Online gift-buying carries an extra incentive on Friday: free shipping. About 1500 stores nationwide offer both free shipping and a guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Some retailers are only offering free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount, but over 1,000 of the participating stores have waived shipping costs on all orders Friday. In addition, some stores require you to enter a special discount code in order to get the free shipping. So be sure to look for it and copy it down from the website.
The list of retailers is a who’s who of top merchants, including Toys ‘R Us, Overstock.com, Macy’s and Dell. But, make sure you read the fine print. About 40 percent of participating stores requite a minimum purchase. One online merchant that’s not joining is Amazon. They say they already offer free shipping on purchases over $25, and they have Amazon Prime where you get free shipping for a year if you pay a fee of $79.
More than 60 percent of participating retailers are offering shipping on all orders, the rest on specified items. The FedEx deadline for ground and home delivery service for Christmas is Friday, Dec. 17. If you’re shipping via UPS, your package will need to be shipped by Dec. 21 with 3-Day Select. You have until Dec. 23 to use UPS Next Day Air. If you send something through the U.S. Postal Service, first-class mail needs to be sent by Dec. 20.