Save on Shipping costs can really add up, especially if you’re an avid online shopper. However, there are ways you can cut down on shipping expenses so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg every time you want to get something delivered. With a few simple strategies, you’ll be on your way to saving big on shipping.
Compare Shipping Rates
One of the easiest ways to save money on shipping is to compare rates across multiple retailers. If you find an item you want to purchase, check and see if other stores sell it too. Oftentimes you’ll find the exact same product available from different sellers at vastly different shipping costs.
For example, let’s say you find a pair of shoes on Website A that cost $50 with $10 shipping. You may find those same exact shoes on Website B for $55 but only $5 shipping. Just by comparing shipping rates, Website B would be the better deal overall. Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs when deciding where to buy from.
Look for Free Shipping Offers to Save on Shipping
Many online stores will offer free shipping promotions to incentivize customers to shop with them. Keep an eye out for these deals, especially around major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Retailers know that free or reduced-price shipping can lure in tons of buyers.
You can often get free shipping by:
- Spending over a certain order total (e.g. $50)
- Using a coupon code
- Buying during a special promotion period
Of course, you’ll want to make sure the items you’re buying aren’t marked up in price to compensate for the free shipping. But in many cases, you can take advantage of these offers to eliminate shipping costs altogether.
Use Amazon Prime or a Similar Service
For frequent Amazon shoppers, a Prime membership can really pay for itself through the free two-day shipping alone. Amazon has expanded Prime to offer faster shipping like one-day and same-day delivery in certain areas. Prime members also get access to Prime entertainment like movies and music.
Walmart, Target, and other retailers now offer their own versions of paid membership programs that include free shipping perks. If you tend to order a lot of essentials and household items, the cost of the membership can quickly be negated by the amount you save on shipping.
Pick In-Store Pickup
When available, choosing in-store pickup when you order online is a sure way to avoid shipping fees. Essentially you get to shop online but grab your items locally. Retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and more are making in-store pickup a free and easy option.
This is perfect if you want the convenience of ordering online but there’s a store location close to your home or workplace. Going into the store to pick up your order also avoids the risk of packages getting lost or stolen from your porch.
Ship to a Store
Similarly, many retailers give you the option at checkout to ship your order to one of their local stores. This allows you to combine the perks of online shopping with in-store pickup.
When you select a store location as the shipping address, you’ll get a notification when your order arrives at that store. Then you simply go and pick it up there. This helps you avoid residential shipping rates which are sometimes more expensive, especially for larger items.
Use Retailer Loyalty Programs
If you regularly shop at particular stores, sign up for their loyalty program membership. This is free to join and earns you points or rewards for your purchases. Many of these programs offer free shipping once you accumulate enough points.
For example, MyLowe’s loyalty program gives free standard shipping on online orders once you spend over $500 in a year. Nordstrom Rewards members get free standard shipping with no minimum order size. Retailers want to entice return customers so take advantage of these loyalty perks when possible.
Check Out: Utilizing SKU Numbers in Shipping Companies
Ship Multiple Items Together
When you’re buying several items from the same online store, resist the urge to place multiple small orders. Instead, consolidate them into one larger order. Many retailers charge flat-rate shipping fees, so whether you buy one item or five, the shipping cost is the same.
You’ll end up paying that flat shipping rate multiple times if you break the orders up. Combine everything into one cart and you’ll just pay the fee once. This is an easy way to avoid getting dinged for extra shipping charges down the road.
By employing some of these simple tips, you can hold onto more of your hard-earned money instead of paying high shipping costs. A little bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to reducing shipping expenses.