Well, we’re less than two weeks from Christmas, which means the shopping pinch is upon us. If you’re like me, you’re probably nowhere near done with your Christmas shopping – still have three people to shop for, and we are coming down to the wire.
This year, though, I’m avoiding that last-minute, mad dash at the mall. How? Well, today, I am taking advantage of Free Shipping Day. I am getting all of my Christmas shopping finished once and for all, from the comfort of my couch.
What is Free Shipping Day?
Every December, hundreds of retailers participate in what’s known as Free Shipping Day. This year, it falls on Friday, December 16 (today!). On this day, online shops waive their standard shipping charges, with guarantees that any purchased items will arrive in time for Christmas.
It was founded in 2008 by the same people who brought us CouponSherpa. They noticed that online sales plummeted following Cyber Monday, as most consumers figured that their items might not make it in time for Christmas after that point. Therefore, it seemed that most people switched to in-store shopping for the remainder of their list, if they didn’t buy it on Cyber Monday.
Its founders, Luke and Maisie Knowles, noticed that many online businesses were offering free shipping around the holidays, with much lower qualifying order thresholds. FreeShippingDay.com was a place where they could bring all of these merchants together, and allow the average online consumer to find out who was offering to waive postage for their last-minute shopping.
In 2010, which was the third year that Free Shipping Day was held, online shoppers spent $942 million. This made Free Shopping Day the third highest spending day of the 2010 holiday season. That number continued to grow, even crossing the billion dollar threshold.
Beginning in 2013, the website mandated that all companies participating agree to waive all minimum order requirements, so that every purchase would qualify for free shipping. Of course, they also had to guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve for all orders placed on the promotional day. That year, sales dropped slightly (as some merchants were unable or unwilling to meet both stipulations). However, sales quickly rose back up and Free Shipping Day still hovers around the $1 billion sales mark each year.
So, Who Is Included?
For this 2016 holiday shopping season, there are a whopping 1,220 merchants participating in the promotional shipping day. You can view the complete list, and even search by category, on Free Shipping Day’s website.
These merchants include Barnes & Noble, Target.com, Lululemon, Cabela’s, Tommy John, aerie, and (obviously) many more. Again, all of these retailers promise that not only do they have no-minimum free shipping through midnight tonight, but they will also deliver by Christmas Eve.
So, hop on over to freeshippingday.com, browse the stores, and finish up that gift list tonight. Santa will thank you next weekend.
Published or updated December 16, 2016.