Earning Free Shipping Isn't As Cheap As It Used To Be

As you click away, happily shopping for Cyber Monday sales, it’s important to realize that you might have to spend more to trigger that free shipping at checkout. While more retailers are offering free shipping this year compared to last year, consumers will likely have to pay a minimum on goods first.

SmartMoney cites National Retail Federation’s numbers, which show that 93% of stores have free shipping this year, up from a previous 85%, but that free shipping more often than not comes with a cost.

The NRF studied Cyber Monday offers, and found that 30% of sites offer free shipping on some orders. Last year, only 22% offered it for any amount of merchandise purchased, with no minimums.

Your best bet is to look at the overall deal you’re getting, and whether or not to cash in a discount code on an item or the shipping it’ll cost to get your whole order home. Or, stick to sites which usually offer free shipping once you’ve spent a certain amount, if you don’t mind spending that first $50 or so.

The Rising Cost of Free Shipping [SmartMoney]