money on shipping is the best defense for deal hunters this season, and fortunately, there are a handful dependable ways to cut down or completely eliminate shipping prices from tightening your holiday shopping budget.
#1. Subscribe to Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is a subscription service provided by Amazon.com, which gives shoppers the best gift of all — free shipping. Not only do Prime customers receive unlimited free shipping on prime-eligible order, they get free 2-day shipping instead of the standard “up to 5 business days” option.
While there is a cost associated with the membership for individuals who want to keep free shipping benefits for the long-term, Amazon provides free trial periods for first-time Amazon Prime users.
Membership costs are as follows:
- Regular membership: $79 per year (with free one month trial)
- Amazon Student: $39 per year (with free six-month trial)
- Amazon Mom: $39 per year (with free three-month trial, and added benefit of 20% off diapers and wipes, as well as other family essentials)
#2. Bundle Gift Shipments
Worried that you’ll forget to cancel Amazon Prime before getting charged? Luckily, saving money on Amazon shipping costs is still possible.
Certain items provided and supplied by Amazon.com are eligible for “FREE Super Saver Shipping,” as long the item or the total eligible Super Saver Shipping items in your cart add up to $35 or more.
Once your checkout cart has the required dollar amount to receive free shipping, all you have to do is ensure that the entire order is being shipped to a single address and select the “Group my items into as few shipments as possible” option during checkout.
Shopping for Christmas gifts with free shipping has never been easier, but just make sure you place orders on time (and account for backorders), as packages are delivered within 5-8 business days after all your items are available to ship out.
Other major retailers have similar shipping promotions as well, including Barnes & Noble, Target and Toys’R’Us. (Image: tannaidhe)
#3. Find Free Shipping Coupon Codes
If you intend on buying holiday gifts from multiple retailers instead of fulfilling your gift list from one store, always seek out free shipping coupon codes online before completing your order.
Visit coupon sites like RetailMeNot.com or just run a simple Google search using the retailers name followed by the phrase “coupon code” (e.g. Banana Republic coupon code) to find more places to discover free shipping offers.
Especially during the holiday season, stores use free shipping as an incentive for consumers to spend money at their store, so take advantage of saving money with coupons by doing a quick online search.
#4. Buy Christmas Gifts on Free Shipping Day
A hidden gem when it comes to ducking shipping prices is to plan on making gift purchases on Free Shipping Day. On Wednesday, December 18, 2012, hundreds of big name retailers and brands are participating in the year’s official Free Shipping Day, which promotes no-cost shipping with the added guarantee that Christmas gifts will arrive by Christmas Eve.
Currently, the effort has over 600 merchants and counting participating in Free Shipping Day, so start planning your purchases in advance with this money saving strategy and reap the benefits of zero shipping costs.
#5. Opt for Store Pick-Up
Popular retail stores provide convenient in-store pick-up to cut down on shipping expenses. Simply shop for holiday gifts online, and select the store pick-up option.
The retailer’s warehouse associated with online orders will ship your order to the store location nearest you. All you have to do is walk up to the customer service counter and request your items. Walmart provides this shipping alternative to its customers, as does Sears, REI and Payless Shoe Source.
Stores like Target and Best Buy also give shoppers the option to pick up online orders in a physical store. However, these retailers restrict the online order and store pick-ups to items that are already in-stock at any given location. (Image: zooboing)
As online shopping continues to dominate the holiday shopping season, more opportunities arise for thrifty consumers to skirt costs on shipping.
(Top Image: queenbeebh)