Procrastinators, take note. December 17th is the prime date for wrapping up holiday shopping online. More than 1,000 online merchants are offering free shipping all day on December 17, and most are guaranteeing delivery by December 24th.
Holiday shoppers can avoid the crowds at countless stores – from Big Dogs to Boston Store, from WalMart to Macy’s, from Speedo to Skull Candy and from Champs Sports to Comp USA. As a bonus, in addition to uncovering potential sales and product discounts, cyber-shoppers will enjoy free shipping (within the continental United States) on December 17th.
A full list of currently participating internet merchants for this year’s Free Shipping Day on December 17th is available online. The complete list of 2010 Free Shipping Day merchants will be posted at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, December 17th.
“We have reached a point where consumers are expecting free shipping when they shop online, but in many cases it is offered when you purchase a certain amount, such as $50 or $100,” explained Luke Knowles, who originated the Free Shipping Day concept (on the Free Shipping Day website). “To make Free Shipping Day even more unique, we are encouraging retailers to offer free shipping on all orders.”
Some merchants may attach restrictions to their free shipping offers, so consumers are advised to read individual e-tailers’ offers carefully. Such special services as monogramming, personalization and gift-wrapping will likely carry charges (and perhaps longer turn-around times) as well.
Many online merchants have already begun offering free shipping on holiday purchases, particularly for orders totaling $50 or more. Amazon.com, Crate & Barrel, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Land’s End, Sears, Toys ‘R Us, WalMart and many other e-tailing leaders have extended such deals to customers since Thanksgiving – or even earlier.
How did Free Shipping Day begin?
FreeShipping.org founders Luke and Maisie Knowles began the tradition in 2008, attracting more than 250 merchant participants the first year. Last year, more than 750 online retailers, or e-tailers, took part in Free Shipping Day.
Now in its third year, Free Shipping Day joins such annual holiday marketing traditions as Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), Small Business Saturday (the following day) and Cyber Monday (the following Monday), when retailers target consumers with bargains and special offers. Free Shipping Day organizers have said they hope the event will rack up more than 50,000 sales orders in total.
Why is Free Shipping Day held on December 17th this year?
By participating in Free Shipping Day on Friday, December 17th, this year, online merchants hope to capitalize on last-minute holiday shopping. Many consumers, after all, may browse for holiday gift items while at work on what may be their last scheduled workday before holiday vacation.
Cyber-shoppers placing orders online with participating Free Shipping Day merchants on December 17th may expect product shipments to arrive on or before Christmas Eve, which falls on Friday, December 24th, this year.
Free Shipping Day ends promptly at midnight on December 17th, effectively wrapping up this year’s holiday online shopping season. Of course, for the true procrastinator, there are always overnight express shipping options for a top dollar – available right up to Christmas Eve.