Free shipping can come with catches

Don't Waste Your Money

When we are ordering our holiday gifts, one of the things many of us look for is free shipping.

It’s almost standard if you are an Amazon Prime member.

But sometimes if you choose free shipping, you could end up paying more.

Almost all major retailers from Walmart to Target to Amazon and more are offering free shipping this holiday season.

Why? Because it gets us to buy more, according to

Target may have the best deal this holiday season. There’s no minimum purchase required to qualify for free until December 21 (and if you wait until the 22nd to order, you really deserve to pay more).

Amazon Prime also has no minimum for Prime members, but Prime will cost you $119 a year, so you need to make sure you order enough to make that worthwhile.

Walmart still requires a $35 minimum purchase for fast free shipping.

But from the doesn’t that stink file, when retailers set higher prices on some free shipping items, which leaves you paying more.

NerdWallet found a pair of Nike running shoes on one site that advertised free shipping for $65. It looked like a great deal, as it would ship at no charge.

But they found the same shoes for just $49 at JC Penney, if you paid $8.95 for shipping. Many people might skip that deal, not wanting to pay for shipping.

But in the end, the free shipping deal would cost you $8 more, and have you saying “doesn’t that stink?”

So take your time comparing prices. On some sites, free shipping may be added into the price of the product.

Just because the words “free shipping” did not pop up, that may be the better deal, so you don’t waste your money.


“Don’t Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).

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