Guest post from Bernadine of Montebello Mom
Online shopping is wonderful, the convenience of shopping after the kids are tucked in and after I’ve had a shower is great for this working mom, but shipping costs can easily add $5 or more to a total, and that’s $5 I’m not willing to spend.
Here are the strategies I use to save on shipping at online retailers:
1. Search For Free Shipping Codes
Check RetailMeNot.com or do a quick Google search using the words “free shipping code” and the name of the online retailer. You’d be surprised how many places offer free shipping, but only if you have the code.
2. Meet Minimum Order Requirements
Fill your online shopping cart with enough merchandise to meet the minimum purchase requirements to qualify for free shipping. I sometimes will purchase a range of sizes to make sure my kids get the best fit and return the item that doesn’t fit well to the brick and mortar store for a refund.
3. Place the Order Through a Store
If an item is not in stock at the store, or if it is only available online, you can ask a store associate at the brick and mortar store to order it online for you. I’ve done this at Gymboree for swimsuits and at the Disney Store for princess attire. In both instances, the shipping fee was waived.
I’ve also just come right out and asked a store employee for a free online shipping code to order items that were not in stock at the store — and I got one!
4. Pick-Up In Store
When ordering online chose the “pick-up in store” or “ship-to-store option”. Usually you’ll have to go to customer service to pick up the item, or some stores have a special pick-up counter for online orders.
At Best Buy, I’ve used this option several times to guarantee that I get a copy of a video game or DVD at special limited time only pricing and not have to pay for shipping.
What are your favorite ways to save on online shipping costs?
Bernadine authors MontebelloMom.com, a free family-friendly events and bargains blog in the Los Angeles area. She is the official Blogger for the Shops at Montebello mall and an avid bargain hunter.
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