How to Get Free Shipping on Holiday Purchases


If you prefer to do your holiday shopping online, procrastination can pay off. Consumers can score free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve and other discounts by waiting until Free Shipping Day on December 17.

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More than 1,100 merchants already have signed up for the event, which is in its fifth year. Luke Knowles, creator of Free Shipping Day and founder of, says that he expects more than 2,000 merchants -- perhaps even close to 3,000 -- to participate this year. Knowles expects that most major retailers will participate. Big-name merchants such as Nordstrom, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Lands' End have already signed on, along with hundreds of small merchants that sell unique items. The homepage of lists all the participating merchants, so it's easy to find retailers you know and discover new ones.

At least 83% of participating retailers will provide free shipping on all orders, not just for certain items or purchases above a particular dollar amount. Knowles says that this percentage is much higher than in previous years. He also expects to see more discounts from retailers that want to stand out from competitors by offering more than just free shipping.

The site also will have a new feature called staff favorites (available only on December 17) that will allow shoppers to see which merchants have the best free shipping offers. And it will offer a mobile version of the site available December 17 for people shopping on their smart phones.

Before jumping at a free-shipping deal, though, make sure you're getting the best price for an item. Use a price comparison site, such as or , to see whether another retailer is offering a similar item at a price that's low enough for you to come out ahead even without free shipping (if it isn't offered).

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This article appears in: Personal Finance , Insurance

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