MoneyMindedMoms: Is Free Shipping A Good Idea?

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Is Free Shipping A Good Idea?
Oct 12 2010 09:05 PM | Tricia Meyer  in Coupons & Discounts -----
Everyone knows that when you shop online, free shipping can be a great deal. However, free shipping is sometimes a promotional tool only and not a reason to shop. What should you look at to determine whether a free shipping offer is worth your time and money?

Minimum purchase: If you have to spend a minimum amount with a merchant to get the free shipping, you may end up spending more than you would have if you had just paid for shipping. Evaluate how much you would have spent if it were not for the free shipping as well as the cost of shipping, if you do not meet the minimum. Do not add products to your cart that you do not need just to satisfy a minimum.

Handling charges: When you see "free shipping," it does not always mean "free handling." Sometimes handling charges can be $10 or more and merchants use the terms interchangeably. This is often the case with "As Seen on TV" items.

Excluded items: Be sure to read the fine print of the free shipping offer. Merchants may exclude items that are over a certain size or weight. This is particularly true when you are purchasing furniture, appliances, or exercise equipment.

Delivery speed: Merchants have different shipping methods including U.S. mail and commercial carrier. Free shipping may apply to a level of service that is so slow, that you will not get the merchandise when you need it. Look to see what service you are getting for free and if you can upgrade for a small fee.

Free shipping is one of the most popular deals for those shopping online Be sure that you know exactly what you are getting and the fine print before you buy into it.

Tricia Meyer is an attorney, blogger, affiliate marketer, wife, and mother of two daughters. Her cash back site Sunshine Rewards helps moms save money with coupons and shopping rebates. Her newest venture, Hunger Games Fan, combines her love of deals with pop culture.


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01 November 2010 - 10:29 AM
How timely-I've made two orders this morning, and opted not to spave and paid shipping rather than reaching the minimum.

Mrs. Q 

17 November 2010 - 02:58 AM
My sister is a prey for this marketing trap/gimmick. She would often ask me if I want to buy something online from a particular site so we can get free shipping. One time I told her not to force the issue because I wasn't ready to buy the item right at that moment.
I noticed that we always have to make a conscious effort to Stop and think about what we're about to do in terms of purchasing one, two or six items because more often than not we only needed one thing when we entered the store.
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