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Free Shipping Day: Real deals or just hype?

Posted at 12:26 PM, Dec 12, 2016

We are now in the final two week countdown of the holiday shopping season.

The good news is that if you still have gifts to buy, some of the days with the rock bottom lowest prices are still coming up in these next two weeks. And one day for saving is this Friday.

Shipping fees can wipe out savings

There is nothing worse than finding a great deal online, then being hit with a whopper of a shipping fee.

How bad can shipping fees be? Earlier this fall, Kyle Zimmerman told me about a custom sweatshirt he ordered online, that came with an insane shipping charge from out of the USA.

"It said product $25, shipping $600." Luckily he was able to cancel the order, and fortunately most shipping fees are nowhere near that outrageous.

But even a $7 fee can make that gift a lot more expensive than you thought, especially since most online retailers now charge tax, too.

Free Shipping Day this Friday

The good news is that on this Friday, Dec. 16, there is no need to worry about shipping.

It is Free Shipping Day 2016, when almost a thousand retailers will offer free shipping.

There will be no minimum purchase (it's a requirement for signing up) which means you can get a $5 item shipped to you free of charge.

Participating stores include:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • JCPenney
  • Cabela's,
  • Bass Pro Shop
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Uggs

....and hundreds more.
Amazon is one of the few that doesn't participate, as shipping is always free for Prime members.

How good are the deals?

DealNews.comsays this is not Back Friday or Cyber Monday, so don't assume you are finding a great deal.  It analyzed a number of Free Shipping day offers the past few years, and found only slight discounts in many cases.

Which might have you saying "Doesn't that stink?"

When prices are lowest

DealNews says if you are looking for the lowest price, there are several other better  days to shop in the days ahead.   

  • Toy prices tend to be lowest right after Free Shipping Day, as stores start clearance sales on slow selling or overstocked toys.
  • Clothing is cheapest the final two days before Christmas, when the real clearance begins.
  • TV's are cheapest right before the Super Bowl  in late January.

Finally, if you are buying a gift for yourself, whether it's a big TV or just clothing, resist the temptation to put it under the tree and wait till after Christmas for the biggest sales.

That way you don't waste your money.

“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”). The information included in this article was obtained independently by Scripps reporters. John Matarese reports on deals and scams so you Don't Waste Your Money.While purchases from links inserted in this article may result in a commission for Scripps, no Scripps reporter benefited from that commission.

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