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National Free Shipping Day is on Wednesday; what you need to know

Save money and get your gifts to their destination on time
Holiday Shipping
Posted at 11:44 AM, Dec 13, 2022

Wednesday is National Free Shipping Day — one of the last days most major retailers offer free standard, or ground shipping so gifts can ship and arrive in time for the holidays.

Robert Gilbreath, the general manager of ShipStation, said merchants typically offer “the most extreme shipping promotions of the year” on National Free Shipping Day.

Shopping on the retail holiday allows consumers to save on shipping costs that can creep up the longer they wait to mail packages.

“As a consumer, you know that you're going to get your package on time,” he said. “As a merchant, they know that they can fulfill in time.”

Gilbreath recommends being proactive when it comes to shipping holiday gifts, as variables like winter weather can delay packages from arriving on time.

“You might be shipping your package to some place, let's say on the East Coast,” he said. “Blizzards, weather, right, that's going to affect us as well. So, the carriers can set up the shipping cutoff dates. They can't control the weather.”

With Christmas Eve on a Saturday and Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, Gilbreath stressed the importance of planning to ship items ahead of time to avoid paying extra fees.

“Most of the carriers have some type of surcharge for Saturday delivery,” he said. “You're gonna pay more not only because it's overnight, but you're also looking at a Saturday weekend delivery fee.”

If shopping on National Free Shipping Day isn’t an option, Rebecca Gramuglia, a consumer expert at TopCashBack, said there are still ways to save.

“A great option is to buy online and pick up in-store,” Gramuglia said. “So, you're still getting all those benefits of online shopping, you know those coupons, those credit card rewards, cashback sites, but also you're able to save on shipping, you don't have to pay any shipping.”

Although it might be tempting to add extra items to your cart to meet a store’s “free shipping” threshold, it’s not necessary if it means spending money on an item you don’t need.

“If you have to spend $50, and you're only spending $30, don't feel like you have to add things to your cart just to hit that amount,” she said. “If you're not going to use that $20 with the merchandise, it is not a good use of money.”