Attention procrastinators hoping to save money on Xmas-related shipping, this is your last warning before it’s too late. As the window for buying and shipping holiday gifts draws to close, retailers Best Buy, Walmart, and many others are enticing shoppers to buy from them with free shipping offers that expire Monday.
According to promoters of so-called Free Shipping Day, 1600 online retailers will offer free shipping on select electronics, clothes, and toys Monday. While the promotion is generally a boon to shoppers, offers vary from retailer to retailer and come with important caveats. For example, some “free shipping” offers restrict the items they will mail for free and others will only ship items at no charge if you spend beyond a certain threshold. It’s also important to remember many online shops already offer free online shipping throughout the year.
Amazon, which doesn’t officially participate in Free Shipping Day, regularly offers Free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Others, such as Best Buy, are offering free shipping as a special on Monday, but the big box retailer also has a long list of exclusions.
As those that live in Alaska and Hawaii likely already know, the holiday shipping offers and guarantees only apply only those located in the continental U.S.
Bottom line: the real difference between free shipping offers on Monday versus any other day of the year is that you have only days left to get items shipped for free in time for Christmas.
Here is a list of major electronics retailers, including ones that don’t officially participate in Free Shipping Day, and their current free holiday shipping offers. If details were available we’ve also included cutoffs for holiday shipments in time for Christmas.
At Best Buy no minimum purchase is required, but the list of excluded items is more extensive than other retailers. You won’t get free shipping on Marketplace items where third-party sellers offer their wares on Best Buy’s site. The offer also excludes large items such as major appliances, HDTVs over 40 inches, furniture, or anything else for which Best Buy requires scheduled delivery.
Other excluded items include special order products, ship-to-store items, mobile device orders that cannot be validated online, and items marked as “in-store only.” The really bad news is items purchased on Free Shipping Day aren’t guaranteed for Christmas delivery , but the retailer says it will do its best to get it there on time. So you may find some great deals at Best Buy on Monday, but you’re taking a risk if you’re hoping for Christmas delivery.
Best Buy’s last day for guaranteed Christmas delivery (not including Monday) is Wednesday, December 19 before 1 p.m. ET.
Walmart will ship online items marked as “homefree” for free on orders of $45 or more. The retailer says it has more than 10,000 items available for free shipping. You can find all of Walmart’s electronics shipping for free here . Walmart will not ship for free to P.O. boxes or remote addresses. If you can’t shop today, Tuesday, December 18 will be your last day to take advantage of Walmart’s “homefree” offer.
Get free shipping on purchases over $25 at Radio Shack today with a maximum three orders per person. The retailer did not specify any limitations on products or product sizes.
The online retailer is offering free shipping Monday, but not if you pay with Google Checkout.
Monday is the last day to get Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping today on orders over $25 in time for Christmas. Eligible items will show an “eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping” label next to them. All purchased items must ship to a single U.S. address, you have to select the option at checkout to “group my items into as few shipments as possible,” and you have to select Super Saver Shipping as your shipping speed. You can find more details on Amazon’s site.
Amazon’s holiday cutoff is Saturday, December 22 at 3 p.m. ET for one-day shipping (not free). Free shipping ends Monday for regular customers and on Thursday for Amazon Prime members.
Apple buyers can get free Fed Ex two-day shipping on orders over $300 that weigh less than 25 pounds combined. This offer ends Monday at midnight.
Mac Mall will ship anywhere in the country with 2-day delivery until Thursday December 20th at 9 p.m. ET and overnight shipping until Saturday, December 22 at 3 p.m. ET. The holiday cutoff for ground shipping varies by region; you can find holiday shiping details on MacMall’s site.
Until December 19 at 4 p.m. ET, you can get free 2nd day shipping at Dell.com. Just be sure to select 2nd day shipping as your shipping method at checkout.
BJ’s Wholesale Club is offering free shipping on all TVs, home theaters, computers, and cameras on Monday. There didn’t appear to be any restrictions, but make sure any items you purchase are marked with “shipping included” just to be sure.
Guaranteed Christmas delivery ends Monday and only on select items.
Free shipping on all orders over $20. No apparent restrictions. The holiday cutoff is December 19 at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Free shipping on prebuilt laptops marked with the “RapidShip” label until December 19 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern (this is also the holiday shipping cutoff). You can’t put TVs, tablets, All-in-one PCs, or customized laptops in the same order. Accessories could ship separately, and you have to select “FREE 2-day air shipping” at checkout.
The Apple Store is currently offering free 2-3 day shipping on everything in the store. Holiday cutoffs vary by product and whether you want engraving. You can find Apple’s holiday shipping deadlines online.
Microsoft’s online shop on Monday was offering free 2nd day shipping. The software giant’s shop did not specify holiday cutoff times.
This story, "Free holiday shipping specials end Monday: Watch out for the gotchas!" was originally published by PCWorld.