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Cut Shipping Fees — or Avoid Them Altogether — at Target, Amazon and More

 Cut Shipping Fees — or Avoid Them Altogether — at Target, Amazon and More


Know what can suck all the fun out of online shopping? Unexpected and expensive shipping costs. Getting hit with a large shipping fee can throw a wrench in your plans to the point you may hold off on purchasing it altogether. If you’ve found yourself in this situation before, then we have some tips for you to minimize or avoid shipping costs entirely. 

shopping tips logo shopping tips logo

Here is a series of tips for you when you’re shopping online and discover the shipping costs that could prevent you from hitting the buy button and placing your order. 

For more shopping tips, be sure to check out the best early Memorial Day sales and use these Amazon Prime perks during the Memorial Day sale. 

If you can, pick your items up at the store

Sometimes, shopping online is easier and more convenient than going into a store. If you happen to live near one of the retailer’s store locations, you may be able to place your order online and then pick it up from the store at no additional cost. If the item happens to be available locally, you might be able to pick it up as soon as that same day; otherwise, you may have to wait while the warehouse ships the item to the store.

This is a great way to ensure you take advantage of a price drop or discount that’s showing online before it sells out or the deal expires. It’s often an option at Target, Best Buy, Walmart and other retailers.

Depending on the item you’re picking up, this may not be the right move, however. If you’re grabbing a new iPhone, then sure, pick it up if you can. If you’re getting a new TV and don’t live close to the store or don’t have a car to move the item from point A to point B, check the shipping costs and try to compare it with the cost of transporting your item yourself. That Uber XL ride might be more than the shipping. 

Target drive-up order pickup location Target drive-up order pickup location

With Target’s drive-up service you don’t even have to get out of the car for your order.

Target

Your subscriptions may offer free shipping

If you’re a member of a subscription service like Amazon Prime, Walmart Plus, Target Circle 360 or My Best Buy, you likely already have access to at least some free shipping privileges. The shipping speeds options may be subject to availability, but there’s usually no minimum order required for these paid services. 

Choking down another subscription fee may not sound like music to your ears, but these often pay for themselves from the savings you get from the free shipping, on top of the additional benefits that come with them. Plus, some subscriptions, like Walmart Plus, come with a 30-day free trial. 

Look at your credit card perks

A Shipt shopper delivering a customer their order A Shipt shopper delivering a customer their order

Shipt will shop for your order and deliver it to your home, often within just a few hours.

Shipt

Some credit cards offer free shipping through partners like ShopRunner. According to the company’s site, you can get a free membership from select American Express, Chase and Mastercard accounts, and certain PayPal members may be eligible as well. ShopRunner does offer a free three-month trial of its service for everyone else. 

In addition, other services like Shipt work with Costco, CVS, Petco, Sephora, Target and other retailers. Shipt and similar services offer a $0 delivery fee on your first order.

Checking out Target regularly will help save money on hundreds of products since this retailer always offers deals.

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Hit the free shipping minimum with filler items

While it’s not exactly ideal, sometimes this move makes the most sense. A lot of retailers — including Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart — have preset order limits you need to meet to qualify for free shipping. If you don’t meet that minimum, there’s usually a delivery fee of $6 or more on the order, but sometimes avoiding that can be as simple as adding a pack of gum or some other candy to your order. 

That’s right, finding a low-cost filler item could push you over the threshold, and while you may not need that extra item, it’s better to have it than to pay for a shipping label to be printed, right? And who doesn’t love having a pack of gum handy?

Don’t worry, our shopping tips don’t stop there. Don’t miss the 6 major sales remaining in 2024 and how to get Amazon Prime perks without paying for the subscription.



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