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9 Tips for Cutting Costs on Shipping Fees

Updated on October 30, 2012

Online shopping can be a terrific thing. It allows you to easily shop at a variety of different stores at any time of day or night. It lets you shop without having to deal with the crowds in real stores. It can even save you money if you’re good at doing comparison shopping online. However, it can also be a waste of money if you aren’t careful. One major reason that costs of online shopping are high for consumers is because consumers pay shipping fees every time that something they buy online is shipped to their homes.

Here are nine important tips that can help you save money on shipping costs when shopping online:

1. Always look at what the shipping cost is before you buy an item online. This is something that you’re always allowed to review in your shopping cart before you process an order. If you notice that the shipping fee is high, you know that you shouldn’t go forward with the order. You should shop around at other stores online to see if they offer a better shipping cost or you should purchase the item at a local store so that you don’t need to spend money on shipping at all.

2. Never pay for expedited shipping. This is where people always end up spending far more on shipping costs than they really ought to. Make sure that you always do your shopping with plenty of time to spare. This will allow you to select the cheapest shipping time available and still get the item by the time that you need it.

3. Find a free shipping coupon code. One of the easiest ways to avoid spending money on shipping when shopping online is to get a discount code that offers free shipping. There are many different coupon code sites available to assist you in finding those free shipping deals. You may also get them in your email if you sign up for newsletters and deals from the stores that you shop online with most often.

4. When browsing for items online, include “free shipping” in your search engine search. Most of the time when we do our shopping online we go directly to our favorite online storefronts. However, you may also enter a general search into a favorite search engine like Google (or Google’s shopping search engine specifically). If you do that, add “free shipping” to your search to narrow down the selections to stores that will ship the item to you for free.

5. Use a rewards credit card when making online purchases. You may use these credit cards to get cash back on all of your online purchases. You may also shop through the online market associated with your rewards card to get a lower cost on your products. This helps to offset any shipping costs that are incurred when you shop online.

6. Have multiple items shipped at once. One of the most important things that you can do to reduce the cost of online shipping is to limit the number of packages that are sent to your home. This way they can all be sent at once, reducing the total shipping cost. Make lists of the items that you need to buy at different stores and wait until there are several items on the list before you go shopping online. Some online stores, like Amazon, will ask you if you want your items shipping individually as they become available or if you want them shipped together when they are all ready. Get them shipped together. Speaking of Amazon, if that’s a site that you shop on regularly then you’ve surely seen their offer to get Free Super Saver Shipping. This is available when you spend at least $25 on the site, another example of how you may save money on shipping by ordering multiple items at one time.

7. Take advantage of memberships that offer free shipping. If there are stores that you shop with frequently then you may elect to become a member of the store. This sometimes requires a small fee. If it comes with a lot of useful discounts and includes free shipping then the fee may be worth it. Always read the fine print on such memberships before choosing to participate in them so that you can be sure that they’ll be worth your money.

8. Ask about flat rate shipping fees for large items. It can be very expensive to ship large items. For that reason, it is really important that you choose to shop with stores that will offer you flat rate shipping. This is a low rate that you are charged for shipping instead of being charged by the weight or size of the product.

9. Request to have the items shipped to a local store where you can pick them up at no charge. If the items that you are buying online are associated with a store that is in your local area then this may be an option. For example, when you shop online with IKEA or Wal-Mart, you can request that the item be sent to your local store instead of directly to you. These large stores are already sending items to local branches regularly so it’s not costly to them to add your item to the shipment. As long as you’re willing to go pick your stuff up, you should be able to avoid or reduce shipping charges.

Do you have any other tips for getting free or low cost shipping when shopping online?


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  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    It is a very increasing factor and kills trade. Thank you for help

  • Spider Girl profile image

    Spider Girl 7 years ago from the Web

    Great tips actually, the price of an item nearly doubles up when shipping cost is included!